ERDF project case study: Investment Escalator

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The Investment Escalator has offered London’s small and medium sized businesses everything they need to grow: the £790,000 project combined LSBU’s extensive academic knowledge with the practical experience of seasoned industry experts. The programme provided: workshops covering core business planning disciplines; expert consultancy delivered face-to-face or via video-conferencing; a paid student for 30 hours of academic supervised consultancy to help complete an acute business-related issue.  To date, the Investment Escalator has engaged with 512 SMEs, delivered over 100 workshops, 400 hours of expert consultancy and over 1,000 hours of student consultancy. Around £612,235.00 investment finance has been raised.

How ERDF has helped an SME: Digital Detox Outgrows Their Offices after Just 11 Months on the Escalator

Digital Detox is a digital agency operating out of LSBU’s Southwark campus. Since November 2014, when they joined the Investment Escalator programme, Digital Detox have benefitted greatly from support. They initially joined the programme at the early stages of a strategic growth drive, looking for assistance in areas that would facilitate their growth. In their first few months of the programme their Programme Manager, Liam Snelling, attended expert workshops on Business Effectiveness, Management Accounting and Employment Law. Subsequently, many of their staff have attended workshops in other areas of business, such a Digital Marketing and PR.

Digital Detox have also benefitted from our Student Consultancy strand, receiving a 3rd year Accounting and Finance student to assist them with their financial forecasting, as well as a group of graduate film students that produced a 2 minute promotional video, and an instructional video for one of their clients, a large UK telecoms company.

The result of this assistance is that they have been able to create 10 new jobs and safeguard a further 7 more - their workforce has increased in size so much that they are now looking for larger offices. They hope to add a further 14 new positions within a year.

Additionally, due to Digital Detox’s relationship with the programme, the Investment Escalator team was able to recommend an LSBU student for a role they had available, they hired the student, Maurice Schaaf, immediately and he works with them part-time whilst completing his Masters.


NB: the person illustrating the case study is not an employee from Digital Detox but someone from another business who took part in the programme

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