Local Enterprise Partnerships need to step up in pace and start demonstrating their value to employers, ministers have said.
Business Minister Michael Fallon said he had asked every partnership to submit its growth plan by the end of the year.
And he said ministers were open to suggestions to devolve responsibilities to the partnerships, such as responsibility for training and skills.
Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has begun consultations with business leaders over its plan, which it has named Strategy for Growth and which includes measures to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to gain access to finance.
The partnership, which covers includes East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, Redditch and Wyre Forest as well as Birmingham and Solihull, has already made its mark after working closely with local councils on Birminghams city deal with the Government, which included plans for a new medical centre in Edgbaston and a s1.5 billion investment fund.
However, Mr Fallon said some partnerships were still finding their feet. He had allocated them s125,000 in funding this year and receive funding of s250,000 each year for the next two years, as long as they were able to raise the same amount themselves and handed in their growth plans before Christmas, he said.
Speaking to the Commons Business Committee, Mr Fallon said: "I have met the LEP chairmen and indicated to them that I want to see a significant step up in pace."
LEPs could be given more responsibilities, he said.
"It's for LEPs to tell us what they want to do and obviously one area they're going to be looking at is do they cover enough of the functions of economic development that were originally envisaged.
"You could easily see them having a very strong interest in skills in their area for example, or indeed in the output from schools or colleges. These are the things LEPs might want to talk to us about in the future."
But he added: "LEPs are very new in the field and perhaps its slightly to early to say they should be asking on more and more official functions. But I want the ideas to come from them."
Some LEPS were performing better than others, he warned.
"They are not all moving at the same pace. We want to make sure they are ready for the challenge of stimulating the growth that they want."
The growth plan was designed to encourage them to get moving, Mr Fallon said.
"Some LEPS have been around for a year and a bit now, so I don't think it's unreasonable to require them to come up with a further plan now. I want all of them to be clear now about what their priorities are for local growth and how they see their way forward.
"They need to show business, and the wider community, that they are not simply a desk in the town hall."