Our programmes

Access to Finance

(Budget £6.6 million ERDF)

Programme overview:

Access to Finance is cited as one of the main barriers to growth. A2F addresses this need by supporting businesses to create better quality applications for funding from a wide range of sources. In addition, businesses are introduced to the core principles of sound financial forecasting and financial management.

Programme focus:

The central focus of the A2F programme is to improve capability of businesses to access the right funding for their commercial needs. From start-ups to mature businesses across all sectors, the specialists within the A2F team work with management teams to identify the amount of funding required, the best source(s) of funding and to build compelling applications.

Programme objectives and scope:

  • To advise and support SMEs to create their own financial forecasts
  • To evaluate the immediate and future funding needs of the business
  • To advise and support SMEs on preparing a funding application
  • To ensure SMEs have access to sufficient levels of finance to implement growth plans
  • To provide grants for specialist work related to funding raises and the appointment of senior financial management personnel

Innovate UK EDGE

(Budget £10.4 million)

Programme overview:

The Innovate UK EDGE service drives economic growth by providing ambitious, innovative businesses with specialist-led support. Dedicated Innovation and Growth Specialists work 1:1 with high-potential businesses to realise their growth ambitions, drawing on a wide range of resources, international networks and sector expertise.

Programme focus:

The Innovate UK EDGE service focusses on supporting ambitious, high-potential start-ups and SMEs to exploit innovation, enter new markets and source funding. Delivered by a team of Innovation and Growth Specialists, the service helps businesses to innovate and internationalise by connecting innovators with overseas partners. It also supports the commercialisation of new products and concepts, helping businesses to scale up through improving innovation and financial management.

Programme objectives and scope:

  • To identify SME strengths and areas for development through use of UK-leading business diagnostics (GROWTHmapper)
  • To connect SMEs with potential partners in the UK and overseas, promoting collaboration
  • To support SMEs to source and secure funding for growth
  • To help SMEs identify and enter new markets
  • To empower SMEs to innovate, commercialise and launch new ideas, bringing exciting new products and services to market
  • To educate SMEs to manage innovation effectively
  • To deliver internationalisation support through Innovate UK’s Global Business Innovation Programme
  • To prepare SMEs to successfully pitch for investment through ‘Pitch Fest’ events

Manufacturing Growth Programme II

(Budget £35 million ERDF)

Programme overview:

Manufacturing Growth Programme II supports manufacturing SMEs across 18 LEP areas to make significant business improvements, resulting in accelerated growth and enhanced levels of productivity. Oxford Innovation’s team of expert Manufacturing Growth Managers work 1:1 with SME leaders to design and deliver part-funded improvement projects.

Programme focus:

Manufacturing Growth Programme II enables manufacturing SMEs to grow and innovate through the provision of specialist sector advice and support. Through dedicated account management, UK-leading business diagnostics, 1:1 expert business coaching and a programme of interactive manufacturing-themed workshops, SMEs are supported to identify opportunities and address growth barriers.

Programme objectives and scope:

  • To identify SME development areas using UK-leading business diagnostics (Manufacturing GROWTHmapper)
  • To develop bespoke SME action plans for growth
  • To work with SMEs to design appropriate improvement projects, including investment in capital equipment
  • To provide grant funding towards the cost of improvement projects
  • To deliver a programme of interactive, manufacturing-themed workshops
  • To enhance SME productivity
  • To encourage networking and collaboration through peer-peer learning opportunities

Strategic Growth Programme

(Budget £2 million)

Programme overview:

The Strategic Growth Programme supports SMEs to identify their potential and plan strategically for growth. Through the delivery of UK-leading business diagnostics, 1:1 business coaching, the Strategic Growth Programme supports SME leadership teams to become fully aligned in delivering their goals and ambitions.

Programme focus:

The central focus of the Strategic Growth Programme is to support SMEs to assess their potential to innovate, improve performance and grow. Through dedicated Account Management and expert business coaching, the programme helps SMEs to execute a tailored high growth plan, embed necessary changes, develop KPIs to monitor impact, and establish a culture of continuous learning and development. It also supports them to establish relationships with other SMEs.

Programme objectives and scope:

  • To provide high quality 1:1 business coaching supporting businesses to identify and realise their growth ambitions
  • To assist SMEs to address their weaknesses
  • To ensure SMEs are well-equipped to continue their growth journey beyond the programme, raising awareness of and referring to other local and national business support services

Transform Programme

(Budget £6.8 million ERDF)

Programme overview:

Transform supports high-growth potential start-ups and SMEs to plan strategically for growth. Through the provision of intensive, specialised business support, the programme aims to improve productivity and Gross Value Added as well as contribute to raising the average earnings in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Programme focus:

Transform focusses on businesses with the highest potential to influence the local area, generating significant positive impacts for the local economy. Providing UK-leading business diagnostics, expert 1:1 business coaching, a programme of engaging and interactive masterclasses, and a suite of tools and resources, Transform 2 supports SME leaders to drive their businesses forward.

Programme objectives and scope:

  • To assist high-growth start-ups and SMEs to identify their strengths and address their weaknesses
  • To coach SME leaders to make sustainable business improvements
  • To support businesses to realise their growth ambitions
  • To provide a programme of high-quality, interactive masterclasses on a range of key business topics
  • To deliver an Executive Placement scheme, helping SME Leaders to identify and fill key roles within their organisations
  • To establish and facilitate Peer Networks, better connecting the Cornwall business community
  • To ensure SMEs are well-equipped to continue their growth journey beyond the programme, raising awareness of and referring to other local and national business support services

Tap into our insights

Oxford Innovation Advice offers Insights into SME needs and policy effectiveness for policy makers, funders and business support commissioners. It draws on our 30 years’ experience of delivering positive economic growth by enabling scale-ups to achieve their full potential. Each edition concludes with an ‘Implications for funders and Policy makers’ section.

Covid-19 Statement

Update – Wednesday 15th December 2021

Our Innovation Centres remain operational and accessible, and provide a safe environment for our staff and customers. We continue to assess the risk of COVID-19 alongside the latest guidance from government. In the meantime our Innovation Centre remains COVID-19 Secure and fully open for business. Our detailed risk assessment can be found here.