University cash for business project

THE University of Essex has been jointly awarded £4.63 million to fund a collaborative project which aims to improve the survival rates of new and growing businesses.

THE University of Essex has been jointly awarded £4.63 million to fund a collaborative project which aims to improve the survival rates of new and growing businesses.

The project, called Business Edge, is one of just 11 collaborative projects that have won funding through the third round of the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) which supports higher education institutions in knowledge exchange with business, public sector organisations and the wider community

Business Edge will develop software capable of tailoring business advice to the individual needs of entrepreneurs across the UK. Essex is leading the project which also involves the universities of Cambridge, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Warwick and the Open University.

As well as the new software, which will be available online, Business Edge will provide a programme of support activities delivered through the higher education partners, their local regional development agencies and their networks of business support agencies.


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Dr Janice Pittis from the University of Essex research and business development office, who is project manager for Business Edge, said: 'Our key aim is to provide nationwide support for new and growing businesses, and in doing so, strengthen the country's economy by improving the success and sustainability of businesses.

“The Business Edge software will be a diagnostic tool that entrepreneurs can use to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their business plan. It will also provide them with advice and support specific to their individual needs.”

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As well as providing specific support to users, the Business Edge software will collect valuable information about business growth on a national basis.

The University of Essex has also been awarded an individual HEIF grant of £1.73 million which will enable it to extend its growing portfolio of knowledge transfer activities such as technology transfer, licensing, consultancy, provision of short courses and enterprise training.

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