South West businesses join new online community

Businesses across the South West are joining a new online community that is helping them share expertise and access opportunities to grow. Designed to bring together businesses in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall, was made possible by the Peninsula City Deal Growth Hub, which is being delivered in partnership by GAIN

With 1,200 users so far and new businesses joining daily, the site enables users to tap into advice, expertise and information from other businesses, advisors and investors in the region. Highly interactive and designed to encourage discussion, it gives each member a personal homepage with content targeted at their own areas of interest.

The site features a fast and comprehensive search for local, regional, national and European funding and a forum for pitching questions to the business community and sharing expertise. It also provides easy access to support providers as well as information on local events, training programmes and workshops. brings these resources together into one place for the first time and creates new opportunities for businesses to interact and share ideas.

Businesses across the region are already contributing guides, videos and tools so others can share their expertise and grow. Examples so far include Lizard-based digital expert Rob Edlin giving his top tips on getting the most out of Google and Raoul Witherall explaining how his company, IO Technologies Group, was able to succeed from its base in the South West.

Professor Julian Beer, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Regional Enterprise at Plymouth University said: “ is fast becoming the place for businesses across the South West to meet, share experiences and access support. We have had extremely positive feedback from businesses, who really welcome having one place to go for, advice and ideas.

“GAIN means access to new business and growth opportunities, finance and investment, and world class knowledge and research facilities and equipment. Through and our Business Engagement Service, we are aiming to help 10,000 South West businesses achieve their potential.”

Still undergoing development, the site is being continually tested and reviewed by the GAIN team, who welcome feedback from users to inform its future direction.

Sarah Williams, EMEA Sales Manager of the global services-commerce company blur Group said: “blur’s HQ is in Exeter and I’m based out of our London office so provides a unique opportunity to engage with thousands of South West businesses. Whenever I pose a question on the site I always get direct, relevant local feedback. We’re all about collaboration online so the GAIN site offers a great business support and development tool for blur.” follows the launch of the GAIN Business Engagement Service, which entrepreneurs and businesses can

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