U.K. Launches Growth and Innovation Fund

The fund will target businesses that need to innovate from the inside out.

The Office sign


Innovation is at the top of agendas for governments in the U.S. and U.K. Now the U.K. has sprung into action again with its $82 million Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF), launched today to help businesses drive economic growth in the U.K.

“This government understands that to rebalance and grow our economy, we need to tackle the skills shortages that hold companies back. Through this fund, we will support employers that take collective action to overcome these blockages to expansion, said Secretary of State Vince Cable. “By putting the employer voice at the heart of the process, we will reward inventive approaches to training that deliver real help to get business moving.”

The focus of the investment is on advancing the breadth of skills of the U.K. workforce–the thinking is that more competent and knowledgeable workers will lead to more experimentation and innovation.

“Government investment in skills works best for individuals and communities when it responds directly to employers’ needs. By giving business the power to shape the training support we offer, we will ensure that public money directly supports jobs and growth,” said Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, John Hayes. “I look forward to working with industries of all kinds to deliver help where it is most needed to boost performance.”

The U.K. GIF wants to start from the inside out and focus on already-existing businesses that need a boost to help them become more creative and innovative. The focus of the GIF, then, is on intrapreneurship, more so than entrepreneurship.

“This Fund is about employers taking control of their own destinies,” said Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the U.K. Commission for Employment and Skills.
“We are looking for ambitious, innovative and sustainable schemes that will tangibly improve the skills base of the sector and make a real and lasting improvement to performance.”


About the author

Jenara is an overseas reporter for Fast Company and a freelance writer/producer in Asia, regularly on CNNGo, and a graduate of Harvard and UC Berkeley.