Business support programme launched in Devon

Astley Media
Authored by Astley Media
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - 9:55am

A new business support programme has been launched offering a range of business training and support services for the self-employed and small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.

Up to 600 businesses will be supported through the Heart of the South West Growth Hub’s new programme – Thrive.

The programme is part funded by the ERDF and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with match funding from the Growth Hub and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

The programme aims to stimulate economic development through improving SME productivity and competitiveness, helping them to grow, create jobs and reach new markets.

Thrive aims to support businesses to be the best that they can be, by offering a free diagnostic and training service, with up to 12 hours of tailor-made support that will enable businesses to improve and grow. 

Enrolled businesses will be able to receive a one-to-one diagnostic and attend webinars around specialist topics such as digital skills, finance, marketing, HR and business planning.

David Ralph, Chief Executive at Heart of the South West LEP said: “The Heart of the South West is delighted to have funded this exciting new business support programme through the Growth Hub. Thrive is a bespoke service using specialist advisors from Cosmic, Business Information Point (BIP) and North Devon +, who will work with you to identify what would most help your business. Whether you’re a sole trader working from home, or an SME with premises and staff to manage, Thrive will provide you with the support you need to improve your business. Be it digital support, leadership training or business planning support, the Thrive support programme is here to help businesses across the Heart of the South West."

A key element of the programme is its digital support which looks at how businesses can improve their online presence and digital skills. Following an initial discussion, businesses will be signposted to the most relevant sources of support and advice from one of Thrive’s support providers.

Devon County Council Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said: “Business support such as Thrive is vital as the South West looks to make a strong recovery after the pandemic. This programme provides local businesses with an excellent opportunity to review and enhance their business practice and develop new skills in the areas where they most need support and training.”

To apply, businesses need to register their interest online at and one of the Growth Hub’s business advisers will be in touch.

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