The ICLP, an innovative collaboration between the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, CRÈME (Centre for Research for Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship) and the Legacy Centre of Excellence Birmingham, is supporting small and medium-sized businesses in bidding for contracts for the Games, as well as wider global opportunities.
This year alone Birmingham 2022 will be awarding £145 million worth of contracts and in total it’s estimated that £300million worth of Games contracts will benefit local and regional suppliers.
The programme provides business owners with six months of peer-to-peer learning, training and development, all facilitated by leading industry experts in an inclusive and supportive environment. Fully-funded bilateral trade membership to the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce is also offered as part of the programme, granting businesses access to additional events, training and potential opportunities to export to Commonwealth countries.
25 companies have already benefited from the scheme which was launched in January, and a second cohort of businesses will begin the programme from October 2020, with the sessions adapted so that they can be delivered online.
Great Barr-based Green Sisters, which produces award-winning free-from Indian food and was founded by sisters Geeta and Reena Salhan, is just one of the businesses that has been benefitting from the programme.
Geeta Salhan, Co-Founder and Director of Green Sisters, said: “While helping us access advice and funding, the programme has also helped us develop our entire philosophy of our food being ‘free from compromise’, which means working with like-minded individuals and companies to take our products forward in the way we want to.
“If you’re passionate about growing your business and you’re a small business owner I would encourage you to apply for the next cohort of the Inclusive Commonwealth Legacy Programme.”
John Crabtree, Chairman for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, said: “We’re passionate about leaving a lasting legacy in the region and one of the ways we can do this is by supporting some of the incredible independent businesses we have here in the West Midlands.
“The first phase of the programme was a huge success with many local businesses accessing free support, gaining new skills and becoming equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to grow. This support could be invaluable, especially during this challenging time for SMEs, and so we’re encouraging business owners who might be interested to come forward and apply.”
The final deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 30th September 2020. To apply to the programme or to find out more, visit www.gbslepgrowthhub.co.uk/commonwealth-legacy-programme