/ Introduction




There has been a paradigm shift in the way that businesses operate. Today, more than ever, businesspeople are taking into account the impact that their businesses have on both the planet and society in general. Indeed customers, suppliers, employees, partners and investors are now entreating businesses to prioritise sustainability alongside integrity and prosperity. In order to do this, businesses must consider the core of their operations.

At the BEST Growth Hub, we help our clients make smarter decisions centred around the four key components of running a business:

Operative excellence in these four areas drives the ability for a business not just to survive, but to thrive.


Our clients explain...

/ From the BEST Growth Hub Manager




The county of Essex has firm foundations in entrepreneurship and innovation. We are an enterprising people that thrive with challenge. However, recent unprecedented events have inevitably changed the way that we do business. Adaptation and resilience are key to our ability to face the future with confidence.


There is no doubt that the effect of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic has impacted every sector, every business and every location across our county. The good news is that we’re now starting to see the green shoots of recovery.

I’m proud to lead a team of people that genuinely care about business. Together, my team provides the front line of business support for all businesses across the county of Essex. If your business needs advice on planning, growing, solving or adapting, we can help. As a team, we’re proud of the businesses that we help, and you can read some of their stories on pages twelve to eighteen.

The BEST Growth Hub is linked to economic development teams at Essex’s borough and district councils, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) as well as central government. Being fully funded means that our support is free at the point of delivery and covers a wide-ranging portfolio of services that are outlined in this prospectus.

We’re at the cutting edge of business support.

Just some of our specialised business support programmes include Peer Networks, Fit to Lead, South East Business Boost, Pivoting and Adaptation as well as EU-Tas (EU transition). We also operate an annual business festival ‘ExSE’ and a business awards programme ‘NOVO Awards’.

My 3-minute video explains more.

Enjoy our prospectus.


Jonny Birkett

/ A Growth Hub is …




A Growth Hub is a regional public/private sector partnership led by a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). There are 38 Growth Hubs in England and BEST is the Growth Hub for Essex. Growth Hubs are government-funded, which enables them to provide support that is free at the point of delivery. The BEST Growth Hub joins up national and local business support to make it is easy for Essex businesspeople to find the help they need.

Our remit is to contribute to economic growth and job creation across Essex. We are achieving this by continually expanding our network of partners and businesspeople that benefit from our knowledge and connections. Once you engage with us and our network, you will have access to an array of resources that are designed to support you and your business, now and in the future.

/ Making history




Before Growth Hubs existed, government-funded business support in England was provided by the organisation known as Business Link, which worked alongside regional development agencies. As such, business support was delivered via a national telephone helpline, a website and regional engagements. In 2010, the government announced its plan to create a national network of new Local Enterprise Partnerships with associated Growth Hubs. As a result of this strategic development, Business Link and the regional development agencies ceased to exist and business support was assigned to the new network of Growth Hubs, via the Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Each Growth Hub is independently managed, and support is driven by the specific economic conditions within its region, as determined by its Local Enterprise Partnership. The BEST Growth Hub is provided by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (‘SELEP’) so our portfolio of services correlates with SELEP’s vision. Southend Borough Council is our accountable body, and we both apply similar standards of transparency.

Whatever the size of your business or the industry that you are in, joining the BEST Growth Hub’s network gives you access to specialist and relevant business support.