Leading furniture and lighting retailer Scales Up thanks to Growth Hub

A leading contemporary furniture and lighting retailer has completed Growth Hub’s Scale-Up series of workshops.

Nest, based in Sheffield, was founded in 2003 and became an early adopter of online retail in the UK.

In 2019, Nest signed up for Growth Hub’s Scale-Up programme. The Scale-Up workshops are aimed at accelerating business growth through peer-focused learning, group working and industry insight.

The SCR Scale-Up initiative supports businesses to grow and is an initiative delivered in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and the SCR Growth Hub.

Liam Bendelow, Commercial Finance Manager at Nest, said: “We found the Scale-Up programme incredibly valuable and interesting. The team at Nest came at it from different angles; either creative and commercial or more strategic. As a team we took a lot out of it, and found the academics involved really insightful.

“It gave us the chance to sit down and talk to experts across a range of areas about where our challenges were, and where we can grow. It has proved vital, as since Scale-Up we have already looked at our own scale-up prognosis and where we can meet and exceed our expectations.”

Scale-Up participants have access to a dedicated Growth Specialist throughout their time on the programme, not just within the workshops, to discuss their learning, issues experienced and plans for the future. Attendees are given tools to be able to go away with and look to implement within their own businesses.

Scale-Up is a programme of development for businesses and is only open to businesses meeting a certain criteria.

Liam added: “One thing we got out of it that I don’t think we expected or realised we wanted was to grow our network. As part of the programme, we were put together with people from different sectors, different sized businesses with alternative outlooks and ways of working and it was really interesting to learn from others and build up this network.

“We have already made plans to meet up as a group soon to keep momentum going and share best practice. This network is all down to Growth Hub.”

Before Scale-Up, Nest had previously turned to Growth Hub for support two years ago. Liam added: “We identified that we had something of a skills gap in our HR provision, and our Managing Director wanted to ensure that we had the fundamentals in place to protect us as an SME.

“Growth Hub helped us to establish how we plug this gap and how to find and access the right funding that would meet our business need.”

“I think Growth Hub is home to huge potential for businesses in the Sheffield City Region. For us, Growth Hub really helped to challenge our thinking, identify where we needed help, and how to bolster our plans for growing.”

Any business searching for support to develop their business should contact our Gateway Team on 03330 00 00 39 or growthhub@sheffieldcityregion.org.uk to be signposted to the relevant support available.