Companies of varying shapes and sizes are benefiting from a new series of workshops designed specifically to help them to grow.
A total of 14 people from 12 companies – all based on Aycliffe Business Park – attended the first workshop, held at South West Durham Training.
This exclusive programme for Aycliffe businesses is being delivered by the Durham Business Opportunities Programme in partnership with Aycliffe Business Park Community.
They’re being delivered by Gary Scott of Consult the Experts, who has helped over 300 businesses with their business growth planning, ranging from micro to multi-nationals.
Those who attended the first session included Pixel Media, Pass FM, More Time UK, Bespoke Electrical, Entreprenising, Newton Aycliffe Workwear Supplies, MHM Guru, High Impact Development, Patrick Lonegran Recruitment, Bishop Auckland College, Accurate Systems Labelling and Gregg Little Testing Centre.
Gary, who also runs the award-winning Derwentside Business Network aimed at helping small businesses grow, said: “Most small businesses will tell you that they want to grow, but finding the starting point for growth can be difficult.
“The aim of these workshops is to identify the areas where we can start to grow our businesses and then create an achievable business growth plan around them.
“The businesses at our first workshop were diverse and at different stages of growth which meant that we could harness the energy, experiences and ideas around the table. In the longer term, our aim is to facilitate a self-supporting group that will mentor and monitor each other’s growth plans.
“By working together as a team, it also removes some of the isolation of running a small business.
“There will be four workshops in total, leading to each participant taking actions towards growing their businesses. The programme will also offer one-to-one mentoring to help with the implementation of each growth plan. We will end with a celebration event where we can review progress and celebrate progress made.
“Our next workshop in May will focus on some of the barriers and topics identified at the first session as we begin to develop individual business growth plans.”
Lisa Wall, business engagement officer for Business Durham and the Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP), added: “We’ve designed the new series of workshops for Aycliffe to be specifically focused around business growth, as a result of our recent survey.
“Ultimately Business Durham want to help businesses in County Durham grow, with the objective of the Durham Business Opportunities Programme to assist with this business growth by linking businesses to tangible opportunities, which could be a new contract, a new supplier or perhaps some investment.
“Our aim is to simplify and help increase take up of regional and national business support if appropriate to the business.
“The team will also offer intensive follow on support through the procurement of a number of strands of expertise tailored to a business.”
Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) is a three-year programme for SMEs which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Business Durham.
Further workshops are due to be held on the following dates, and business can still sign-up, subject to places being available.
• 18th May (at SWDT)
• 20th July (at Planet Leisure)
• 18th October (at the Xcel Centre)
For further information please contact Business Durham business engagement officer Lisa Wall at [email protected] or by calling 01207 291268.