Growth Hub September news: Peer to Peer Support, Skills Bank extension, Innovation Support and more…


Peer Networks to start soon!

Are you looking for help with overcoming a business challenge and feel you would benefit from the expertise and insight from other local business people?  If so, Peer Networks could be right up your street.  And, as they start again in South Yorkshire in late September, this is  a great time to get involved!

Our Peer Networks programme, backed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), enables local business owners to build their networks with contacts who may be able to assist with a current business issue and also in the future too.

The criteria for SME businesses to join Peer Networks is:

  • Companies should have at least five employees (a limited number of places are available to firms with 2-4 employees)
  • Operated for at least one year
  • A turnover of at least £100,000
  • An aspiration to improve
  • And ideally have the potential to scale up or export or are exporting already.

There is no cost for SME businesses to join Peer Networks and business leaders can take part via virtual sessions from the comfort of their own home or office. South Yorkshire’s specialist advisors will facilitate activities, which take place in structured, small group sessions with up to 11 people. Delegates will also benefit from access to one to one mentoring, coaching or advice, depending on the support businesses need.

Any business owner or manager that would like to join their local Peer Network should contact South Yorkshire business support on the details below:

Call: 03330 00 00 39


Sheffield City Region becomes South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority

Our name is changing but our service to South Yorkshire businesses remains.

Last week, Sheffield City Region officially rebranded and changed its legal name to South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), to better reflect the geography of its combined authorities and the region it serves, and as the integration of the Passenger Transport Executive continues. The Mayor’s title will also change to Mayor of South Yorkshire.Led by the Mayor of South Yorkshire, the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority brings together the local authorities of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield and the private sector through the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Through South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), The Mayor, the MCA Board and the LEP Board share a vision to grow an economy that works for everyone.

For more information visit the website


If you’re a manufacturing business that is looking to increase technology usage and expand your business capabilities, the Made Smarter programme could help you access advice, support and even grant funding.

Whether you are completely brand new to digital technology, or you have already started your digitalisation journey, you will be able to receive bespoke advice on anything from skills and leadership to innovation strategies.

We know that adopting new technology can be daunting, but the Made Smarter scheme will enable businesses like yours to get the best advice and support from the pioneers and experts in national and local industry bodies.

Made Smarter is encouraging the UK’s next industrial revolution by giving businesses like yours the competitive edge in a rapidly-growing industry. The programme aims to bring the best out of the UK manufacturing industry by upskilling and encouraging collaboration and innovation – keeping us ahead of the competition in the global manufacturing stage.

The digitalisation and innovation support provided through this programme could make a real difference to your business and future growth opportunities. We can work with you to think smarter, work smarter and make smarter.

If you are a manufacturing business in South Yorkshire, get in touch or register your interest below…

Register Interest

Skills Bank programme still available!

Did you know that you can still benefit from training programmes for you and your employees as Skills Bank funding has been extended until December 2021!

The extension to the funding recognises the needs of South Yorkshire businesses and is part of the support that South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority is providing to boost our region’s post-pandemic recovery and renewal.

Skills Bank provides employers across South Yorkshire with access to high-quality training and funding to support skills training that will enable them to develop their business.

For more details, visit

Major funding for arts, culture & heritage sector in South Yorkshire announced

The arts, culture and heritage sector in South Yorkshire is set to receive a boost with the announcement from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) of funding worth £1m.

The Fund is part of South Yorkshire’s ARG (Additional Restrictions Grant), which has so far provided South Yorkshire businesses with over £45m of support during the pandemic.

This is the first time that the Mayoral Combined Authority has made specific funding available to  the arts, culture and heritage sector in recognition of the value it has to the local economy, by creating jobs, enriching the lives of local people and reinforcing South Yorkshire’s reputation as a tourism destination.

Mayor of South Yorkshire, Dan Jarvis, said: “There is no doubt that South Yorkshire is home to a wealth of creative talent.  The arts, culture and heritage sectors have been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic and investing in these areas is an essential part of their recovery and renewal.  The fund will go a long way towards creating more sustainable communities, vibrant places and enhancing our strong local identities, as well as contributing to our economic recovery.”

The £1m Funding will be managed by South Yorkshire’s local authorities, who will distribute the fund through the commissioning of cultural events, activities or projects, with some businesses potentially eligible for micro grants.

Read more here.

Our RAP Business Support Advisors are here to help!

Great news! Your business could benefit from strategic one-to-one guidance delivered from one of our Business Support Advisors based in your local authority.The support has been introduced as a direct result of our region’s Renewal Action Plan (RAP), developed by the Mayoral Combined Authority, which sets out a roadmap for how the region can put itself on the path to recovering from the massive economic disruption the pandemic has caused.

Businesses can benefit from an in-depth diagnostic, following this they may then be eligible to access further specialist support, such as cashflow insights, HR, supply chain management, legal, business growth, logistics, health and safety and health and wellbeing, from external experts specialising in these areas too.

Our Business Support Advisors will offer guidance on the best actions to take to help businesses to overcome barriers and identify other support schemes or funding opportunities available to help the company achieve its full growth potential.

South Yorkshire Business Support acts as a ‘gateway’ so that businesses can access support when it is needed the most and within the shortest timeframe. The business support team of advisors offer guidance in the fields of business development and industry support, including innovation, growth, logistics, trade and exporting and accessing finance or training.
Any business that is looking to re-establish or recover after making significant losses due to the lockdown or is facing challenges that put its long-term future in question, should speak to us today.

Call: 03330 00 00 39

RISE above the rest

Are you a business which is considering recruiting a graduate but not sure where to start? The RISE scheme may be able to help!

RISE works with growing small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the South Yorkshire region to provide access to the best graduates and share all of the tools and know-how they need. RISE supports businesses step-by-step with a tailored support package to ensure the person they recruit is the perfect fit for their organisation. The service is completely free to use, and businesses may be eligible to receive a one-off grant payment for their first hire.

The RISE programme is delivered in partnership by Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield, and is part-funded by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
Any business interested should get in touch as soon as possible if they would like RISE’s help to secure talent, visit

Working Win – Free support to find and stay in work

The Working Win scheme is there to support people who have a health condition, to find and stay in employment.
People on the scheme benefit from:

  • One-to-one support from a dedicated Employment Specialist.
  • Help with job applications, CVs and interview skills, to find a job that would suit individual skills and strengths
  • One-to-one support from a Work and Enterprise Coach to help people continue working and manage their health condition at work
  • Meeting with the employer to talk about your needs at work

Candidates receive support from a qualified team of Health & Wellbeing Coaches to:

  • Learn how to cope better with their health condition in work and everyday life
  • Create self-care strategies in order to thrive at work
  • Receive practical support to improve wellbeing and thrive in work

Anyone on the scheme is also given access to a free Westfield Health and Wellbeing package.

Sign up to take part for free at or call the Working Win team on 0114 2900 218.

Siemens Solid Edge for Start-Ups scheme

Siemens is seeking ambitious start-ups to partner with across the engineering design and manufacturing space. The Siemens Solid Edge for Start-Ups programme is a unique and easy-to-use software package that helps businesses with all aspects of the product development process, from mechanical/electrical design, to technical documentation, to advanced simulations. By partnering with the largest engineering company in Europe, our goal is to help open doors for your business and help your business succeed.The complete software package is free for the first year to qualifying businesses. In addition to having access to industry-leading software, we will ensure you receive the full support of Siemens, including marketing case studies, a library of content (e-books, white papers etc.) and support from Siemens experts to ensure you grow and thrive.

Please click the link below to register your business and ensure you enter ‘Sheffield’ under the ‘Affiliate Accelerator or Incubator Program’ text box

Apply Now:

Innovation support available in South Yorkshire!

Do you have ideas for improving and growing your business through innovation, but don’t have the knowledge or resources to investigate them fully?
If this sounds like you, then the fully funded Sheffield Innovation Programme (SIP) could be just what you’re looking for!
Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean investing in expensive software, it could mean looking at new ways to overcome an existing problem or ways that your processes could run more smoothly.
Sheffield Innovation Programme is a collaboration between South Yorkshire business support, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield and runs until September 2022.
The programme aims to stimulate business growth and promote the development of long-term relationships between the Universities and SMEs by providing businesses with access to a broad range of academic expertise and university facilities. Your business could benefit from a bespoke research project, innovation-based consultancy or on-site support from a dedicated project graduate.To find out more visit our website
Call: 03330 00 00 39

What’s on this month?
Events you don’t want to miss

Our interactive online events calendar is once again packed full of webinars and digital seminars taking place throughout September to help maximise your business’s potential and offer advice on a number of key topics. This includes:

  • 7 Oct – Operational Excellence Expo
  • 12 Oct – Help to Grow: Management
  • 13 Oct – EdTech: Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

You can register for any of these events, plus many more we have scheduled, by visiting our interactive online events calendar.

Be part of our online community
Why not join our community group on LinkedIn?  Here you can find news; latest updates and you can even share stories about your business.  It’s a great place to post discussions and network with more than 6,200 other followers.
Search South Yorkshire Community on LinkedIn or join our group directly.
Follow South Yorkshire business support on social media

If you know any other business in South Yorkshire that could benefit from hearing our latest updates, get them to sign up to our mailing list here.

Please get in touch with us by emailing or visit our website for updates and further help and support.