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New Two Zero programme launched by Lancashire County Council

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A new scale-up programme has been launched for ambitious Lancashire companies who want to grow 20 per cent per year.

Two Zero, which is fully-funded and led by Lancashire County Council, will bring together business leaders in Lancashire’s key sectors for performance coaching, one-to-one advice and peer learning.

The programme aims to make businesses capable of faster growth by transforming their mindset, improving their network and helping them to access new markets. Amin Vepari, programme manager for Two Zero, said: “What sets Two Zero apart is that it is for those unique businesses with a goal of achieving 20 per cent year on year growth, which is a huge challenge.

“Lancashire already has a strong community of scale-up businesses. By investing in this area of the market, we will help these companies to put the infrastructure in place to achieve this growth faster and more sustainably.” The programme is aimed at businesses who are already growing turnover or staff by around 20 per cent and wish to continue. It will begin with three pilot programmes which will start in March. Each will be delivered by an organisation with expert subject knowledge and will be tailored to participants on the programme. Two Zero: Food and drink will be delivered by the Growth Company; Two Zero: Female will be delivered by Groundswell Innovation and Northern Power Women; Two Zero: Social enterprise will be delivered by Selnet.

The scale-up landscape

As part of its support for Lancashire’s scale-up community, Lancashire County Council has become a member of the ScaleUp Institute, a private sector, not-for-profit company which works with policymakers to support UK’s scale-ups. Scale-up businesses are defined by the ScaleUp Institute as those growing turnover or staff by at least 20 per cent per annum over a three-year period.

Figures from the organisation’s ScaleUp Review 2019 show that while scale-up businesses account for just 0.6 per cent of UK SMEs, they contribute about £1.3 trillion (70 per cent) of SMEs’ total turnover output. Amin added: “Scaling business are 42 per cent more productive than other companies and return more money to the local economy. “Two Zero will help the county retain and attract more of these companies, which deliver huge economic gains for their supply chain, partners and the whole business community.”

County councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, Lancashire County Council, said: “Profitable, growing businesses are vital to the success of Lancashire’s economy. “Lancashire County Council already has a successful history of helping ambitious businesses achieve their potential and Two Zero is a great addition to our growth conversation. “Allowing these companies to reach their true potential will lead to substantial high-quality job creation which will benefit residents across the county.”

Applications for Two Zero’s pilot programmes are currently open and will close on February 28. Businesses interested in applying can do so by visiting twozerolancs.com or contacting Amin Vepari: Amin.Vepari@lancashire.gov.uk.

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