AIM for the Black Country is a service being offered to Small & Medium sized Enterprises (SME’s) to enhance growth and competitiveness. Through a partnership arrangement between the Black Country Growth Hub, Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Local Authorities, Black Country Consortium and the University of Wolverhampton, businesses will be able to access a coordinated approach to a range of business support, advice and workshops.
You can enter the programme through any of the aforementioned partners, who will then manage the process from start to finish.
Initially, your Business Navigator will work with you to analyse your business growth potential and agree a programme of activity that will help unlock this capability, which is to be completed by February 2019.
The programme could include:
- Advice from one of the other partners;
- Access to Finance
- Supply Chain solutions
- A range of workshops;
- Supply Chain
- International Trade
- Process Improvement
- Sign-posting to other third parties who can help your business become more competitive.
During your journey, your Business Navigator will be available to help keep things on track and maximise impact.
Please see the eligibility criteria below and check if your business is eligible to access support through the AIM Programme:
- Must be based within the Black Country;
- Must be in operation for over 12 months.
Your business must not have:
- More than £180,000 worth of State Aid over the past 3 years;
- An annual turnover of more than £42m;
- Have an annual balance sheet total of more than £36m;
- More than 250 employees (including owners and directors);
- Ownership by another company (or combination of companies) of more than 25% of your business.
The Black Country Chamber of Commerce will be running a series of masterclasses to complement the work of your Business Navigator and help you to realise your business’ growth ambitions. These masterclasses will cover a wide range of business operations, including HR, finance, international trade, and sales and marketing.
There is no cost to eligible SME’s taking part in this programme but as it is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), there is a small amount of paperwork required to assess eligibility and evidence actions and outcomes. Again, the Business Navigator will coordinate completion of this paperwork so it doesn’t impact too much on your time.