The World Class Worcestershire Partnership has been awarded Highly Commended by the Enterprising Britain Awards, the government's award scheme to encourage entreprenteurial activity in the UK.
Worcestershire County Council's Sue Crow and Lorna Jeynes went to Westminster today (7 November) to receive the award from Small Business Minister, Margot James MP.
The award recognised the work the World Class Worcestershire Partnership does to encourage, promote and support the Worcestershire business community and its local economy. This has seen the county become the third fastest growing area in the country.
Lorna Jeynes, Worcestershire County Council's Business Growth Manager said: "We have a really well developed ecosystem with businesses having the opportunity to develop their community, to network, to innovate, and to access support or grant funding at any level of their business development– from idea, to start up, to grow."
She added "Supporting entrepreneurial spirit has to start at an early age and we are lucky enough in the County to have over 30 business owners volunteering their time to support enterprise education in schools and we have an amazing Youth Enterprise competition annually where young people create products and take them to market, Lord Sugar's apprentices have nothing on our local talent."
Sue Crow, the County Council's Growth and Investment Manager said: "The World Class Worcestershire banner has encouraged over £700m worth of private sector leverage and a number of large infrastructure projects managed by Worcestershire County Council alongside the Community, Support, Funding ethos, creating an environment which is ripe for business growth. In the last two years alone, the partnership has supported in excess of 7,000 businesses and created over 800 jobs which have increased our GVA by £30,400,000 annually.
"As well as impressive business growth, Worcestershire is very proud to have the most entrepreneurial place in the Country within its boundaries. Bromsgrove is ranked as the highest area for Start Ups in the country and this, alongside our other impressive start up figures, show that we really have achieved our aim of making Worcestershire a place to start up, grow and invest in."
Cllr Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council' cabinet member for Economy and Infrastructure, said: "Being awarded Highly Commended in the 'Promoting Entrepreneurial Spirit' category really reinforces all the work we have been doing to ensure Worcestershire is Open for Business as a County.
"World Class Worcestershire started as a great tag line for our Inward Investment work and has developed to encompass a wider range of work we do as a County to support our economy.
"The partnership we have developed to support our businesses has adopted this approach, and to this end, we have seen a significant increase in the rate of our economic growth as a County – with Worcestershire now been recognised as one of the fastest growing local economies in the UK.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved across the wider partnership who have contributed to this success."
Small Business Minister Margot James MP said: “The Enterprising Britain Awards are a fantastic reminder of what can be achieved when we bring together local knowledge and leadership to provide targeted support to entrepreneurs and the innovative businesses they build."
The Enterprising Britain Awards are part of the Government’s drive to increase entrepreneurial activity in the UK. They are managed by Investment in Young People on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). For more information see http://www.enterprisingbritainawards.co.uk/
The World Class Worcestershire Partnership came into being after the development of the Strategic Economic Plan outlined a number of issues and opportunities. Led by the LEP and Worcestershire County Council (WCC), the programme is supported by all 6 districts, the Chamber of Commerce, Worcester University and the Growth Hub (WBC) as well as many private enterprise's such as QinetiQ and the CEC Company http://www.worldclassworcestershire.co.uk/
Pictured: Lorna Jeynes and Sue Crow from Worcestershire County Council