THE Let’s Do Business Group has received the National Enterprise of the Year Award for Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year (turnover over £750k), for its work supporting start-up and growing businesses in the South East.
The award – presented on Friday 22nd November at an event in Canary Wharf – recognises the Group’s significant impact in helping budding and established entrepreneurs in the South and East of England.
The judges said: ‘The Let’s Do Business Group are a shining example of an enterprise support organisation that delivers a high-quality service, and supports a happy workforce’.
The Group has grown and developed significantly over the last three years and has successfully increased the number of companies supported, quality of provision, turnover and profitability, successfully delivering on contracts and extending their loan and finance offer into new areas.
Invest ESSEX – the inward investment promoter and specialist business support agency – became part of the Let’s Do Business Group to deliver the South East INVEST (SEI) programme, supporting the capacity of local SMEs to grow in regional, national and international markets.
Overall, during the last 12 months, the Group has supported more than 2700 businesses – including in excess of 500 new businesses (of which 208 were started by people previously unemployed), helped create 2200 jobs and assisted businesses to access over £6.3m of further investment.
For Invest ESSEX’s part, it has created 1483 jobs since October 2018 and has recently been praised for its role in SEI’s support of the growth of small businesses and attracting new businesses to the area.
When interviewed as part of the ‘Mid-Term Evaluation of the South East INVEST Project’ – carried out by EBS Consulting (Economic Development and Tourism Consultants) – 89% of small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) had their expectations exceeded, with 92% very likely to recommend the programme, representing some of the highest client feedback scores seen for such a project.
Businesses also reported that 53% of their employment creation and turnover increased thanks to the support received from SEI.
As part of South East INVEST, both Invest ESSEX and The Let’s Do Business Group employ specialist SME Business Managers to advise and assist small businesses, and the feedback was a huge credit to their efforts.
On winning the award, Graham Marley, Group Chief Executive said: ‘We are really proud of this award, it is a testament to the hard work of the whole team which supports businesses across Sussex, Kent and Essex.’
Held at the London headquarters of Barclays Bank, the National Enterprise Network Awards were established in 2007 to recognise excellence in the delivery of enterprise support, encouraging the exchange of good practice and the development of improved services and organisations.