eScalate Scale up

If you are a scale up or high-growth SME based in Oxfordshire or the surrounding areas, you could access up to 12 hours of fully funded support via OxLEP's eScalate programme; support is geared towards growth, access to finance, and investment readiness

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Global Trade Department delivers the eScalate programme on behalf of OxLEP Business. Via this programme we support Oxfordshire-based scale ups, start-ups and growth SMEs who are looking to increase market share, increase revenues, increase staff, and add value to their operations, this includes the provision of access to finance and investment readiness support.

Clients are entitled to a minimum of 12 hours ERDF funded support delivered via a combination of 1:1, peer sessions and webinars/workshops. 1:1 time provides support and coaching to:

Support delivery

As part of the programme, we employ domain specialists across a number of business functions who offer a raft of knowledge and expertise:







Andrea Collins of Global Trade Department

Andrea is responsible for the design of eScalate’s support programme, she also manages client relationships and delivers targeted support around scale up and investment readiness as well as global trade support. She is an international trade specialist with 25+ years’ experience in the industry. A linguist fluent in French and Spanish, Andrea specializes in Importing, exporting, Brexit preparedness, business resilience, and business growth. A passionate ambassador of UK micro businesses and SMEs, she launched Global Trade Department to assist these companies expand their horizons internationally and raise the profile of UK goods and services abroad.  As well as supporting private clients with their international trade endeavours, Andrea delivers 1:1 support and 1:Many support for a number of Growth Hubs nationwide and is responsible for the design and delivery of a range of EU transition, international expansion, and business resilience support programmes operational across Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Norfolk, Suffolk and the South East Midlands.







Sian Cox of People Connections HR Consultancy

Sian is a seasoned HR specialist and business partner; she delivers Power Hour 1:1s around ‘HR and Talent’ for the eScalate programme. Even for a small company, HR is a critical business function that helps you recruit the talent that is essential to your business performance, it also supports the needs of employees to keep them engaged, and to ensure that they grow and develop their skills and experience. Done correctly, it can contribute massively to your bottom line by increasing employee productivity, improving employee retention rates, developing talent, and protecting your company by making sure that you are fully compliant with employee law and that essential policies are in place.

Sian can advise on a myriad of HR-related subjects from recruitment and selection, performance management, and learning and development, right the way through to succession planning, compensation and benefits, contracts, and essential policies.







Maria Harding of Four 31 Digital

Maria is a strategic social media marketing consultant and coach who works with ambitious businesses to achieve their business goals through the power of social media. Her Power Hour 1:1s have become firm favourites amongst eScalate clients; as have her workshops and co-facilitation of the programme’s new ‘Network and Support’ peer sessions.

Working with businesses in the UK and beyond, she helps businesses to leverage the most appropriate platforms for their target audience and market and to build engagement with them through organic social media and Facebook and Instagram ads. Maria provides both ‘done-for-you’ and ‘done-with-you’ social media marketing services.

In 2019, her business, Four31 Digital, won the Marketing & PR Excellence award at the Venus Awards Devon & Cornwall and has been a finalist in several other awards.

Tony Hobbs of Chapman Robinson Moore

Tony provides dedicated 1:1 support to eScalate clients on a whole raft of financial-related matters. At any point in time, as a business owner, you should be able to interrogate and assess the state of your company’s profit, cashflow and overall financial condition. Similarly, changes occurring within your immediate and wider trading environment should be analysed in order assess how they may influence your financial health; as we all know too well, both COVID and Brexit have had a devastating impact on company performance UK-wide. It also goes without saying of course, that if you are a company looking to scale through access to debt financing or equity investment, then the way you manage your company’s finances will have a direct impact on your likely success of accessing one or both of these investment streams

Tony can advise on a myriad of financial-related issues; he is also passionate about business growth so can offer sound advice on general business planning. So, whether you need to get a handle on your cashflow, better understand financial forecasting, get to grips with filing and paying tax, or even understand how to value your business as part of your investment readiness work, Tony can help.







David Finch of Purple Frog

David is well known to many eScalate clients now having run webinars, workshops, Power Hours, and more recently helped to facilitate one of the programme’s new ‘Network and Support’ sessions. As a chartered accountant, experienced sales and marketing strategist, and successful business owner in his own right, he uses his knowledge and experience to help SMEs drive strong and sustainable growth. Clients say he has helped them better understand their value proposition and convey it confidently to their customers and prospects; whilst others say that their marketing focus is much clearer; and others that they have benefited from his help to streamline their sales and marketing processes to create more profitable leads and business wins. As companies strive to recoup the losses incurred during the COVID pandemic, the business landscape across many sectors has become highly competitive. The challenge facing you as a business owner is how do you stand out? How do you become ‘remarkable’? One way is to focus on the value you deliver for your clients, and that value needs to be from your customer’s perspective not yours. Every business decision, every piece of collateral, every message, every interaction, needs to communicate that customer value; and every business process needs to support the delivery of that value. This is where a specialist like David can help! Amongst other things, he will challenge your perceptions of your brand values and interrogate your activity and processes to uncover how you could work differently to increase conversion rates and attract more profitable customers.







Anthony de Souza of Crowdfunding Play Book

Our crowdfunding specialist Anthony delivers the incredibly popular Power Hour 1:1s each month for eScalate clients, his sessions are often fully booked within moments of going live. Crowdfunding has become an interesting alternative to the more traditional debt and investment financing for businesses looking to fund growth. However, there are a myriad of platforms that have emerged in addition to the major ones like Indiegogo, Crowdcube, Kickstarter and Seedrs, many of which are sector specific, how do you choose the one that serves your needs best? Also, how you build your crowd and deliver a successful campaign is hugely dependent on a robust strategy and meticulous planning; all of which Anthony can help with.

He lives and breathes crowdfunding and has delivered over 200 crowdfunding workshops across the UK and online helping hundreds of project creators run successful crowdfunding campaigns. He is also the founder of the Crowdfunding Mastery Academy.







Rebecca Kaye of Sipara

Rebecca is our IP specialist and runs hugely popular IP Power Hour 1:1s for eScalate clients each month. Oxfordshire is a region of great innovation which brings with it a need to protect the IP that is inherent within that innovation; Rebecca provides clients with unparalleled support and advice in this area.

As a dual-qualified intellectual property solicitor and registered trademark attorney; she founded and runs her own intellectual property law firm. Many eScalate clients have ambitions to provide their products and services beyond UK shores, therefore Rebecca’s considerable global experience in managing international IP portfolios including clearance, registration and exploitation allows clients to tap into this knowledge to better prepare themselves for what is needed in advance of expanding globally. In particular, she has an excellent understanding of intellectual property issues in Asia having worked in Vietnam and managed anti-counterfeiting actions and portfolio work for international brand owners there.







Fiona Scott of Scott Media Consultancy

Fiona Scott is a journalist, media consultant, videographer and tv producer/director; she has worked in the media for over 30 years including working for ITV, the BBC & Comic Relief. She delivers Power Hour 1:1s for eScalate clients each month.

After setting up her media consultancy in 2008, she’s offered media advice to many including Wiltshire & Dorset Fire Rescue Service, Kream London, Systemagic, John Williams Heating Services, Medikas, Sinclair Pharma, Galderma, Haines Watts Swindon, Jomas Associates and Creative Nature. She’s also provided crisis management advice to organisations, politicians and companies facing difficulty in their sectors.

Today as her business is growing, she works with associate writers and media professionals offering a range of different ways to tell stories and share news, which can be tailored to budget and need. All of her associates act under her guidance and direction. In 2020 she launched her first online PR video course designed for start-ups and will is also writing her first book for the same group of would-be entrepreneurs in 2020.

Upcoming support

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