A hugely successful business growth programme at the University of Nottingham came to a close this week. Across the three cohorts of Unlocking Growth Potential, 60 local businesses have benefitted from a free programme of training and coaching.
The last cohort included a producer of alcoholic ice cream, a property management business, and a nursery. The group studied a range of business growth topics, such as team dynamics, coaching, and time management. Experienced business coaches assisted them in applying their learning to plan their strategic growth.
Tamsin Millns, Director of Step Recruitment, was on the last cohort.
Tamsin said, “As a smaller growing business, the programme really helped me to think differently about my business and gave me some fantastic tips and tools to take forward as we move on to the next chapter. The coaching sessions have been invaluable in giving me the confidence to execute my plans. I’ve met some really inspirational leaders from such diverse backgrounds and had a lot of fun in the process.”
Mike Lloyd, Managing Director of CEM Solutions (UK) Ltd, completed the programme in autumn 2017.
Mike said, “UGP gave me time to reflect on my new found role as a manager, and helped me to think about how best to utilise our key personnel and what roles we needed to progress. After UGP, we made a much more detailed plan for the year ahead as the roadmap for our activities. Every decision we make as a business is assessed against the plan! We are on course to double last year’s turnover, and have developed a brand new product. We have taken on two new members of staff and are recruiting two more.”
The programme was managed by Dave Tuer, who said: “UGP has been a delight to work on, collaborating with such a diverse range of businesses across all three cohorts. It has been a privilege to witness the often profound changes in the business owners’ thinking as they have gone through the programme. I have no doubt that they and their businesses will see lasting benefits as a result.
Unlocking Growth Potential has been delivered in collaboration with The Centre for Management and Business Development, who ensure the latest thinking around business growth is made accessible and relevant to the SMEs.
CMBD Director, Mike Epton, said “In the past 18 months Unlocking Growth Potential has brought together people from a wide range of organisations, with differing backgrounds and experience. It has been fantastic to see how they have worked together, encouraged each other and helped each other Unlock their Growth Potential. Particularly rewarding has been to hear from participants engaging in training and coaching for the first time: how they and their businesses have been transformed by the experience, and how determined they are to keep the new found momentum. Unlocking Growth Potential has quite literally ‘done what it says on the tin’.”
Unlocking Growth Potential is part of Enabling Innovation, a three year collaborative programme involving Nottingham Trent University, the University of Derby and the University of Nottingham, which is providing support to over 2,000 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) over three years. Enabling Innovation is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Although Unlocking Growth Potential has now finished, the University of Nottingham remains keen to engage with businesses to support their development. For more information on the opportunities available, visit the Services for Business website.