Building a resilient enterprise culture to drive long-term economic growth.
Healthy growth and productivity improvements are the lifeblood of a successful economy. Growing companies means more jobs, more revenue to the exchequer and a virtuous cycle of investment, whilst for workers a better standard of living and improved life chances are the clear rewards.
But there can be many obstacles to growth. Whilst government and international bodies control the economic and legislative levers at the macro-level, there's still much that can done at the local level to create resilient business environments. Providing access to finance, addressing lack of know-how in key areas, bolstering weak networks, overcoming supply-side fragmentation, sharing best practices, better connecting employers and employees, investing in efficient premises…the list goes on.
Since Ngage launched 20 years ago, we've delivered many high value programmes which invest in innovation and tackle the roadblocks to success. In association with DEFRA and local action groups, we have rolled out the LEADER programme in The Chilterns, Clay Vales, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire making a £9m+ match-funded investment into the rural economy, supporting forestry, farming, tourism and heritage businesses.
Programmes like Get Online-trade Online (Go-to) incentivised small businesses in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to develop their web presence and take advantage of social media. Signature helped fragmented European security clusters to come together to share expertise and boost their international trade. Bidding For Gold engaged with the notoriously hard to reach construction sector, helping to set up a consortium of UK SME businesses to address the skills shortages which had stopped them previously bidding for larger contracts. MD Ngage and Peer Networks provide peer learning to enhance and develop skills, giving participants invaluable opportunities to share experience and ideas. We also provided Business Link services for 9 years helping over 26,500 enterprises and entrepreneurs.
Our programmes continue to make a big difference in the local communities we serve. By encouraging businesses to keep innovating, raising standards, overcoming inefficiencies and telling the world about their offer, Ngage wants to bring the benefits of growth and improved productivity to all.
“The Growth Programme has delivered above and beyond its original remit with beneficiary businesses attributing an increase of £9.6 million in forecasted turnover.”
“Ngage has delivered an excellent result for the LEADER programme in the Chilterns AONB. The team have been enthusiastic, professional, and empathetic, working in partnership with the Local Action Group and managing the relationship with Defra and the Rural Payments Agency. Financial monitoring has been exemplary as have the opportunities to obtain additional grant money.” Geoffrey Adams Chiltern LAG Member
“Ngage already had a strong reputation for promoting and supporting business in Buckinghamshire and this reputation provided us with a sound foundation.” David Campbell OBE Chair, Aylesbury Vale LAG/ Clay Vales LAG
With the help of a Leader Grant, Farrington Oils decided to improve the quality of their land by adapting a minimum tillage approach over traditional intensive cultivations, increasing the soil organic matter by 66%.
These are not the only benefits that Farrington Oils have seen as a result of their £26,825 LEADER programme funded project. They have also seen a sustainable growth in the overall business, with an increase in income, productivity and further employment. There are now 14 employees working on the farm. Far exceeding their growth expectations for this year.
"The benefits could be enormous; it has been estimated that agriculture could reduce global CO2 emissions by between 10% and 30%."
“As a result of GO-TO we have increased our understanding of social media and have raised our profile worldwide.”
The Growth Programme provides support to Buckinghamshire based businesses to encourage them to grow and create employment. Enhancing the support provision already provided by Buckinghamshire Business First, the programme delivers either grants or bespoke one-to-one business advice, access to exclusive Masterclasses and peer-to-peer sessions to local SMEs with growth potential. The 1st Phase of the project started in early 2017 until June 2019, The 2nd Phase started in July 2019 and runs until 30th June 2022.
MD Ngage provides business leaders with ‘The Board they can’t afford’. It is a Leadership programme which, as well as incorporating expert speakers, also allows business leaders to take time out from the day-to-day running of their business to explore new ideas, tackle challenging issues and grow as leaders, all with the support of their peers.
The allocation of 120 grants of between £1000-£3000 to businesses with a minimum turnover of £50,000. These grants funded activity as a direct response to the impact of COVID-19. Activity included; accessing specialist consultancy or professional advice, the purchase of minor equipment or technology, adapting existing technology in order to continue to deliver business activity, diversification.
Peer Networks is a national peer-to-peer networking programme for SME leaders that want to grow and develop their organisation for future success, enabling them to make connections that go far beyond networking.
The Visit Buckinghamshire Business Advisory Service (VBAS) was a project funded by HS2 through Groundwork to support businesses, including those in the supply chains of affected retail and tourism businesses, that face disruption from the construction of HS2.
Velocity provides small and medium sized businesses in Aylesbury Vale with a platform for growth. Offering a mixture of business advice and support, workshops, revenue and capital grants and help with accessing finance and investment.
Project funding for farmers, foresters, small rural businesses and community groups based in the Chilterns area of Buckinghamshire. Grants up to €200,000 were available between 2015-20 to support projects that created jobs, helped businesses to grow and benefited the rural economy.
Project funding for farmers, foresters, small rural businesses and community groups based in Aylesbury Vale, rural Milton Keynes and South Northamptonshire. Grants up to €200,000 were available between 2015-20 to support projects that created jobs, helped businesses to grow and benefited the rural economy.
Project funding for farmers, foresters, small rural businesses and community groups based in the North and West areas of Northamptonshire. Grants up to €200,000 were available between 2015-20 to support projects that created jobs, helped businesses to grow and benefited the rural economy.
A voucher scheme helping micro businesses in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to capitalise on digital opportunities and increase their on-line trading presence.
LEADER was a source of funding for farmers, foresters, small rural businesses and community groups to enable them to strengthen their support for the local economy. Grants of up to €200,000 were available. Ngage delivered two programmes in the South East between 2008 - 2012.
The European Security Innovation Network aimed to increase Europe’s security and global competitiveness by integrating European security sector clusters into a leading European security network. It addressed the fragmented supply side of the market.
While the 2012 London Olympics was good news for British sport, for the UK construction industry there was a problem – a shortage of SME businesses with the skills to bid for larger building contracts. This project opened the doors of opportunity to firms in the South East.
One-year project providing funded access to industry-leading management development and business growth methodologies to small companies with less than 50 employees in the South East of England.
A programme offering ICT solutions to SMEs in Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire in order to promote the adoption of digital technologies and create a more competitive business community.
Recognising the impact that out-of-town shopping centres were having on small town independent retailers, RON conducted a study of 10 towns in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes and launched a suite of support and training to help them fight back.
Harnessing the power of collaboration, The Manufacturing Consortium built a self-funded network of SME manufacturers in Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, to support growth and encourage profitable inter-working amongst its members.
Addressing the lack of provision for business support to the BME sector (black, minority and ethnic) in the High Wycombe district, Ngage worked with the Asian Business Council to offer business advice and training to businesses and micro SMEs as well as unemployed, hard to reach individuals.
An exciting enterprise project which encouraged young entrepreneurs to develop new business concepts and pitch them to a panel of investors.
Bespoke business advice to the creative industries sector based in and around Milton Keynes.
Reflecting the importance of training for SMEs to help them survive and thrive, the project aimed to increase their competitiveness through the development and provision of a range of learning and personal support.