It’s not controversial to say that it’s been a challenging decade for businesses everywhere. Brexit, the pandemic, rising costs, inflation – it hasn’t stopped. 

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

Whilst we support businesses of all kinds, our SME support is second to none. We commissioned a report which highlighted our work: in Greater Manchester, between 2018 and 2022, we had a return on investment of over 10:1, making us amongst the highest gross value-added business support services in the UK, with £506 million of net economic benefit to be generated by 2025.

If you have brought in apprentices and trained them up to add valuable staff to your workforce, you’ve possibly improved your productivity. If you have cut waste and reformed your processes to do the same – that’s good for the environment.   

We support companies of all kinds at any stage of their growth. And strikingly, a total of 34% of the businesses we have worked with are in vital sectors like health services, hospitality and small retailers, while 17% are in the creative, digital and tech spaces. More broadly, 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. 

Making connections – Greater Connected alumni celebrate a 7-year success story

In the last few months, we’ve been celebrating our clients’ success and the great work we have done through a series of roundtables and events. The first of these, held online, was the Virtual Innovation Roundtable. This brought together a group from the Growth Company, from local universities and from industry. The discussion looked at what Greater Manchester has already achieved, and the lessons learnt and how they can help us going forward.

We held a series of events to celebrate the achievements for clients – this included Greater Connected (see link above) and Start Smart (see image below), two successful programmes that have supported almost 400 companies and 1,000 people. It was moving to see our alumni come together and celebrate the advances they have made and the challenges they overcame.

Start Smart - GC Business Growth Hub

The message expressed throughout these events is that people skills development is always crucial for business to grow. People are after all the key asset for each and every business. We have helped at all levels, from apprentice support to executive development, something we are very proud of.

Don’t pack it in – how adapting after COVID helps businesses to thrive

At the Greater Manchester Economic Forum we reflected on the gains made in Greater Manchester and what we can do to maintain the successes we have had. Brining together colleagues from the wider Growth Company family and Greater Manchester business community, it was exciting to talk about what comes next. 

All of this success would not have been possible without the amazing businesses in Greater Manchester. And not forgetting that we couldn’t do it without working with other amazing partners, from GMCA and each of the 10 Greater Manchester Local Authorities to universities as well as national organisations such as Innovate UK Edge, the International Trade team within the Department of Business and Trade and the British Business Bank.

How GC Business Growth Hub helped new businesses in Greater Manchester

We have helped many businesses and people throughout Greater Manchester. The programmes we run have had a real, measurable impact, including over half a billion pounds in net benefit to be generated by 2025. We hope to continue to make a difference and have a wider impact under the new funding from the Shared Prosperity Fund.

Thank you for helping make Greater Manchester a better place to do business. 

You can find out more about the impact of Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub on our website –

And if you would like to read more about one of the clients we have helped, check out the Seven Bro7thers story – Perfectly brewed (

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. Working in partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership.