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LEP-led business growth hub helps Skribbies step into the spotlight

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The work of a Lancashire initiative to support businesses and help them prosper and succeed has been nationally recognised with its inclusion in an official Government exhibition. Boost Business Lancashire - the growth hub led by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – helped Blackpool’s Jennifer Duthie develop her idea for customisable children’s shoes by providing free business advice sessions, business coaching, mentoring and financial help. Skribbies launched in 2013. 

The shoes and other products are now being sold through its website and Jennifer works with footwear retailers and distributors in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

Jennifer is one of just four entrepreneurs from across England invited to showcase their products in the Spotlight on Growth Hubs exhibition in London, as part of ‘Growth Hub Week’, which started on Monday,  May 16. Organised by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) at its HQ in the capital, the exhibition celebrates the work of business growth hubs across England.

Mike Blackburn, Chair of the LEP’s Business Support Programme Board, said: “I am delighted that the work of the LEP and Boost in the field of business support is now achieving national recognition. “Encouraging business growth is a key strand of our ambitious, strategic programme to transform Lancashire’s economy over the next decade, fuel substantial economic growth and create thousands of new jobs in Lancashire. “We have introduced a number of innovative initiatives to help local enterprises succeed and Boost is one of the most important and effective.

Over the next few years, it will help thousands of local businesses like Skribbies to grow and prosper.” Since its creation in July 2013, Boost has provided advice and support to over 2,800 local businesses across Lancashire, creating around 1,200 jobs and new economic activity valued in excess of £50m.

The LEP, along with the European Regional Development Fund, Lancashire County Council and private sector sources have together provided an extra £7.8m to fund Boost until 2018. During the next three years, Boost will support an additional 3,360 businesses, help to establish 200 new enterprises and create a further 2,000 jobs. 

Jennifer Duthie Co-Founder, Skribbies, said: "The support from Boost was incredible. It really honed my focus on critical aspects of my business and the interaction with other start-up stage entrepreneurs was particularly insightful. “Skribbies has really taken off and is going from strength to strength. We are looking forward to further growth in the coming months." 

Businesses in Lancashire looking for growth support should contact Boost Business Lancashire on 0800 488 0057.

Images from the exhibition:

Skribbies - Growth Hub week exhibition 1

Skribbies - Growth Hub week exhibition 2

 Skribbies - Growth Hub week exhibition 3


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