Keele University programme celebrates impact on local businesses
Last month, Keele University welcomed back alumni of the Innovation Leadership* programme to celebrate their achievements and share business experience at a dedicated networking event.
The fully-funded Innovation Leadership programme has supported more than 90 local business leaders to develop new business plans that focus on innovation-led growth. Taking place over six two-day sessions, participants get bespoke content tailored to their own business, delivered alongside coaching, advice, and guidance from leading academics, industry experts and successful business leaders.
During the event, four previous participants discussed the impact that the programme has had on their organisations. Gary Smith, Managing Director of Staffordshire Precision Engineering, producers of high precision components for a variety of specialised industries, said:
“The skills I developed as a result of the course allowed me to quickly pivot my business model at the start of the pandemic, re-targeting new sectors when our existing market collapsed, and later maximising new opportunities.
“Additionally, the programme impressed the importance of not only building a world class team but ensuring that we communicate our core values to them and to our clients”
Paul Ball, who recently sold Peak Activity Services and is currently working to launch a junior cycling team giving students across England the opportunity to ride with Olympian cyclists, said: “The programme equipped me with skills to build my business from 35 full time staff in 2016 to over 350 members of staff and a £10 million turnover prior to selling my company in March 2022.”
Available exclusively to SMEs in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, programme participants are also able to meet and network with a diverse group of fellow senior business leaders, creating important networks and often stimulating collaborative projects. Alun Rogers, CEO of risual, an IT Services company, and Chairman of the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“It has been great to see all our regional entrepreneurs bloom and blossom through the programme and to build that informal network of business leaders helping each other, whether this be a shoulder to cry on or to inspire and give confidence to new ideas. That feeling of camaraderie and being able to learn lessons has been really inspiring to be a part of.”
For more information about the Innovation Leadership Programme, and to apply for the next cohort starting in October 2022, please visit the Innovation Leadership webpage.
*The Keele University Innovation Leadership programme (also referred to as the Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership 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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