New Government-funded programme to drive innovation and growth in West Yorkshire SMEs

Leeds Beckett University is partnering in a new Government-funded support programme, to drive innovation and boost the productivity and resilience of West Yorkshire businesses.

Funded by West Yorkshire Combined Authority through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, West Yorkshire Business Boost will have its physical base at The Knowledge Exchange business hub at Leeds Beckett University’s city centre Rose Bowl building. Leeds Beckett academics in The Leadership Centre and Leeds Business School will provide expertise around innovation, growth and leadership development.

The programme is open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the West Yorkshire region and aims to provide the knowledge, mentoring and expertise to support the sustainable growth of local businesses. It is designed and delivered by Exemplas with partners Leeds Beckett University, Chamber International, Medilink, and Sustainable X.

Dr Julia Morgan, Head of The Leadership Centre at Leeds Beckett University, explained: “We are proud to be partners in the new Business Boost programme and to welcome a new cohort of businesses into our wider community of support. Our work at The Leadership Centre is underpinned by our academic research and industry experience within Leeds Business School at Leeds Beckett University. We have extensive experience of working successfully with our regional SMEs to embed the leadership capabilities necessary for their businesses to thrive, become resilient, and drive innovation in their industries.”

The programme has three services: Export, Innovation and Leadership.

The Export service is available for SMEs at any stage of their export journeys – providing support, advice and action plans needed to identify and remove existing barriers to exporting. Supported by expert teams from Chamber International, Medilink and Sustainable X, this service aims to raise the profile of West Yorkshire businesses on a global level.

The Innovation service will work with SMEs to identify and overcome challenges and barriers to growth through the development of bespoke Growth and Innovation Action Plans. This service aims to empower businesses to develop greater strategic focus and provide the tools necessary for sustained success. This service is supported by Leeds Beckett University and Sustainable X and is aimed at SMEs with an ambition to grow through new products, services, or the development of processes to improve their productivity and resilience.

The Leadership service is available to businesses who have already benefitted from the Innovation service. Supported by The Leadership Centre at Leeds Beckett University and Exemplas, this service focuses on equipping leaders with the capabilities needed to lead innovation and improvements in their businesses. SME leaders will benefit from EQi assessments, personalised Leadership Action Plans, workshops, an exclusive peer network, a dedicated leadership coach, and access to a wider network of business support.

Martin Coats, Operations and Commercial Development Director at Exemplas, said: “We are honoured to be selected as partners by West Yorkshire Combined Authority. At Exemplas, we believe in the work we are doing to support SMEs. We are confident that, together with our carefully selected consortium of partners, we will be able to deliver meaningful support to West Yorkshire’s SMEs that will be reflected in measurable improvements and a boost in business success in the region.”

Nick Palmer, West Yorkshire Business Boost Innovation and Leadership Programme Manager at Exemplas, added: “As we begin work in West Yorkshire, I’m incredibly optimistic about the impact our programme will have on the local business landscape. I’m looking forward to working closely with SMEs and offering them the support and advice they need to thrive.”

For more information, and to complete an enquiry form, please visit www.wybusinessboost.co.uk