Business transformation consultancy benefits from business support programme

Based on Keele University Science and Innovation Park, business transformation consultancy Caja has benefitted from the University’s Business Gateway; the ‘one-stop shop’ to access Keele’s expertise.

Over the past six months Caroline Brown, Managing Director of Caja, attended 12 sessions as part of the Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (MCIL)*, with each session focusing on different aspects of leading and growing successful businesses.

MCIL is a prestigious innovation leadership programme addressing distinctive organisational and leadership challenges for innovation-led, knowledge-intensive businesses across the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership area.

Caroline, who took part in the programme alongside fellow business leaders and entrepreneurs from across Staffordshire, said: “The programme was a great way to challenge our processes, look at the way others do things and think about how we can improve our ways of working. It definitely challenged my way of thinking, in particular about how we can offer our service to local SMEs.

“In summary, the programme has not only developed me professionally, but it has enabled us to challenge our business approach and plan for 2018."

The fully-funded programme has no cost attached to the business other than time to attend the sessions. A blend of learning activities including one-to-one, peer review, activity-based learning and creative challenge-based learning allows for participants to gain new knowledge and to approach business problems from new perspectives. The programme also provides participants with coaching and advice from a dedicated Entrepreneur in Residence.

Caroline continued: “I think any small-to-medium sized enterprises in Staffordshire would benefit from MCIL. It is an opportunity for businesses to lift their heads from the day-to-day activities and look at their business differently. It’s also an opportunity to take away with them a host of tools and templates to help challenge what, why and when they do things.”

Caja’s expertise lies in listening to and understanding their clients’ vision and business objectives. They work collaboratively with clients to design cost-effective integrated operating models, focusing on digital and technology enablement, best of breed processes and the key element of people change, to ensure not only return on investment from projects, but sustainability, agility and flexibility in the fast changing world they operate in.

Caja have recently been appointed by the Crown Commercial Service to provide business consultancy services as part of the Management Consultant Framework 2 - providing both the wider public sector and Central Government access to a wider range of business consultancy advice and delivery.

ERDF logo MCIL is part of a range of specialist support and funding opportunities available to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent businesses by Keele University. Interested companies can find out more by contacting the University’s Business Gateway on 01782 733001 or by emailing

‌*The Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (ref: 32R15P00229) is part-funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds England Growth Programme 2014-2020.