SMALL professional firms are being offered a £10,000 boost to get "emotionally intelligent" about their business.
The Centre for Enterprise at MMU Business School is offering free support to small companies within the financial and professional sector including accountants, lawyers, estate agents, public relations and quantity surveyors to help up-and-coming businesses improve their leadership and management skills.
"Creating a positive work environment through the effective use of interpersonal or so-called ‘soft skills’ is vital to maintaining good relationships with colleagues and customers," says Professor Ossie Jones, the centre’s director.
"But too often managers have the technical skills but are lacking in their abilities and knowledge of managing people."
Improved people skills
The Centre is using £1.3 million in European funding to help managers and self-employed people in the city-region improve their people skills. Using contemporary leadership thinking, the MMU programme will offer specialist support in the much sought after area of emotional intelligence.
Many professional bodies and businesses see the development of emotional intelligence in hand with technical knowledge as a key part of leadership and management.
And business analysts believe the financial and professional services sector could grow further with better management.
Added Professor Jones: "Although 330,000 people are employed in the North West, the sector represents a smaller proportion of the workforce in the region (11%) than in the UK as a whole (14%). The financial sector needs leadership skills to remain competitive in an increasingly global business environment."
10k worth of support
Qualifying businesses in the region will have access to practical support worth around £10,000 per business.
Interested businesses should call the Project Team at the Centre for Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School on 0161 247 6069 or 0161 247 6077. www.business.mmu.ac.uk/centreforenterprise
Centre for Enterprise Leadership and Management is a project that is partly-funded by the ERDF through the Regional Action Plan.