Business boost for Kent economy

Business school project helps SMEs perform better and leads to £2.8m boost to Kent economy and creation of new jobs

A project by the University’s Kent Business School (KBS) has led to significant improvements in the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Kent – helping to add £2.8m to the county’s economy and create more than 100 new jobs.

Now KBS is inviting every SME in the county to become part of the programme of research, known as Promoting Sustainable Performance, as it moves into a new phase.

The research programme helps SMEs achieve sustainable improvements in their performance by inviting owner-managers to take part in a development programme – known as The BIG Journey – as well as attend networking events to share best practice on growing their businesses.

A recent survey of the impact so far of the BIG Journey programme has shown that it has already had a remarkable impact on SMEs taking part.

Toby LindsayToby Lindsay, Research Associate at KBS’ Centre for Employment, Competitiveness and Growth (cECG), said: ‘This project has been steadily gaining momentum but when we evaluated the improvement gains that businesses had made we were astonished to find just how great the impact has been.

‘Our findings indicate that participants have increased their sales turnover by just over 18% and their employment by nearly 14%, adding around £2.8m to Kent’s economy and creating 111 new jobs.

‘In addition to these startling figures, we’ve had excellent feedback from SME owner-managers who have attended our events and benefitted from the sharing of best practice.’

The project will now enter its next phase and cECG is looking for SME owner-managers to complete its latest survey on performance and growth. Register here.

Contact: M.J.Herrema@kent.ac.uk

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