Welcome to the Innovation 50 website that has been developed by Anglia Ruskin University and Essex County Council. Here you can find out more about this important initiative, ways in which you can be involved and register your interest in becoming an Innovation 50 company.
Innovation 50 is an exciting three-year project launched by Essex County Council (ECC) and Anglia Ruskin University. The aim of the project is to identify the most successful and growing SMEs across the county to find out more about their success and growth.
From this, we can look at the factors that promote success and also where additional support from an outside source could help businesses grow even more or faster. ECC has had an excellent record of providing support in terms of office space, professional business advice and guidance, training events, forging links with new customer bases at home and abroad and we are always seeking ways to help growth.
The importance to the UK economy of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is widely known. In the past five years in the UK alone, 750,000 have been established and they are responsible for 49% of private sector turnover. There has been much work nationally and regionally to support their development and the Government is currently exploring and introducing ways in which this growth can be encouraged. Essex County Council has a proud record of supporting business to grow and we are looking to enhance this to reinforce that Essex Means Business.
We are inviting you to get involved as we want to find 50 of the most innovative SMEs in Essex. If one of them is you, we aim to celebrate that success and provide you with any additional support that will help you maintain your position and grow further, if that is your plan. All we need from you is your enthusiasm and some of your time in helping our researchers collect vital data and get to know your company. Don't worry, we only collect information that you are happy to tell us and we won't give away trade secrets.
We are looking for SMEs that have experienced growth through innovation in the whole or part of the past 3 years. We will be measuring growth in 3 ways: revenue (turnover, sales), number of employees and share of your market. We recognise however that these are not the only ways to measure innovation and we want to hear from you if you can evidence your growth in another form. Revenue will be the key factor since we know that companies can grow without necessarily increasing the size of their workforce. If you are one of the SMEs chosen, we will carry out more detailed research to see if you can be included as one of the Innovation 50. We are also looking to involve SMEs in other ways such as Focus Groups and events run by Essex County Council as part of its Innovation Programmes.
Apart from enjoying the prestige and publicity being part of Innovation 50 will bring, you can benefit in many ways, including:
Innovation 50 could bring you increased publicity and valuable information. Don't forget that you would also have the opportunity to give something back to others to help ensure that Essex grows as a vibrant and supportive place to do business!
Innovation 50 is an exciting opportunity to showcase the brilliant businesses in our county, to learn how they have used innovation to achieve success and to use this knowledge to make our innovation support even better.