University of Gloucestershire secures £3m to support local businesses

University of Gloucestershire secures £3m to support local businesses

University of Gloucestershire secures £3m to support local businesses - Credit: Archant

The University of Gloucestershire has won £3m of funding to provide grants to start-up and early-stage businesses in the county.

The government’s Regional Growth Fund money will be awarded to businesses with potential for high growth and job creation, enabling long-term economic development and lasting employment in Gloucestershire.

Financing a new enterprise is often extremely difficult, with many entrepreneurs citing it as the most challenging part of starting their business. This funding will form the timely injection of cash that many local businesses need. The funding complements the package of support that is already available to start-up businesses through the University’s new Growth

Hub. The support on offer includes incubation (office space), mentoring, opportunities for collaboration, becoming investor-ready, and a business angel investment network.

It is expected that the University will use the fund to provide grants to around 50 businesses each year until 2017. In many cases this will be enhanced by further investment from High Net Worth Individuals or other businesses.

University of Gloucestershire Director of Business Development, Laura Crabb said: “We’ve listened to what businesses need and we’re hearing that access to finance is a big barrier. This funding enables us to support businesses in the area they need the most. There is strong evidence to suggest that once an initial grant is made, other ‘angels’ or businesses are more likely to invest, creating greater economic and employment benefit all round”.

In a region that has a need for more private sector employment to reduce the dependence on public sector jobs and an already high survival rate for early-stage businesses, this is a welcome success for Gloucestershire.

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Further information will be available to businesses on how to apply for the funds later this year. Local business people can sign up to The Growth Hub e-newsletter to stay up to date.