Local business leaders graduate from prestigious business support programme

The latest cohort of entrepreneurs and business leaders from across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire has recently graduated from Keele University’s prestigious innovation leadership development programme.

The Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership* equips aspirational business leaders and entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge to tackle the internal and external challenges of business growth. The programme, consisting of 12 sessions over a six-month period, offers a mix of one-to-one coaching, workshops and interactive sessions covering a range of topics such as marketing, internationalisation and business planning.

The fully-funded programme attracts participants from a wide range of sectors. One of the 18 participants to complete this latest programme is Mike Astbury, Company Director at public service improvement specialists Mondrem. Speaking about his time on the programme, Mike said: “I can’t praise the leadership programme enough. It has provided a great opportunity to step back, share perspectives and ideas with other business leaders and work together to find solutions, the learning from which has already begun to make a difference to Mondrem.

“As well as new leadership techniques, the programme has connected me with other strands of the University’s Business Gateway, including businesses accommodation opportunities. We were invited to a ‘sneak peek’ of the new Smart Innovation Hub and immediately knew it was the right place for our business. We have now moved into our fantastic new office.”

Rob McKay, Innovation and Leadership Development Manager at Keele University, said: “It has been great to see how enthusiastic our participants have been during this cohort, collaborating with their peers as well as our academics and external speakers, taking on the ideas and concepts from the programme.

“The programme is proving to be a genuine stepping stone for businesses who are either entering or currently in the middle of a challenging growth stage and is helping to give participants new perspective on those challenges.

“We have seen a number of great success stories from businesses who participated in our previous leadership programmes and I have every belief that those who have completed this latest series can continue this business growth trend.”

To find out more information about the programme, and how you can apply to join a future cohort, please visit www.keele.ac.uk/mcil or contact Keele University’s Business Gateway on 01782 733001 or email business.gateway@keele.ac.uk.

SIH Funder logos exc DCF 400px *The Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (MCIL) programme is delivered through Keele University Science & Innovation Park Smart Innovation Hub (Ref: 32R17P01691) / Innovation Centre 6 which has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the England Growth Programme 2014-2020, the Midlands Engine and Staffordshire County Council with support from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.