GROWING YOU - Support programme for Small & Medium Size Businesses

Date Various

Time Various

Event type Workshop

Location Curzon Building, 4 Cardigan Street, Birmingham, B4 7BD

Birmingham City University’s New Business Support Programme: ‘Growing You‘

We recognise that SMEs from some diverse community groups may experience unique barriers to identifying and accessing the specialised business support they need to achieve their growth potential. That’s why, in partnership with successful business leaders from many of the region’s diverse business communities, we’ve created the Growing You SME support programme.

If you are a small or medium size business (SME) based in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area [GBSLEP region] then ‘Growing You’ is the business support programme for you.

Growing You aims to support you to develop your business and your business skills. The Growing You programme consists of four key workshops, each 3 hours in duration and focused on a specific area of business, further supported with 1-2-1 mentoring from our diverse group of business leaders, providing up to an additional 5 hours of practical business advice and guidance.

Participants will need to complete an online diagnostic in advance of Workshop 0 (we will email you the details and web link once you are registered); you should then attend Workshop 0 which is designed as a starting point on your Growing You journey, where you will start to go through the results of your diagnostic report.

The programme is part-funded through ERDF funding and is free to eligible SMEs.

We know that specific challenges faced by SMEs will vary from business to business. However, most businesses can address such challenges by looking at key areas across their company – making effective decisions, team working, considering how to choose the right option when faced with many alternative choices, and learning to think in a more creative way to help find solutions.

In order to improve your business performance and develop your ideas to grow your business there are a number of key common areas where SMEs tell us they need to develop.

To assist you in improving your growth, four workshops, combined with an introductory business review, will help you explore tools and techniques which can lead to lasting and immediate impact:

Growing You’ is an inspirational, locally focussed, and unique business growth programme helping you, as an SMEs from a diverse background, to find ways to overcome barriers to growth, supporting you to develop your business to head towards sustainable success.

Please note: Workshop 0 is a mandatory workshop which all participants need to attend, you should also register for a further 3 out of the 4 workshops. When you are signed up to the Workshops the project team will work with you to match you with an appropriate Mentor to further support your time on the programme.

Workshop 0 – Introduction to Growing You: a mandatory session focusing on the Growing You Business Diagnostic Tool – Tuesday 12th June 9:00am – 12.30pm

Introductory session which focuses on you undertaking a useful business review using our dedicated diagnostic tool to help you analyse and better understand where your business currently is, supporting you to challenge what you think are the areas of concern in your business and where the gaps are; it will be a fun session and will enable you to engage with a new network of businesses and mentors, to support you on your journey.

 Workshop One – Workshop 1 (strategy) – Wednesday 13th June 9am-12.30

Clear vision and strategy are key for growth and survival yet most SMEs do not have a vision or policy from which to guide their business. Instead decisions are taken largely on a reactive basis. Few SMEs enter into collaborative relationships with suppliers or customers or take part in wider networks that can assist growth.

This workshop will help you address these issues by concentrating on doing things right and adding value by defining your vision and strategy and executing them. The workshop will also investigate collaborating and partnering with your value chain.

Workshop Two – Workshop 2 (leadership) – Friday 15th June 9am-12.30

A lack of management skills is a key factor limiting growth potential. Government support often overlooks the importance of wider managerial learning and knowledge development. Most owner/managers find it difficult to define in precise terms what the role of a manager entails and very few invest in the development of management and leadership skills.

This workshop highlights the skills and capabilities to overcome these barriers and lead the business to future improvement and growth by supporting participants to becoming transformational leaders, developing your personal skills, that will underpin your capabilities and ability to manage change and transition within your business.

Workshop Three – Workshop 3 (people) – Monday 25th June 9am-12.30

Growth is associated with engaging employees through formal training and development and good HR practices which involve and appraise employees etc. However there is very little evidence of such development work being undertaken by SMEs. Instead, people- focused individuals recognise the strengths in others and support them to become the best that they can be.

This workshop identifies ways of ensuring processes are in place to support your teams; looking at involving and delegating to staff by defining structures, sharing information and responsibility; highlighting how you can engage others by involving, developing, motivating and rewarding; and how to seek opportunities for sharing learning and knowledge.

 Workshop Four – Workshop 4 (process) – Tue 26th June 9am-12.30

Evidences shows that most businesses struggle with how to measure and manage performance. Information regarding customers, suppliers, people, competitors, markets, innovation and knowledge is rarely searched for. This often goes hand in hand with a lack of processes, target setting and review of objectives with an over reliance on ‘gut feel’. Process focused individuals recognise the strengths in their current processes and where they need to develop further.

This workshop will focus on supporting you to explore how through the ideas you generate you can ensure your business is continually innovating; making effective and informed decisions based on accurate data; and developing and maximising the capacity of the systems and process you put into place.


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