Go4Growth is a fully funded business growth programme specifically designed to support micro businesses, SME and VCSE organisations to grow through contracts, grants and other funding applications. Established in 2020, Director Gillian Askew explains why Go4Growth decided to adopt a social enterprise model and commit at least 50% of its profits to being a “force for good”.
“From the very beginning we’ve been committed to creating local, lasting and sustainable impact that really helps local economies and businesses to thrive. We do that by championing the micro businesses, small businesses and the voluntary sector who are trying to compete in a marketplace that doesn’t feel designed for them. We give the people behind these businesses the tools and skills they need to succeed and compete with big business. That means we’re cheering on that family business based on the high street, or the folks who are doing extraordinary things but need help to grow - we’re an organisation driven by impact, not profit, and action, not rhetoric, so it just made sense to make this move.”
Since launching Go4Growth, Gillian says they are now engaging with around 8,500 SME and VCSE providers and have client relationships with 17 public sector organisations (including central government, local government, NHS, blue light, education and public sector buying organisations), and with provider numbers increasing everyday, they’ve been responsible for supporting procurement deals worth more than £500 million. They have recently started to work with private sector corporate organisations to help deliver support for their marketplaces and supplier development and supplier diversity programmes.
Go4Growth, which has recently launched the Public Sector Supply Ready accreditation programme, has decided that it should now be formally recognised as a social enterprise. That means in addition to the financial commitment of at least 50% of the organisation’s profits being channelled back into supporting small businesses, the drive for impact over profit sits at the very heart of everything it does.
Gillian continues: “We are seeing an increase of around 70% more engagement with public sector competitions and in supporting local businesses, we’re really helping procurement teams access markets that are representative of the communities in which they serve.
Our manifesto was one of the first things we put together and we’ve been very clear throughout our journey and in our messaging that the overarching mission of Go4Growth is social. In developing local marketplaces and increasing much needed diversity in the supply chain so that everyone can take part, we’ll help local communities to grow, thrive and become more resilient. We know that our work is impactful because our business clients tell us it is - we’re creating greater access to skills and employment opportunities which helps to create greater community health and wellbeing.
The profit we make is still important to us - in fact, funding is important now more than ever as it’s only with sustained and growing income that we can continue to reinvest and grow the impact that we’re having even further. What our social enterprise status very loudly declares is that this is not about our individual earnings as shareholders but about how that profit can be reinvested to help us achieve our mission”.
If you would like to know how Go4Growth can support businesses in your area, or if you are a business who could benefit from support, get in touch.