Dawn of a new era for business growth

On Thursday 20th September 2011, the Business Growth Hub held its first Partner event. Over 40 North West firms came along to find out how they can work with the Hub to find and support businesses that have the potential, ambition and commitment to grow.

Our first event! After the many months of planning and late nights that have gone into creating the Business Growth Hub, it was fantastic to finally be able to meet some of the key businesses that we will be working with in the months and years to come as our referral and support partners.

The turnout at the Royal Exchange Theatre impressed us all, with over 40 North West firms represented in the room including Ernst & Young, Baker Tilly and Slater Heelis. They will be working with us to find and support businesses that have the potential, ambition and commitment to grow, from established and large businesses to start-ups and SME enterprises. The partners are also signing up to advise and supply their own premium services to businesses - from finance and innovation to marketing and training.

The level of support and enthusiasm from the people in the room was tremendous and the presentations from Drew Thomas, Deputy Chief Exec of Manchester Solutions, and Richard Jeffery as Director of Business Growth, introduced our goals, plans and the team and inspired a number of questions from the audience.

As Richard explained: “We know that supporting and accelerating the growth of ambitious companies is absolutely key to our economic recovery and we’re delighted to be working with so many successful and illustrious business names to make that happen in Greater Manchester and the wider North West.”

The Hub is working with private sector businesses, not only to act as our referral and support partners, but to really integrate their expertise and ‘been there, done it’ experience into everything we offer to growth companies. The next exercise divided the whole room into four groups, each led by a Hub team member, and using the topics Vision, Connectivity, Products & Services and Promotion we asked each group to give us their thoughts and views as to what they’d like to see us delivering in each of these key areas. These all became really animated and lively discussions almost immediately, with some groups having to be asked several times to move on to another topic! Even the announcement of wine and canapés failed to break the sessions up, which is almost unheard of for a corporate event…

The messages and ideas generated by the sessions were invaluable and we’re making sure that they shape and underpin what we do and how we do it. Clarity, aiming high, quality of provision, private sector initiative and resilience – these were just a few of the key themes that will be at the heart of our work going forward.

With this inaugural partners event we’ve taken the first step towards creating a community where businesses with the desire and potential to grow will get the professional and world-class support they need to succeed. With that in mind, it’s only fitting that the last word should go to one of our partner companies

“Manchester has an impressive track record of creating successful business and economic initiatives and we’re really proud to be a founder partner in the Hub. Every indication is pointing to ambitious and growing businesses as the key way forward to create economic opportunities and employment for the future. We need to be giving them the best support and advice possible to make their job that bit easier.” Simon Allport, Senior Partner at Ernst & Young

Next stop – our official launch event with Lord Heseltine at the Etihad Stadium on 17th November!

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