Birmingham has been named the Most Enterprising Place in Britain by the 2016 Enterprising Britain Awards.
The winning project saw Birmingham City Council team up with six Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to improve confidence, encourage investment, and attract and retain business talent. It supported 1,000 businesses, generating £87 million in private sector investment and creating or safeguarding 4,300 jobs, as part of the ambitious plans to build a Midlands Engine for Growth.
Companies to benefit from the project include Westfield Sports Cars which accelerated production of a new prototype vehicle and Induction Technology Group which invested in new manufacturing equipment, leading to an increase in global sales.
Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy said:
“Birmingham is fantastic place to do business and this award shows that when we work together and invest in people, the city really can thrive.
“In partnership with the LEPs, the Business Support Package has been a huge success and it’s so rewarding to see businesses playing their part in boosting the city economy and that of the wider region.
“We’re supporting Birmingham’s natural creativity and entrepreneurial drive to create jobs, improve skills and give people across the city the opportunities they need and deserve.”
Saqbi Bhatti, Board Director, Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Said:
“We are delighted that the success of the Business Growth programme has been recognised nationally, our work with Birmingham City Council, the six West Midlands LEPs has helped to foster an even stronger environment for start-ups. There is a great entrepreneurial spirit that exists within Greater Birmingham and Solihull and this programme has helped to provide the necessary conditions to improve entrepreneurial confidence, encourage investment and stimulate economic growth.”
Small Business Minister, Margot James said:
“We have 900,000 more small businesses than in 2010 and they have an important role to play in building an economy that works for all. It’s great to see the support available for business owners making a real difference and driving entrepreneurial spirit across the UK. These awards recognise the value of local support and show what can be achieved when people who know their community best make their own decisions. Congratulations to all four winners.”
Run by Investment in Young People (IiYP), on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Enterprising Britain awards celebrate local initiatives which boost business and growth.
Liverpool John Moores University, the Borough of Broxbourne Council and Kent International Business also won awards for building enterprise skills, promoting entrepreneurial spirit and supporting exports, respectively.
Birmingham City Council and Liverpool John Moores University will now go forward as the UK entries to the European Enterprise Promotion Awards.