Business West launched at the start of a decade that was reinventing the future. Digitisation, globalisation and innovation became the language of business. As the world adopted a new way of working, commerce became more challenging and business problems more complex.
The purpose of Business West is to help businesses of all sizes take advantage of the opportunities and address the problems created by this new world so they may successfully start, grow, export and innovate.
But we want more than just economic prosperity.
Our desire is for a region rich in culture, devoid of inequality and poverty. Put simply, we want this region to be the place to live, work, learn and prosper.
Twenty one thousand (21,000) businesses have connected with us since our launch, including many brave entrepreneurs who have gone on to improve the quality of life for themselves, their families and the wider community; SMEs exporting globally who provide employment for tens of thousands of people that make up our diverse communities and enterprise companies who selected the southwest for growth, tempted no doubt by the prospect of an aspirational region rich in culture, creativity, connectivity and talent.
A region’s success, after all, hinges on its ability to produce and sell goods and services. Business success today means more jobs for tomorrow, better transportation, education, hospitals, parks and the opportunity to achieve our goal of creating houses that people can afford.
We encourage local councils to communicate with each other to create region-wide joined up solutions. We challenge central government policy over issues that impact on the southwest – a whole raft of issues – from infrastructure, transport and digital connectivity to energy, housing and skills.
In 2016 alone we helped more than 850 businesses start-up, provided 35,000 export documents and helped nearly 2,000 companies with their plans to export. As well as aiding hundreds of companies of all sizes to seize the opportunities that innovation offers.
And we won’t stop there.
Not having to pay dividends and with no stock market to impress, we are in the privileged position of being able to deep dive in order to understand what is really holding business back.
Our unique journey has taught us how to ask the right questions so we understand exactly what a business needs to succeed and then deliver best in class solutions to make success a reality.
This year has presented the economy with a new set of unique challenges – our decision to exit from the EU. It’s in all our interests that we ensure businesses get the support and information they need quickly, so they can safely navigate these new uncharted waters.
We will continue to produce in-depth analysis and share freely with the business community, so they can make informed decisions faster, and with government negotiators so that they have evidence to strike the right deals.
When business grows the result is a better future for everyone, owners, stakeholders, employees and the region as a whole.