Manufacturing company credit Keele programme for their business growth
A Stoke-on-Trent based manufacturer has credited one of Keele University’s business support programmes with the company’s recent growth.
Phil Harper, Managing Director of Midway Manufacturing Ltd & the wider Midway Group, completed Keele’s Innovation Leadership programme in 2019 and says that the learning and connections made during the programme has contributed to increasing their annual turnover by 150%.
An exercise and presentation delivered on the course by guest speaker Gary Smith of Staffordshire Precision Engineering led Phil to seek out an opportunity for collaboration. A joint pitch resulted in the award of a £2 million contract and the start of a collaborative relationship that reaps rewards for both local companies.
Another guest speaker on the programme, Alun Rogers, Co-founder, Director of risual and Chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, inspired Phil to take a calculated risk and to invest heavily in setting up a new business unit within the Midway Group.
Commenting on his experience, Phil said: “Not only did the programme offer the chance for both personal and company development, but also the opportunity to receive tailored coaching, guidance and the chance to connect with likeminded business leaders.
“Hearing Alun’s journey of business growth gave me the confidence to finance and further expand, setting up Midway Scientific in late 2020. Just over a year later, with the hard work and determination of the team, Midway Scientific has firmly placed itself as one of the leading subcontract manufacturers and precision engineering companies in the country with a team of 19 highly skilled employees.
“Another key element of the programme was the action-based learning sets, working in a small group, alongside one of Keele’s Entrepreneur in Residence, afforded the chance to work through any specific challenges with a focus on overall business strategy.
“I would highly recommend the programme to business owners who are seriously focussed on growth.”
The Innovation Leadership programme, delivered through the Keele Gateway, provides SMEs 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 2022 cohorts, commencing in April and October, are now being accepted. To find out more information about the programme and to apply, visit keele.ac.uk/mcil.
*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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