Scale Up 4 Growth initiative wins national award

Scale Up 4 Growth (S4G), an innovative business accelerator programme Foot Anstey is partnering on, has won best External Knowledge Exchange Initiative of the Year at the KE Awards 2019.

The KE Awards, organised by PraxisAuril – the UK’s world-leading professional association for knowledge exchange (KE) practitioners – and sponsored by UK Research and Innovation, celebrate the contribution of KE professionals in enabling and facilitating the societal and economic impact of research.

The winning £2.7m S4G programme was designed by the University of the West of England's (UWE Bristol) Research, Business and Innovation team and funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The programme is delivered by the unique S4G Partnership, led by UWE Bristol with NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator and Corporate and Commercial Banking Teams, and law firm Foot Anstey.

The S4G team beat the University of Manchester for their Manchester Law and Technology Initiative and the University of Kent for their Employability Points Scheme to claim the prize.

We are extremely proud of the S4G programme, the valued Partnership we have created with NatWest and Foot Anstey, and our impact on the West of England’s scaling businesses in the regional economy

Tracey John, UWE Bristol director of Research, Business and Innovation

Nathan Peacey, Partner at Foot Anstey commented:
"It's fantastic to see Scale Up 4 Growth recognised as a standout example of university and business working in partnership. We have a huge amount to gain by working with exciting growth businesses and we have been delighted to support them on this journey through sharing our expertise and experience. This collaboration is another great example of how businesses are successfully working together to raise the South West's profile as being at the forefront of tech and innovation and build the regional economy."

Matt Hatcher, NatWest Director of Corporate and Commercial Coverage, South West, said:
“As a bank we’re hugely committed to supporting the growth of entrepreneurism in the region and helping more start-up and scale-up businesses achieve success. Collaboration and innovation is key, which is why we are delighted with the success of the S4G scheme. It is making a real impact and along with our Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub in Bristol, helping support the rich vein of talent we have in the West of England achieve national and international success.”

Olly Reid, Scale Acceleration Manager at NatWest, added:
“Through our accelerator programme we’re working with hundreds of exciting start-up and scale-up businesses from across the region in multiple sectors. The cross-team collaboration involved with working with the team at UWE and our corporate and commercial team at NatWest has allowed us to develop a real exciting programme that is crucially expanding the network of opportunities available to local businesses. This is where the success of the S4G programme lies and why we hope more local entrepreneurs will benefit in the years ahead.”

S4G is a 3-year, free programme of support for businesses in the West of England looking to grow, expand and scale. It includes:

  • Two-day ‘business growth’ workshops, delivered across the West of England by leading Bristol Business School academics and industry experts from the S4G Partnership
  • Grants of £10k–40k for projects that help businesses address barriers to growth

S4G is an excellent example of an External KE Initiative which brings together the very best in university-business partnership working, sharing knowledge and expertise from academia and industry with growing businesses, to benefit the regional economy.

Since its launch in November 2018, over 300 businesses have registered to be part of the S4G network and benefit from the programme.

S4G is the latest in a series of projects led by UWE Bristol to support innovative high growth businesses in the West of England. These projects have supported 100’s of businesses across the region and created over 1,000 new jobs. NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme has supported nearly 900 businesses from the South West since it opened in Bristol in 2015. Applications are now open for its latest intake.

Congratulations to the Scale Up 4 Growth team. You can find out more about S4G here.

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