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eScalate is a three-year project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which runs until 31st March 2022. eScalate will support Oxfordshire’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that are scale-ups or have scale-up potential, and socially minded enterprises.
eScalate aims to support:
- ENTERPRISES FOR SOCIAL GOOD* who would like support to develop new business models, higher-quality products, processes, services or specific products to boost productivity or resource efficiency.
- SME SCALE-UPS who are looking to increase market share, increase revenues, increase staff and add value to your business. If you have struggled with access to finance and investment readiness support, we can help.
- START UP AND GROWTH SMES – the eScalate programme has been expanded to offer additional support to all eligible SMEs during COVID-19.
*Enterprises for social good exist in the space between traditional charities and mainstream businesses. These purposeful businesses are committed to enabling positive social and environmental impact. Scale ups are growing businesses that are ready or are preparing to pitch to investors, looking to grow their workforce, launch new products or diversify.
Supporting enterprises for social good:
We are working with OSEP (Oxfordshire Social Enterprise Partnership) to support Oxfordshire's enterprises for social good through six social enterprise hubs. They help social entrepreneurs, charities and purposeful businesses to gain knowledge, forge partnerships and increase their social and environmental impact.
Due to social distancing measures, they are not currently operating as physical hubs, but they continue to play an important role in leading and delivering our programme of webinars and peer-to-peer support sessions, helping to build a community of like-minded individuals and organisations, which is needed now more than ever before.
Grants of between £1,000 and £25,000 are also available for eligible SMEs.
Supporting growing businesses:
The eScalate programme supports growing businesses that have scale-up potential. If your business is working towards increasing market share, revenues, staff or has struggled with access to finance or needs investment readiness support, we can help through 12 hours of 1:1 support (via telephone or videophone).
1:1 time provides support and coaching to:
- Boost revenue streams by exploring market trends and diversification opportunities
- Identify product/service niches and competitive advantage
- Identify barriers/obstacles and ensure the company has a solid foundation for growth
- Ensure the company works smart, focuses on core competencies and avoids becoming overwhelmed
- Develop robust strategies and business plans that can withstand scrutiny
- Develop accurate financial forecasting and management
- Attract, retain and manage the right talent
- Identify vulnerabilities and gaps where external, expert knowledge and experience is needed
- Become investment ready when the company has identified this as a key requirement for growth within its business plan
Supporting start-up and growing businesses:
The eScalate programme supports eligible SMEs that are starting up or growing to develop their businesses and is designed to create jobs and boost economic growth in Oxfordshire, particularly in light of the challenges posed by COVID-19. The programme offers 1:1 support, workshops and webinars and competitive grant rounds.
Grants of between £1,000 and £25,000 are available for eligible SMEs to fund eligible activities designed to assist SMEs to implement business development, investment start-up and growth projects in order to create jobs and growth. Please see the grant guidance here for more information.
Scale Up Network:
To help meet the challenges of growing high-potential organisations, Oxford Brookes Business School has created a Scale Up Network to enhance and develop the leadership and management capacity of local organisations.
The Network is a small and selected group of successful and growing scale up leaders who come together to explore common constraint issues, co-create solutions and maximise the impact of potential improvements. They benefit from the knowledge and skills of Oxford Brookes Business School, combined with external, professional, facilitated support over the course of a year.
OxLEP Business is subsidising a number of places on this course through its eScalate programme.
Further information on the eScalate programme can be found on the OxLEP Business microsite.