Warwickshire Rural Growth Network

The Warwickshire Rural Growth Network (RGN) was designed to address identified barriers to growth in rural areas. With an emphasis on growth and innovation, it aimed to help existing businesses to grow, whilst providing support for new start-ups (with a particular focus on supporting women-led enterprises).

Warwickshire Rural Growth Network

The Warwickshire Rural Growth Network (RGN) was designed to address identified barriers to growth in rural areas. With an emphasis on growth and innovation, it aimed to help existing businesses to grow, whilst providing support for new start-ups (with a particular focus on supporting women-led enterprises).

Funding: Defra/ GEO: £2,402,726, RDPE: £435,045, WCC: £400,937, Partners: £764,878, Private sector leverage: £2,172,471

Activities included:

  • Start-Up Support - One-to-one coaching, workshops, start-up loans & grants, specialist support for women entrepreneurs and social enterprises.
  • Business Growth - Specialist one-to-one coaching, workshops on growing a business, networking for female business leaders, support for social enterprises.
  • Access to Finance
  • Small Business Loans - Small business loans (as part of a wider Coventry and Warwickshire small business loans scheme).
  • Micro-Enterprise Grants - Grants for micro-enterprises in high growth sectors.
  • Specialist Advice - Specialist advisers to help businesses access the right finance.
  • Innovation & Technology
  • Funding4Innovation Grants - Grants for businesses looking to collaborate on the development of a new product, process or service.
  • Knowledge Exchange Partnerships - Collaborative partnerships for knowledge transfer between a business, university and recent graduate.
  • Electric Vehicles - A pilot project designed to encourage businesses in rural areas to adopt EV technology and to test its use in rural areas.
  • Events and Workshops - A programme of topical events and workshops.
  • Rural Innovation Centre - A new innovation centre at Stoneleigh Park in a unique public-private partnership with LaSalle Investment Management.
  • 357 jobs created against a target of 400 by September 2016
  • 212 jobs safeguarded against a target of 100
  • 185 new businesses created against a target of 120
  • 738 businesses assisted against a target of 400