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Lancashire
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Successful programme that equips businesses to weather current and future storms begins again this month

Lancaster University Management School’s ‘Business Model Innovation’ programme was piloted last year. Designed in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the programme aims to support business managers to review their business models and ensure they can flex and adapt when the need arises.

A second wave of SME owners and directors are being urged to sign up for the programme, so local organisations are armed when future ‘shocks’ are thrown their way.

Matt Hutchinson, Project Manager at Lancaster University Management School said: “We piloted the programme at the end of last year after witnessing the paralysis suffered by some of region’s SMEs – either from the Covid-19 crisis itself, the various lockdowns and restrictions, or the rapidly changing advice from Government.

“It was a big success with businesses getting an awful lot from the programme – not only in terms of helping participants prepare for the future by translating strategic thinking into practical actions, but also in terms of the peer support they received from fellow business owners. These times really are unprecedented – and now more than ever, business leaders are isolated, and have some incredibly tough decisions to make. The power of peer-learning is phenomenal and can bring both expected and unexpected benefits.”

The next cohort for Lancashire SMEs will start on 24 February 2021 and will run as three half-day sessions, delivered online. Participants will take part in workshops and explore topics such as changing customer needs, how to innovate to create new business models and how to build resilience to ensure your business can withstand external forces.

One of the participants to benefit from the programme last year was Kate Houlden, Managing Director of Like Technologies – a business based in Halton, Lancashire. She said: “I really enjoyed the sessions and found them very useful, well organised and I particularly enjoyed participating in the break out spaces with fellow delegates. The techniques we have worked on and knowledge we have gained are the real takeaways from this experience, and I will definitely be using them in the future.”

Matt Hutchinson added: “To successfully navigate the challenges of today, it’s important to lift your head up and not just look inwards. The Business Model Innovation programme helps delegates identify opportunities to evolve and adapt existing business models – this is vital at a time when markets are changing so quickly.

“Time is precious for Lancashire businesses trying to rebuild, push forward or just survive after what has been an incredibly difficult year. Now more than ever, SMEs need to stay alert to the opportunities around them and explore how they can adapt their businesses to take advantage and ensure they are better placed for whatever else may be around the corner.”

The programme, which is delivered as part of Boost; Lancashire’s business growth hub, is fully-funded, and available to European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) eligible businesses. SME directors or senior managers based in Lancashire who employ three or more members of staff are encouraged to register interest via www.lancaster.ac.uk/lums/bmi or contact [email protected] / 01524 593632.

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