Greater Manchester Business Start-up and Support

Blue Orchid was the accountable body for a £13m Business Start-up and Support Project in Greater Manchester.

This programme operated over a large, geographically dispersed area with multiple stakeholders including 10 Local Authority match funders, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government).


Blue Orchid delivered the programme and were therefore responsible for the technical and financial performance of the contract. The outcome was that Blue Orchid delivered 90% of all programme outputs. A rigorous internal audit programme was carried out on expenditure and output compliance.

Audit compliance from the funders of the programme

Programme Aims and Objectives

  • Deliver a demand-led offer of specialist business support and services, targeting barriers to start-up and growth
  • Increase business start-up and survival rates
  • Target disadvantaged groups black, minority, ethnic (BME), women, the disabled
  • Generate new private sector jobs and safeguard existing employment
  • Contribute to regional Growth Value Added (GVA) targets

Key Outputs

Indicator Outcome
Gross new jobs created 4,581
New business start-ups 3,376
Businesses assisted 4,405
Businesses with improved performance 2,490
New social enterprises assisted 26
Private/public sector leverage £6.5m
Increase in GVA £99.8m (Gross)