Local company remodels business structure following Innovation Leadership programme
Local pet welfare and containment specialist ProtectaPet have remodelled their company structure and are looking to bolster European expansion plans, after completing Keele University’s Innovation Leadership* programme.
Simon Davies, Managing Director and winner of Young Professional of the Year in the 2022 Stoke-on-Trent BusinessLive Awards, was looking to take time out of the business to focus on his own development as a leader when he started the programme in 2021.
Speaking about his participation, Simon commented: “One of the main outcomes of the programme has been the change in company organisation. Working with Glenn Handforth (one of Keele’s Entrepreneurs in Residence), we have completely remodelled the business to an organic rather than mechanistic structure which has encouraged everyone to think more innovatively and improved collaboration throughout.”
At the company’s heart is a passion to keep cats safe whilst still ensuring they enjoy the enrichment of the outdoors without fear. Following the loss of their cat Lola in a road traffic accident, Simon and his wife, Eve (Co-Founder and Director) searched for a system that would keep Lola’s brother Leo safe. Recognising a gap in the UK market, and with Simon’s background in product design, they designed a range of cat fence barriers, ‘catios’ (cat patios) and cat enclosures.
The company organically grew across the UK, securing a distributor in the Netherlands and began to export to Europe. They have also recently relocated to new premises - ‘Lola House’ - which is more than triple the size of their previous base.
Keen to continue this trajectory of growth and plan strategically for the future, Simon said: “The programme at Keele has given me the tools to implement changes in the business, and the outside perspective from fellow entrepreneurs and leaders enabled me to re-frame my businesses challenges to generate better solutions. All of which will be instrumental to our continued expansion in the UK and Europe.”
The Innovation Leadership programme*, delivered through the Keele Gateway, provides small to medium enterprises based in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire with fully-funded support to enhance and develop the skills, knowledge and attributes needed to take their business to the next level. Delivered across six two-day sessions, participants gain access to a unique blend of one-to-one coaching, guidance and action learning from experienced academics and expert guest speakers.
Applications for the programme’s next cohorts, commencing in October 2022, are now being accepted. To find out more information and to apply, visit keele.ac.uk/innovationleadership.
*The Keele University Innovation Leadership programme (also referred to as the Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (MCIL) programme) is delivered through the Keele University Science & Innovation Park Smart Innovation Hub (Ref: 32R17P01691). This programme is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England Structural and Investments Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme.
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