The support IS there for South West SME owners

With so much expertise and support out there for SME owners, it is hard not to get bogged down in which is best for your business.

A business support service in the South West, however, is making things a lot easier for some.

Inspire have been dedicated to helping businesses in the area maximise their success for the last 25 years.

Based in Wiltshire, the company have recently successfully launched their service into Somerset and Devon, and CEO Rob Perks said: “Our reach is growing, and we are playing an increasingly important role in helping businesses grow through a winning business strategy, making the right connections and knowledge sharing.”

But why are Inspire proving so successful? Here are four reasons.

The best advice

Once a clear growth strategy has been developed between the owner of the business and one of Inspire’s business experts, they have access to a ready-made network of trusted professionals in every discipline of business thanks to a team of experienced business advisors and around 100 partner experts who they refer to when their clients need specialised help.

They also connect businesses to each other to do business or to provide useful services to each other.

“Sifting through the mire of business support and what’s best for your business is something business leaders don’t have the time to fully commit to when running a business,” said Rob.

“We are the place to go for anything relating to business, thanks to our network of strategic partners and the comprehensive help that we can provide.”

Inspire have also recently launched a fully integrated digital transformation package for SMEs to ensure they are taking full advantage of new technologies, including artificial intelligence, to drive business growth, beat the competition and become more productive.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business programme

Inspire are also partnered with Goldman Sachs to bring access to the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Programme, which brings together leaders of small businesses from across industry sectors and creates unique networking and peer learning opportunities.

The programme provides 100 hours of expert, fully funded support and education for business leaders in business growth.

Programme results show that graduates consistently grow their revenues and create jobs at rates that outperform the broader economy.

“It is great to be promoting such a fantastic, fully funded resource for growing businesses,” said Rob.

“Every eligible, growing business should consider applying for this invaluable programme which will provide them with a real competitive advantage over their rivals.”

Events not to be missed

As an Inspire member, you will have access to a huge number of monthly events that take place across the region.

They include everything from education and learning on a huge variety of business issues and business growth strategy forums to visits to innovative businesses and meetings with the Bank of England.

The events also provide the perfect place to gain knowledge and inspiration from other business owners.

“Finding and meeting other ambitious business owners can be time-consuming and difficult but tremendously helpful in solving common business problems,” commented Rob. “We provide this for you through our peer to peer educational events.

“We currently have 550 growth members, and more than 3,000 ordinary members that range from small businesses with four/five staff to the other end of the scale and corporations.”

A big pedigree

Having started in 1994 as the Wessex Association of Chambers of Commerce, Inspire have grown as rapidly as their members, particularly in the last three years.

Winning a contract to run the Swindon and Wiltshire growth hub, in 2016 Inspire embarked on a strategy to become the leading organisation in the wider south west for delivery of support to fast growing businesses or scale ups.

Having successfully launching into Bristol in 2017, they were then endorsed as ScaleUp ambassadors for Swindon and Wiltshire by the Scale Up Institute.

And last year they won a contract with the Heart of the South West Growth Hub to deliver scale up support to fast growing businesses across Somerset and Devon, successfully launching into both areas this year.

Rob said: “Being endorsed ScaleUp Ambassadors by the Scale Up Institute gives assurance that the programme we have in place provides the right support, while partnering with Goldman Sachs is also a huge tick in the box.

“And what celebrating 25 years shows is that businesses have found the service we provide extremely valuable and we are the ‘go-to’ resource for fast growing businesses across the South West region.”

For more information on how Inspire can help your business, visit or telephone 01225 355553.