Business Link Yorkshire closed its doors for the last time in
As a result, a legacy report was published, packed with vital
intelligence intended to be helpful for anyone thinking of
developing business support services.
The 'Learning Legacy' document reveals key learning points from
Business Link Yorkshire's experience over the last four years,
including; demand for business support, business trends across the
region and considerations for future development.
The report has been made available to local authorities, Local
Enterprise Partnerships (LEP's) and other interested
Its findings - gathered through formal independent evaluation,
customer surveys and feedback from front-line staff - showed
● The likelihood of high levels of demand for business support
across Yorkshire and the Humber - and the key challenge of helping
businesses understand what support is available and how to access
● Significant differences across the region in the types of
businesses taking up support and the kinds of services that they
use - particularly notable in the different types of innovation and
training that businesses undertook.
● A consistent demand for support with business planning,
managing finances, accessing finance, HR, sales and marketing and
● High levels of demand for events covering raising finance,
starting a business, HR and employment, social media, sales
strategy and market planning.
● An increase in women seeking business support, and a growing
interest in using social media as a potential means of business
● An appetite for networking and collaboration among
● A rise in businesses exploring international trade.
Those thinking of starting a business were heavy users of
Business Link Yorkshire's website and on-line services and a
significant number reported that they would not have started
without some form of more personal support and events.
Business Link Yorkshire Chief Executive Helen West thanked all
those who were involved with the organisation since it began. She
"Our legacy report attempts to capture our experience and our
learning, both good and bad, in an open and honest fashion. The
progress we made over our four years was a huge tribute to everyone
involved, whose dedication and commitment, particularly over the
last 18 months, have been extraordinary.
"I'd also like to acknowledge the grit and creativity of those
thousands of business customers who we've worked with in Yorkshire
and Humber. In a really challenging economic climate they have
shown the determination to innovate, work smarter, find new markets
and develop new products to bolster their position for the