Coaching programme celebrates outstanding success

The Convergence funded Coaching for Growth project, delivered by Oxford Innovation (OI), is celebrating another milestone as a key target for jobs has been exceeded by 100%.

Latest figures from the companies assisted by OI confirms jobs created now stand at 2174 with jobs saved at 1041 and GVA increased now surpassing £50 million.
 
Originally contracted to deliver at a cost of £9,749 per job created or saved, the Oxford Innovation project recently passed the point when this figure was more than halved to just £4,812.
 
Coaching for Growth comprises a comprehensive portfolio of coaching mentoring and specialist support that has helped ambitious businesses throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. From Pre-Start idea refinement to large scale funding and investment raises, the OI work has covered every sector delivering tangible, long term impacts that are helping to drive forwards the local economy.
 
Businesses at every stage of growth have benefitted:
 
Gummee Glove, the brainchild of Jodine Boothby, a Cornish mum-of-two is the world’s first teething mitten designed to be worn by babies. Jodine of Calstock, first came up with the concept in June 2011 when her son began teething. Being so young, he could not yet grasp a traditional teething toy but she noticed he was sucking and teething on his anti-scratch mittens. She saw the need for a teething mitten but found nothing available on the market.
 
After designing the Gummee Glove, she sourced a manufacturer and began selling the product online and through a number of independent children’s shops. In October 2013 Gummee Glove won the Best New Product award in the Nursery Industry National Awards, alongside big hitters like Britax, John Lewis and Babies R Us. Earlier this year Jodine was shortlisted in Richard Branson’s VOOM competition and has recently been nominated for two business awards including the Natwest Everywoman awards that ran a full page article on Jodine and Gummee Glove in the Daily Mail. Sales have continued to surge and Gummee Glove now sells across International markets including USA, Canada, South Korea, South Africa and recently added Finland, Norway and Japan. Jodine and her team of four are working on a range of new products in response to customer feedback.
 
Commenting on her involvement with the programme Jodine said: “The team at Oxford Innovation have continued to be an invaluable resource. We are a small company, passionate about what we do and it is so reassuring to be able to call on the experience and advice of our Oxford Innovation coach.  Since we began working with Oxford Innovation we have become far more focused and organised in our work and it is so exciting to see the hard work pay off as the company grows year on year.”
 
Cockwells Modern and Classic Boatbuilding, which uses traditional techniques to make the highest-quality boats, now employs 30 people and is aiming to recruit more skilled staff to join its team as well as investing in an upgrade of their facilities at Mylor Creek Boatyard.
 
Dave Cockwell said: “Having an Oxford Innovation coach is like having a Board Director: they ask the questions that no-one else will, and that is vital. The coaches bring their experience of working with large companies, which is really useful when you’re running a small business.”
 
“The coaching has helped me to focus on strategic thinking. We have undergone massive growth, are ambitious and so, hoping this will continue.”
 
The first Cornwall business to receive specialist support that addresses the complex management issues associated with rapid growth is extending its’ base in the county in order to meet booming customer demand.
 
Queens’ Award-winning Frugi, which designs and manufactures organic clothing for children and mothers, was the first business to participate in the Stepping Up programme delivered by Oxford Innovation.
 
Lucy Jewson, founder and managing director of Frugi commented;
 
“Since our launch in 2004 we’ve experienced annual growth of almost 40 percent,” said Lucy.  “The Oxford Innovation programme has been an invaluable source of support for our business as rapid growth requires very careful planning and management.  It’s a nice problem to have of course and for Frugi the next stage in our development is to extend into these much larger premises.”
 
Lucy said she is grateful for the support she and her team have received, commenting: “One of the crucial lessons I have learnt is that a business can actually be at its most vulnerable when it is experiencing a period of growth.  The pace of change can have an adverse impact on individuals within the team while methods of working that once proved perfectly successful may no longer be fit for purpose.  Oxford Innovation have used their expertise to guide us through the process and ensure we are well placed to capitalise on our growth potential.”
 
Frugi celebrated its 11th anniversary in June 2015 and has also received the Queens Award for Enterprise in recognition of achieving export sales to 50 countries around the world.
 
Speaking of the continued success of the programme, Andrew Farmer, Oxford Innovation Project Director said; “These outstanding results are a source of immense pride for everyone here at OI and our thanks go to the companies who have engaged with the Coaching for High Growth programme. Our team continues to do a terrific job but the results would not have come without the businesses, their ambition, commitment and expertise. They are the most important part of the story and the benefit will be felt now and in the future. The foundations have been laid to allow Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to continue to thrive. The trust and understanding built up between our team and the business community means that the opportunity is there for the follow on funding to maintain this momentum and we very look forward to continuing to play our part.”
 
Businesses wishing to find out more about Oxford Innovation and the Coaching for High Growth programme should visit www.growcornwall.co.uk or email [email protected]
 

Monday 3 August 2015