Design for Growth

As part of the Grow Tees Valley programme, Teesside University commissioned Edge Innovation to deliver design thinking support to local businesses. Design for Growth is focused on the development of design thinking knowledge and the application of specific tools and mindsets to develop innovative solutions, products and services.
At Edge, we believe that supporting organisations to incorporate design thinking tools and processes into their businesses will create a positive impact and growth within the Tees Valley. However, we also acknowledge that while large businesses often have large budgets to invest in design, training, and expert facilitation, this is not the case for smaller organisations.

From November 2022 to March 2023, we selected small to medium-sized organisations from the Tees Valley to participate in a series of workshops and business support activities to shape their future products or services.

The programme was free to join and included a minimum of 12 hours of support delivered by Edge. The support activities consisted of:
A series of cohort-based design workshops which will provide more detail on each stage of the design process: discover, define, develop, and deliver. We will provide processes and activities to help you develop a greater understanding of users’ needs and how to use this to develop your proposition.

The opportunity to receive coaching in between each workshop where organisations will be helped review their current offering and guided through the implementation of design-led processes on a 1-to-1 basis.    

The Design for Growth programme came to a close earlier this year, after completing four successful face-to-face workshops and a series of personalised coaching sessions. We received excellent feedback from our small and medium-sized enterprises, with participants stating:

“It’s been a real learning curve for me personally and professionally. Some of the tools used by Edge I could see myself developing my continuing professional development to”. - Jacqui Hutchinson 

“Edge has been tremendously supportive and really put us out of our comfort zone, challenged us, and really guided us to think about what we need to do and the order it needs to happen to achieve change. We have started using the [design-led tools] as a consequence of being involved in this programme […] use this process to refine challenging circumstances and the delivery of other programmes and take a fresh approach to things”. - Peter Neal 

We have a wide range of Design Thinking services available for organisations, including Design Thinking training for groups. Please follow the link to learn more about our services: or contact us for more information at 
Grow Tees Valley is a part-funded service available to growth-oriented Tees Valley businesses employing fewer than 250 staff with an annual turnover no greater than €50m per annum. The Grow Tees Valley project is receiving up to £3.238m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.