£56m funding boost for business productivity across Britain

Economy & Politics | Funding | South East

Businesses will benefit from a £56m funding boost to drive up productivity across the UK economy, Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst announced today.

The funding, initially announced at Budget 2018, supports the findings of a joint report by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and HM Treasury, published today, which sets out ten key actions that will support businesses to become more productive.

It finds that businesses of all sizes that embrace the best leadership and management models and techniques, as well as adopting tried-and-tested technologies, are more profitable, productive and are better to work for.

The review advises businesses to:

  • Enhance leadership skills and drive up good management practices in SME business leaders
  • Harness the benefits of technology, such as on-line accountancy software and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
  • Seek external support and advice from peers
  • Benchmark their performance against their competitors using Be the Business’ benchmarking tool to find out how to improve performance

To drive this forward, the support being made available to businesses includes:

  • £11m to create a Small Business Leadership Programme, to provide small business leaders with leadership training.
  • £20m to strengthen local networks to focus on business improvement, so that the UK’s business leaders can learn from each other about management excellence and technology adoption. The support networks will be locally focussed to ensure local needs and priorities are considered.
  • Challenging the UK’s leading businesses to sign up to a new Be the Business mentoring programme for SMEs.
  • Creating a partnership between the government, professional services firms, large banks and technology firms, to reach out to UK companies and support them to adopt new management practices and modern business tools. This outreach will focus on businesses that do not normally engage with government.
  • A further £25m to expand Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme, getting over 200 additional graduates with relevant skills placed into businesses with complex management issues to translate their research insights into business growth. There will be a dedicated management KTP round which will open on 12 December 2019 and closes on 19 February.

The UK has some of the world’s most productive businesses and has a strong business environment with up to 1,075 businesses starting every day. The UK ranks as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “We are determined to make the UK the best place to work and start a business – and boosting productivity is key to that. As a former small business owner, I know how important it is to harness technology to make your business more productive and our review sets out crucial actions that businesses can take to boost their own productivity.

“This £56m of government funding will help businesses of all sizes seize the opportunities of scaling up in new markets when we leave the EU.”

Simon Clarke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We have created one of the most attractive business environments in the world with low taxes and our commitment to invest an additional £7bn in R&D to unlock talent and opportunity. However, it’s vital we do everything we can to help improve the UK’s long-term productivity.

“The Business Productivity Review forms a crucial part of our efforts to boost UK productivity and unlock the potential of people and places across UK.”

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