The tricky first million

Growth Accelerator Diane Shawe

Growth Accelerator Diane Shawearticle by Diane Shawe M.Ed   AVPT Ltd

It is often assumed that raising external, or third party, equity is a prerequisite to business success. In the majority of cases, this could not be further from the truth. Most businesses start with very limited funding, and as these businesses develop, they bootstrap their growth, using their own profits and assets to finance their needs. As a result, they get to keep their potentially valuable equity in the hands of the founder or the family, along with the choices and freedom that brings.  Often the next step up from that is developing the owner managers skills to take them to the next 2-3 million.

For some companies, however, the size of the opportunity or the need for fixed or working capital exceeds the available resources. In these cases, raising external equity may be the only available option.

Diane caught up with up with Lotwina Farodoye, Growth Manager for Growth Accelerator at Grant Thornton’s Euston offices  last week and put these questions to her:

So What is GrowthAccelerator?

Growth Accelerator is a unique service led by some of the country’s most successful growth specialists.  A partnership between leading private sector business growth experts led by Grant Thornton, and backed by a £200 million investment from the Government, GrowthAccelerator gets to the heart of the barriers that are holding  businesses back;  helping identify the critical steps you need to take to achieve your next phase of growth – rapidly and sustainably.

 How does Growth Accelerator Achieve this?

We’ll work with businesses to develop a growth plan which is completely bespoke to the needs of a business.  It will involve a commitment of  time but with the support tailored to your business priorities and the way you work, we won’t waste your time on issues you’ve already got covered.

So what does Growth Accelerator focus on?

We focus on three core areas: Access to Finance, Business Development or Growth through Innovation.  All three are delivered through a combination of coaching, workshops and masterclasses.

What will GrowthAccelerator do for my business?

GrowthAccelerator will give you the framework to :

  • Build a successful growth strategy
  • Discover new routes to funding and investment
  • Unlock your capacity for innovation
  • Build on the power of your people
  • Unite and inspire your leadership team; and

How is GrowthAccelerator different from other services?

GrowthAccelerator offer matched funding up to £2,000 per senior manager in the business, who’s pursuing training that will help improve their performance and help the business grow.  (This offer is available once the company is a participant on GrowthAccelerator) This is where approved company’s such as Academy of Vocational & Professional Training come in and deliver the bespoke training.

Who is Growth Accelerator right for?

GrowthAccelerator exclusively targets businesses with potential for high growth who want to enter their next growth phase and have the potential and determination to get there.

If that’s not where you are, then GrowthAccelerator isn’t right for you.  But if it is right your business and you fully commit to the support owe give, your business will grow and grow faster.

Who is Eligible for Growth Accelerator ?

To be eligible for GrowthAccelerator, a business must be registered in the UK and based in England, have fewer than 250 employees and have a turnover of less than £40m.

What investment is required?

Your contribution will depend on the size of your business.  With Government co-investing in the growth of your business and making a major contribution towards the cost, you pay only a one-off fee.

 1 to 4 employees………………………………….     £600 + £700 VAT* = £1,300

5 to 49 employees…………………………………. £1,500 + £700 VAT* = £2,200

50 to 249 employees…………………………….   £3,000 + £700 VAT* = £3,700

* VAT is based on 20% of the nominal value of the service – £3,500

if you want to find out more just contact diane on

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