Over a third of South West SME owners consider their own management team a barrier to growth

More than two in five (41%) business owners in the South West fear that their management team will cause them to hit a growth ceiling. Their concerns are legitimate – over half (57%) of local management teams have never helped grow a business prior to the one they now work in. Business owners and the teams that support them have to work hard to put the planning and communication in place that can overcome the challenge of experience and unleash their businesses’ growth potential. According to research conducted among 500 UK SMEs by top 15 chartered accountants Haines Watts, there […]

Cutting-edge Robotics Firm Brings Movie Credentials to Exeter Science Park

A pioneering robotics firm that is developing a state-of-the-art diagnostic and physical training machine has moved into Exeter Science Park. Sigma Technical was launched in 2016 by Engineer Mike Badley who, having honed expertise in special effects working on some of the leading Hollywood blockbusters from the last two decades, including Batman, James Bond and Star Wars, as well as large-scale live events including Olympic opening ceremonies, Glastonbury festival and tours for Adele & Take That, wanted to utilise his technical expertise for new challenges. Experienced in designing and building an extensive range of electro-mechanical special effects, Sigma Technical has […]

Lightfoot joins the Exeter City Futures Network to tackle congestion in the City

Lightfoot, the world’s first connected car technology and platform for rewarding better drivers, is adding a further 100 drivers to the next phase of their Exeter pilot. The chosen individuals were selected to be given Lightfoot devices worth £100 each as part of a local beta recruitment programme that ran earlier this year. The recipients of the devices will also be helping the region by enabling City Science to analyse congestion and traffic data generated (with names and vehicle details removed) with the aim of improving Exeter’s transport networks for everyone. A Successful First Phase Exeter City Futures supported the first […]

7 hidden forces that determine business success, from the man at Exeter’s helm; Karime Hassan.

Karime Hassan is the CEO of Exeter City Council.  His values driven, people focused, leadership style has elevated Exeter to its position as one of the most respected, growth focused, cities in the UK.  We sent our editor along to meet him and to delve deep into the mindset of one of Exeter’s true visionaries.   1. On having a clear vision When it comes to the public/private sector relationship, we need to be working with businesses and asking the fundamental question; “How can we help you”? “What are the barriers to your success and how can we help you […]


The awards keep flooding in for Salcombe Distilling Co.  Last night, surrounded by the pinnacle of the county’s food and drink producers, this relative newcomer was awarded ‘Best Drinks Product’ for its Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’ at the Devon Life Food & Drink Awards. Voted by the public, this tremendous accolade was presented at the prestigious ceremony held at Exeter’s Sandy Park to Co-Founder Angus Lugsdin and wife and Marketing Manager Andrea. Commenting on the win, Angus says: “Less than a month ago we were celebrating being named the county’s ‘Best Producer’ at the Food & Drink Devon Awards.  To […]

The Power of ‘Why’ – Exclusive Grow Exeter Interview with James Caan

James Caan is, arguably, the most experienced businessman in the UK today.  From his humble beginnings in London’s East End, he has built a reputation as a man of integrity, of honesty and of heart.  A founder and chairman of government initiative Start Up Loans, James has helped entrepreneurs to start over 28,000 businesses; some of whom have gone on to create substantial personal wealth. We caught up with the people’s Dragon, at his home in Monaco, to talk disruption, attracting talent and the importance of investing in yourself.   Written by Tracey Duke Let’s start off James, with a […]

Exeter Accountancy Firm Helps Organise China Trade Mission

An Exeter-based accountancy firm is continuing to build international links after helping to organise a successful trade mission to China. Two partners from PKF Francis Clark, which has eight offices across the South and South West, gave presentations on doing business in the UK to an audience of 140 Chinese businesses. Andrew Killick, Head of Corporate Finance, and Martin Aldridge, Business Services Partner, were accompanied by Yanwen Huang from PKF Francis Clark’s Poole office who helped with language and cultural translation. Andrew Killick, Head of Corporate Finance, and Martin Aldridge, Business Services Partner, were accompanied by Yanwen Huang from PKF […]

Isca Recruitment Celebrate Bumper First 6 Months!

October marks the first six months of Isca Recruitment trading with two new Directors. Lisa Thomas, the original Director, joined forces with Jo Blythe and Katie Lovemore back in April of this year and the business has gone from strength to strength. Lisa Thomas said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the level of support from our clients both old and new during the first six months of trading. We have had the usual challenges that face any small business, this was particularly prevalent during the Brexit vote but we are astounded just how well our first 6 months have gone.” […]

Don’t Have a Plan ‘B’

When the Grow team first discussed the very first edition of their Grow Exeter Magazine being about startup to scale up businesses, I immediately though of some of the companies we work with and the unique and frankly thoroughly impressive journeys they and their teams have been through. First, I should wish Dan, Llew and the Grow team the very best of luck in the launch of this publication and it’s only through their startup that Exeter now has its only dedicated business magazine and something we were keen to be involved in from the outset. It’s been tough choosing […]

Finding the Space that Meets the Pace of Your Business!

Collaborative Workspace Provides Ideal Environment ‘To Start Up and Scale Up’ There’s no doubt that embarking on finding your first professional premises is a difficult task and there’s a lot to consider. Location, cost, size of space and length of contract will all be high on the list, and there are many variable factors that will influence these decisions. The key is to ensure that you’re prepared – as far as you can be – for the ebbs and flows that come with being a small business and take workspace from a provider that will allow you to start up […]