The enterprise support that the project will deliver is designed to offer a learning based approach to business improvement aimed at those businesses that occupy the “middle ground”, those that have the potential to grow but require the right motivation, inspiration and support to do so.
To improve the economic performance of businesses through the provision of high quality learning based business improvement.
To increase the numbers of people starting up in business through creating a culture where more people (including graduates) consider and then establish their own enterprise.
To be underpinned with robust quality research that both responds to business need and informs learning content, while also creating a forward planning enterprise research function.
The proposal will deliver three activities:
A series of flagship events (“Penny and Pebble events”) led by keynote speakers and senior business leaders who will be commissioned to present on subjects that both fit with their profile and link to identified needs emerging from the research strand. An events management team will be recruited to manage the events programme. Their role will be to develop the programme in close consultation with the business community to reflect specific needs in order to inspire and motivate people from both the business and education community.
This strand will also incorporate the development and dissemination of innovative media solutions to bring the Enterprise Programme to a wider audience.
Business Performance Improvement Programme
The objective of this activity is, through a learning based approach, to help groups of businesses address critical performance and development issues. A series of workshops will provide one-to-many support to groups of businesses utilising the experience of the flying faculty (bespoke teams of experts from within businesses, sector groups, academics and business support organisations). In addition there will be a particular focus on women’s enterprise with women only workshops.
Businesses will also receive a diagnostic review to be undertaken by the Business Improvement Manager who will be an experienced and accredited business development specialist. The information is then reviewed by an independent panel involving experienced business support advisors and the data transferred and validated into a scoring matrix.
A core research team will be appointed made up of two skilled and experienced researchers. They will be led by a Research Director. Working alongside key partners and a business led steering group, the research team will develop a programme of activity investigating amongst others:
• Drivers of growth and success for SMEs in a peripheral rural economy
• Creating a culture of Enterprise in a peripheral rural economy
• The support needs of Women Entrepreneurs
• Capturing the benefits for middle tier firms of the Low Carbon Economy
• Capturing the benefits for middle tier firms of the Digital Economy
The research team will undertake both reactive research, which is driven by the issues raised by businesses as important to their potential, as well as proactive assignments. Proactive research will focus on opportunity identification in the Cornish context and is considered by the applicant to be an important means of disseminating up to date intelligence on broader socio-economic issues and policy direction. Once research is complete/available, the Programme will add further value through dissemination activity.