British Library

Championing the nation's little guys

Think Tanks & Public Bodies

The UK economy owes a lot to the little guys. Small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) with 250 employees or fewer account for an impressive 51% of all private sector turnover and 61% of its employment.

Yet 6 out of 10 business go down the drain before they reach their 5th birthday. Between 2012 - 2022, the British Library's Innovating for Growth programme aimed to arm SMEs with scale-up potential with the tools for long-term success and sustainability.

Following a multi-stage tendering process, we were chosen as the sole agency to deliver the brand and marketing streams for the programme - delivering a combination of training workshops and one-to-one mentoring sessions for business leaders accepted onto the programme.

Sometimes it takes one to know one

As an SME business ourselves, we understand what it means to build a business from scratch. We get that being small means being smart with your time and resources. We know that brand and marketing needs to focus on bottom-line business outcomes.

By keeping jargon to a minimum, focusing on tried and tested techniques, and drawing out the 'gold' within the business we developed. Those were the operating principles behind our approach to workshops and one-to-one sessions - both of which repeatedly received the highest ratings of all sessions delivered as part of the Innovating for Growth programme.

From a nascent high-street beauty brand, to a disruptive IT consultancy, right through to one of London’s hottest bar chains – over the course of 10 years we took over 600 companies from a diverse range of sectors on a journey of understanding how a thought-through brand and purposeful marketing can help grow their businesses.

The impact? We like to think the numbers speak for themselves. But here are what some of the leaders had to say about their experience of being trained and mentored by us:

“An absolutely brilliant session. Loads of great feedback, and now lots of work on our side to be getting on with!”
“We are now moving forward with greater focus and strategic direction – thanks to the valued input from said & done.”
“Immensely useful session, helping us look at our brand in a more strategic way. Dave is fantastic!”
“Izzy had excellent insights and feedback on our marketing strategy. She really understood our business and gave excellent examples of how we could market more effectively.”
“I think the lessons learnt from these sessions will burn away over the years. I expect the impact will be great!”
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