New fund launched to 'increase productivity' amongst SMEs

The government has launched a new £8 million ‘Business Basics Fund’, with the stated aim of helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in England to improve their productivity. The Fund forms part of the government’s Industrial Strategy, which seeks to ‘boost productivity and earning power across the UK’.

The Business Basics Fund is being run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK, with the aim of encouraging SMEs to adopt ‘tried and tested’ technologies and management techniques that could help to enhance their productivity and performance.

In the first phase, funding is being made available for undertaking proof of concept projects. Private sector organisations that are collaborating with at least one public sector or not-for-profit partner can apply to receive a grant. Proof of concept projects could be eligible for grant funding of up to £60,000.

Once the projects are launched, the government will then work to assess the effectiveness of each project in boosting productivity, thereby helping to inform future policies.

Commenting on the news, Small Business Minister, Andrew Griffiths, said: ‘The Business Basics Fund will test new and innovative ways of supporting small businesses to take advantage of technologies and management practices – giving small business leaders the tools and support they need to continue to thrive.’

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