GRADUATES of a scheme designed to help businesses fulfil their potential have praised the University for its help in driving growth and jobs for the region.
Manchester Metropolitan University enterprise experts are coaching company owners as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, which aims to help leaders of established small businesses and social enterprises succeed.
The project is delivered by MMU's Centre for Enterprise (CfE) and is helping to drive sustainable growth and job creation for North West firms – with entrepreneurs who have benefited from the scheme experiencing a marked increase in revenues.
Alison Bowcott-McGrath, CEO of promotional space management company Bo-Concepts, was part of the first cohort in 2011. She has seen her revenues climb from £620,000 in 2011 to £2million today as a ‘direct consequence’ of being involved with 10,000 Small Businesses.
She said: “The programme helped me to think more strategically and smash through the glass ceiling. I learned to take a step back and to work on the business rather than in it.
“The programme transformed my approach to dividing time between the business and family life and helped me to detach from the business emotionally and, thus, to think in a much more focused and strategic way.”
Creative arts centre boss Brian Dawe is dedicated to social enterprise with his company SAFE Productions, which is geared towards boosting public engagement and public arts.
He said: “Although SAFE was on the runway to potential growth, MMU’s CfE provided me with the confidence to go after the growth potential the organisation has and seize the opportunities out there.”
The Goldman Sachs programme is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support. It is fully funded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation.
The CfE is a team of enterprising academics using their expertise in business growth, entrepreneurial leadership, enterprise and sustainability to impact upon the economy, policy and academic knowledge.
The CfE, along with entrepreneurial coaching guru John Leach of Winning Pitch, is undertaking a study to explore the strengths of local businesses, primarily what enables these SMEs to be defined as ‘high growth’.