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About us

Chris Lorimer

Business Strategy and Lean Operations

Highly experienced and connected, I love to share my insights, expertise and enthusiasm.


Katharine Bourke

People & Business Development

I love business almost as much as I love people! Starting out in recruitment, I remain passionate about what enables good teams to thrive.


Phil Johnston

Business Development & Brand Clarity

Inspiring others to raise their game when it comes to sales, marketing and brand is what I absolutely love doing.


Our History

  • Delivering business model training virtually

    February 2021

    We have thoroughly enjoyed being asked to co-create a programme of training to support entrepreneurs and start up businesses to develop their ideas into a business model to better understand their customers and users, their value propositions, channels and relationships and of course partners. Using the Business Model Canvas, we have developed a highly interactive format in which participants have the space to reflect on their plans, hear from fellow entrepreneurs and be mentored to develop a business model to present to an expert panel at the end of the session.

  • COVID response

    March 2020

    We have all been affected by the global pandemic that took hold in 2020. Recognising that we were all having to adapt our ways of working and living, we started a daily drop in to enable us to connect people and share the almost overwhelming news and information that was flooding through at the beginning. As time went on, we moved back to three days a week, then just a couple of days a week until by August, it seemed as if we were all adjusting to the new ways of working. 

  • Associates bring additional skills

    April 2019

    As SWGS continues to evolve, so we continue to listen to clients and recognised that we could serve the South West better with a wider range of skills. So we formalised our extensive connectivity by developing links with several of the people we have met and worked with over the years, and who add to the specialisms we offer.

  • Devon Business and Education Centre launches

    September 2017

    When Chris Lorimer first spoke about building a business centre in East Devon, we knew it wouldn't be long before we chose to be based there. Set in the tranquil surroundings of rolling Devon countryside, with a small lake directly outside the main meeting rooms and a balcony to allow meetings to make the most of the environment, we love holding our many meetings and training sessions here.

  • Working in Partnership

    July 2017

    To start our second year, and in response to the support our clients were looking for, we recognised the importance of developing partnership relationships to broaden our skills through meaningful relationships with providers of business to business services. Our partners bring skills that we do not have in our core team, adding value to our client base. We have continued to develop this offer to suit the changing demands of the people we support and are appreciative of the value it adds to our combined skill sets. If you would like to find out more, please reach out to Chris who leads on our partnership relationships.

  • Founding SWGS

    April 2016

    Having met through the GrowthAccelerator service, the founding Directors came together to develop a commercial model for business support to enable them to help organisations of all sizes and sectors across the South West. 

  • Brewing up a new business!

    December 2015

    Having met through being involved in the delivery of the government's GrowthAccelerator business support service, the business that is now South West Growth Service was first discussed in a bakery in Plymouth over a shared passion for supporting businesses across the South West. And good coffee!


What we stand for

Commercial Expertise

We've learned many things through our working lives, with experiences from many sectors, several countries and at all levels, we see our commercial expertise as being practitioners who've been there, done much and most definitely learned from our mistakes as well as from our successes.

A Passion

We love business almost as much as we love people! We have a passion for the South West, a place where you can combine working with global market-leaders with the green and blue space that is what has always attracted people to this part of the world. We see this as a pioneering place, a land of inspiration with a wealth of talent and we absolutely love working here, supporting our clients to achieve their goals.

Professional Integrity

It should go without saying that we take great care to ensure that all our communications are treated with great care. We've all had first hand experience of times when those we've done business with have not been as trustworthy as we had hoped or expected and we do not want to be that person. We share a moral compass that is all about doing the right thing by our clients and we hold each other to account. 


We say things as they are, in a way that is helpful to our clients, to enable them to move forward, to move ahead and to move beyond whatever is limiting them or holds them back. Aligned to our moral compass, we believe in being open and transparent in every interaction.

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