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This is a mentoring and business acceleration programme for small and medium sized businesses in the process industry sector in the North East of England. The programme aims to stimulate SMEs into growing and thus increasing employment in this industry. This is expected to impact on around 1,000 indirect jobs.
The Business Acceleration for SMEs (BASME) project is funded by a Regional Growth Fund (RGF) grant of £1.5m (€1.8m) to help grow regional SMEs by increasing their sales to the process industries.
NEPIC is taking a unique approach to SME and cluster development in that this project uses a facilitated mentoring approach. Senior people from the regional process industries together with key academics will mentor SMEs to help increase their sales to the process industry sector.
Mentoring will be facilitated by a small team of experienced process industry managers who will ensure that the mentors expertise can be utilised by the SMEs in an efficient manner.
With a 12 month shelf-life and a staggering global distribution with the potential of reaching well over 500,000 contacts it is the mose comprehensive source of products and services for the North East Process Indusrty sector featuring 350 member companies. The directory that is published on the website is used by different stakeholders.
NEPIC’s over all performance against its strategy and as a Cluster body is measured in terms of economic development within its region. This is monitored by its Industry Leadership Council and its public sector observers through key performance indicators (KPIs). These mostly relate to the cluster’s results in attracting and assisting both indigenous and foreign direct investment (FDI) investment, as well as business growth in the local SME supply chain and any resulting job creation. These factors contribute to an overall performance measure of Gross Value Added (GVA). Results from the six year period 2005 to 2011 show that through its industry led activities, NEPIC contributes £1 billion of GVA per annum to the UK economy. In December 2013 NEPIC reported to its local Members of Parliament that since 2005 the Cluster had secured 83 significant investments and 4,000 jobs which now contributes more than £2bn gross value added (GVA)per annum to the local and UK economy. The continued work of the Cluster particualry with the Small & Medium Size (SME) business community via the Clusters Business Acceleration for SMEs (BASME) project has seen the Clusters impact on its local economy grow to £2.5 Billion of GVA per annum.
The measure offers a very versitile support to the applicants, however there is a lack of case studies and examples, as well as reports that can provide more information on the impacts of the measure.