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GC Business Growth Hub - Our Impact

We launched GC Business Growth Hub in 2011 in Greater Manchester as the first Growth Hub of its kind and provided the blueprint for a roll out of others across the country.    

We launched to support companies of all kinds, and a total of 34 per cent of the businesses we have worked with are in vital sectors like health services, hospitality and small retailers, while 17 per cent are in the creative, digital and tech spaces. 

Whilst we support businesses of all kinds, our SME support is second to none – whether that’s linking firms up with local universities to create new products or upskilling staff to close skills gaps. Every change a business makes has the potential to make or break it. 

At the end of last year, we commissioned a report to independently evaluate our impact for Greater Manchester businesses between 2018 and 2022.  

With a return on investment of over 10:1, we are amongst the highest gross value-added business support services in the UK, with £506 million of net economic benefit to be generated by 2025. 

During the same period, we helped create 2,537 jobs and safeguarded a further 849. But these aren’t just our wins, they are the wins of thousands of businesses across Greater Manchester. We don’t have our success without theirs.  

We’re incredibly proud of the journey that we’ve been on. As we look to the future, it’s important for us to take the time to reflect.  

Our Partners 

We couldn’t do it without working with other amazing partners across the region. We’d like to thank GMCA and each of the 10 Greater Manchester Local Authorities- along with national organisations like Innovate UK Edge, the International Trade team within the Department of Business and Trade and the British Business Bank.  

GC Business Growth Hub was part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2021, as part of a portfolio of ERDF-funded programmes designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. To find out more about that – click here.  

Helping Greater Manchester businesses thrive 

The Business Growth Hub has been offering top-notch, comprehensive services to both businesses and individuals in Greater Manchester for more than a decade, setting the ultimate standard for such services. 

BGH Overall Impact (Since established in 2011):  

  • Business Engagements*: 91,000 
  • Business assists**: 16,000 
  • Jobs Created: 14,793 
  • Jobs Safeguarded: 12,309 
  • * Businesses engaged with a Hub service 
  • ** Businesses assisted for at least 12 hours by an individual service 

The Impact of GC Business Growth Hub 

Economic Benefit and ROI 

Independent evaluation has exhaustively assessed the economic impact and investment return of Business Growth Hub’s Business Productivity, Innovation and Inclusive Growth Programme (2018 to 2022). The outcomes are a testament to our service’s excellence, as it has been established as one of the foremost GVA (Gross Value Added) business support services in the United Kingdom. Notably, 75% of our clients experienced a surge in productivity, with 36% taking the initiative to partner with universities in Greater Manchester and implement novel procedures to enhance their business operations. 

  • Net Economic Benefit by 2025: £506m 
  • ROI for every £1 invested by 2025: £10.66 
  • Clients experienced an increase in productivity: 75% 
  • Clients collaborated with GM’s universities/applied new processes: 36% 


The Business Growth Hub has successfully generated and safeguarded 3,300 jobs for its clients. Thanks to our partnership with the Good Employment Charter, a remarkable 62% of our valued clientele now pays the Real Living Wage or higher, while 20% have already started implementing new inclusive growth practices. In addition, an impressive 31% of businesses have invested in their staff’s training, further solidifying their commitment to growth and success. 

  • Jobs Created: 2,537 
  • Jobs Safeguarded: 849 
  • Clients pay Real Living Wage: 62% 
  • Clients introduced new inclusive growth practices: 20% 
  • Clients invested in staff training: 31%   

Business Outreach 

The Hub website has engaged 31,684 businesses and provided extensive assistance to 5,518 client businesses, serving 1.8 million users. Even amidst the Covid pandemic, the program recieved an impressive 90% customer satisfaction rating. 

  • Website Visitors: 1.8m 
  • Businesses engaged: 31,684 
  • Business assisted: 5,518 
  • Customer Satisfaction rating: 90% 

Inclusive Growth 

It’s worth noting that a significant portion of our clients, precisely 13%, are owned or managed by individuals from diverse ethnic communities. This percentage surpasses the national average of 6%, a testament to our unshakable commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Moreover, an impressive 28% of our clients have female founders, significantly higher than the national average of 16%. We also support businesses owned or managed by individuals with disabilities, with 3% of our beneficiaries in this category.  

Additionally, 39% of our clients are in the most deprived neighbourhoods (IMD - Lower Super Output Area). 

  • Business owners from diverse backgrounds: 13% (National Average: 6%) 
  • Female business owners: 28% (National Average: 16%) 
  • Business owners with disability: 3% 
  • Clients located in 40% of GM’s most/more deprived neighbourhoods (IMD - Lower Super Output Area): 39% 
  • Businesses within the foundational economy: 34% 


Partners and Funders 

GC Business Growth Hub was part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2021, as part of a portfolio of ERDF-funded programmes designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. Eligibility criteria was applied. The 2014-2021 ERDF  fund was allocated by the European Union that finances convergence, regional competitiveness and employment and territorial co-operation.  


Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government was the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which was one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information, visit European Regional Development Fund: Documents and Guidance - GOV.UK ( 

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