ADD2159 London Growth Hub

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
11 September 2017
Decision by: 
Mark Kleinman (past staff), Assistant Director of Economic and Business Policy

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval for expenditure to deliver the next phase of the Business Support in co-working Spaces programme.



That the Assistant Director of the Economic and Business Policy Unit approves expenditure of up to          £25,000 from the Growth Hub budget (MD2055) for the delivery of the next phase of the Business Support in Co-Working Spaces programme.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

In support of the Mayor’s commitment to be the most pro-business Mayor ever, the Deputy Mayor for Business is leading on an initiative to provide support to London’s SME’s via the London Growth Hub. Following a competitive procurement process, Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services (hereafter referred to as NWES) were commissioned to deliver the pilot/first phase of Start, Scale, Grow, a programme of masterclasses, one-to-one support and a bespoke online diagnostic toolkit which signposted SME’s to relevant sources of guidance and support. 

Due to the significant positive response from SME’s to the first phase of Start, Scale, Grow, we are now looking to commission a further phase of Start, Scale, Grow, which will build upon the learnings of the pilot programme. This scaled-down programme will deliver a new series of masterclasses and link in to existing one-to-one support and other signposting/triage services. Due to the uncertainty around Growth Hub funding for 2018/19 onwards, this proposed extension of a scaled down programme would bridge the gap in face-to-face support between the former pilot programme and any potential new programmes in 2018/19. It should be noted that any programmes commissioned in 2018/19 will undergo standard GLA procurement protocol. 

The decision paper associated with the first phase of Start, Scale, Grow is in MD2055 – London Growth Hub- under objectives and expected outcomes section – Face to Face Business Support services. This proposal is fully funded from BEIS grant to GLA on behalf of the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) and forms part of a programme of expenditure agreed by the Mayor under MD2055 and presented to the LEAP Board at its meeting on 28 June 2017.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The following outputs will be monitored and agreed with the selected delivery partner:

•    Number of participating Workspaces
•    Total number of masterclasses / workshops delivered
•    Total SME attendance at masterclasses
•    Hours of support per SME and associated intensity level (e.g. low, medium or high)

The following evaluation metrics will be monitored:
•    Relevance of masterclass content to individual business needs
•    Quality of mentors, venues and masterclass content
•    Business growth (e.g. turnover, jobs)

Equality comments

3.1 All activity will be developed and delivered in compliance with relevant Codes of Practice and in line with the requirements of the public-sector equality duty to ensure that steps are taken to minimise disadvantages suffered by people who share a protected characteristic. Age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation. The following specific issues have been considered 

i)    Community engagement activity:  All proposed engagement will be open and accessible to all. Focus and attention will be placed on wide engagement with hard to reach or disadvantaged groups, especially those that would struggle to participate with an opportunity that demands online / internet access and understanding. 

ii)    Documents and publications: all documents produced will comply with Mayor of London branding guidelines, it being based on guidance from the Royal National Institute of Blind People. Where possible accessible formats will be available.

iii)    Events: all events will be open to all and, where possible, will encourage people who share a protected characteristic to participate in any activity in which their participation is disproportionately low.

3.2     Local community groups, charities or business groups working in partnership to deliver activity, will not automatically be under this duty but will be provided with guidance to ensure they meet these requirements. 

Other considerations

a) Key risks and issues
The main risk is reputational, if we refuse to continue to provide support to London SME’s via programmes such as Start, Scale, Grow, then the Mayor is at risk of following up on the promises set out in his election manifesto. There is also an emerging expectation from Government (as grant funder of the Growth Hub) that we provide face-to-face support to businesses as well as online support. Under current resourcing, there is not sufficient resource to deliver this work in-house.
b) Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 
This programme links to the Mayoral priority of the current Mayor being the most pro-business Mayor ever.  

Financial comments

5.1    The cost of up to £25,000 to deliver the next phase of the Business Support in Co-Working Spaces Programme will be funded from the 2017-18 Growth Hub Budget as approved by MD2055. It should be noted that the Growth Hub budget is wholly funded by grant from the Department for Business, Environment & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).


Activity table



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]


Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]


Delivery End Date [for project proposals]


Project Closure: [for project proposals]



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