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Guide to Growth: What resources are there to support SMEs manufacturing in the UK?

We manufacture in-house - what resources are there available to help us? 

Drapers’ Guide to Growth programme is produced in partnership with Clipper.

The UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) is the leading UK body offering support both for young manufacturing businesses, and young brands and designers seeking to work with UK-based suppliers.

Alongside general business support, seminars, workshops and guidance on areas such as international exports, the UKFT runs programmes specifically for early stage and small businesses.

Alice Burkitt, consultant at UKFT, says: “We are a business support organisation and welcome manufacturing members into our network where we can help them with all parts of their enterprise. We offer advice on how to access skills and training to grow the team.

“We match-make business through our peer-mentoring programmes. We host a range of seminars each season on topics covering all parts of the business of fashion and textiles. We facilitate networking events throughout the year to bring like businesses together and for those businesses who provide services to others, we help them to promote themselves and find new clients.”

One example of this support is the UKFT Rise project – a networking event for early stage fashion and textile businesses to connect, share their experiences and access business support.

UKFT website letsmakeithere.org is also a valuable tool for those looking for a manufacturer. Set to relaunch this summer the database of UK suppliers and manufacturers can help connect brands and designers to producers.

Make It British is another organisation worth investigating. Founded by Kate Hills, it has a database of manufacturers on its website where brands who want to produce in the UK can find contacts. It also runs networking events for British-made brands and UK manufacturers.

Our new advice portal for retailers and brands, Guide to Growth, aims to solve the problems and challenges fashion businesses encounter as they grow. Email your questions to associate editor graeme.moran@emap.com and we will get them answered. 

Plus, read our Growth in a Changing Economy report here to learn how fast-growth brands and retailers are overcoming barriers to growth. 

In partnership with Clipper

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