University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)

External KE Initiative of the Year Winner: Scale Up 4 Growth

People watching a presentation.

Scale Up 4 Growth (S4G) is an innovative, £2.7m programme, designed by University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)’s Research, Business and Innovation (RBI) team and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

S4G is a 3-year, free programme of support for businesses in the West of England (WoE) that are looking to grow, expand and scale. The programme is delivered by the unique S4G Partnership of University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) (lead), NatWest and Foot Anstey LLP and includes:

  • Two-day ‘business growth’ workshops, delivered across the WoE by leading Bristol Business School academics and industry experts from the S4G Partnership

  • Grants of £10k–40k for projects that help businesses address barriers to growth

S4G is an excellent example of an external KE initiative that brings together the very best in university-business partnership working, sharing knowledge and expertise from academia and industry with growing businesses, to benefit the regional economy.

The programme is designed explicitly around the ‘five key gaps’ that prevent businesses from scaling up, identified by the ScaleUp Institute’s pioneering research: Skills; Finance; Markets; Infrastructure; and Leadership. This evidence-based foundation has helped create an extremely successful programme that, in 6 months since its launch, has consistently demonstrated its ability to directly address the challenges faced by growing businesses.

Partnering with NatWest and Foot Anstey LLP has enabled University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) to provide a high-quality programme for aspiring scalers who do not have the time, network or financial resource to access equivalent support.

Since its launch in November 2018, over 300 businesses have registered to be part of the S4G network and benefit from the programme; this number is only set to grow.

University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is extremely proud of the programme, the Partnership it has created and its impact on the regional economy.

UWE Bristol, FootAnstey, NatWest and European Union Regional Development Fund logos.