Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) offers an invaluable Business Support Service and is calling on small and medium-sized businesses to find out how they can overcome business challenges and explore new opportunities.

The LEP has a track record of helping small and medium-sized business owners to reach their business goals and improve overall performance.

Since 2015, the Business Support Service has delivered a range of initiatives, offering expertise and guidance to over 15,000 businesses and has invested over £66 million in over 6,600 projects.

One of the most challenging things to navigate in business can be the support landscape. What help is available? Are you eligible? Will it make a difference? This where the LEP can help.

All services are free to access. Business owners connect with a local Key Account Manager, known as a Growth Manager, to discuss where their business is now and what they would like to achieve in the future. Working with partner councils, Growth Managers find tailored solutions for each business and identify suitable local or national support available from the LEP and its partners on their behalf.

Meet Nassara Bostan, one of the LEP Growth Managers working with Bradford businesses. Nassara is a Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI) qualified business advisor with over 15 years’ experience working in business support, economic development and regeneration.

What support is available for businesses through the LEP?

Many small businesses are unaware of the vast amount of local support available. We can help them navigate the landscape, make informed decisions and access support.

Developing the skills and expertise of your workforce is one of the best investments you can make. From upskilling your staff, hiring your first apprentice or intern, to inspiring young people to consider a career in your sector, the LEP has a team of specialist advisors who will provide impartial advice on the best options available for your business.

We can also help make business investments go further with grant support to purchase new equipment, plant or machinery. Businesses often say that we have helped them progress with their plans much quicker than they could without the support.

Can you tell us more about your role?

I work with businesses one-to-one to break down the vast and often complex range of support available that most don’t know where or how to access.

I become the key point of contact for business support. I always advise them to call me before committing to anything and I can check whether the LEP can support. We usually can and many businesses are surprised by this

What are the most common business challenges that you hear?

Business owners work very hard on the day-to-day operations and often lack time to reflect on where and how they would like the business to grow or improve.

I often find the business owner does have a plan, but it only exists in their head. It’s my job to get them thinking and ask questions about what these growth plans look like – for example, is it around innovation, exporting, upskilling staff, digital upgrades or finance? It gets them thinking about future goals and the importance of having a vision and plans to help them achieve those goals.

What advice would you give to Bradford businesses?

Get to know your Growth Manager. Develop a relationship with them and utilise their knowledge, experience, and network of contacts. They can bring you many new opportunities that you didn’t know existed.

Start a conversation today about how the LEP can unlock the potential of your business, Visit the-lep.com/business | Email BusinessSupport@the-lep.com | Call 0113 348 1818.