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Northern Powerhouse European Union

Innov8: now is the time to think differently

We believe your business has what it takes to respond, adapt and thrive at this time of seismic change. Innov8 is a high-impact programme for SMEs in Greater Manchester, which can help you make the transition quicker, easier and more profitable.

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The eight critical steps your business needs right now

Across three Innov8 workshop sessions delivered by business innovation experts, you will discover the eight essential steps needed to respond to these times of change:

Innov8 Brochure
  • Supercharge your projects – see faster results, outcomes and financial impacts
  • Stay relevant as customer behaviours change
  • Speed up your thinking and test your ideas more quickly
  • Remain competitive in a changing world
  • Understand the tools that can help you respond and adapt to the 'new normal'
  • Find creative solutions to the problems you face
  • Increase your flexibility, agility and adaptability
  • Find out who can help, support and fund your project

At the end of the programme you’ll be equipped to identify and implement the everyday solutions to power your business to success.

“We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want.”

Eric Ries, The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Where your business is right now

Businesses best suited to Innov8 are likely to be affected by one or more of the following challenges:

  • Experiencing uncertainty due to COVID-19, EU Transition and Net Zero.
  • Undergoing significant business growth, with a quick evaluation of new opportunities required.
  • Needing to pivot their business model, working practices or operations to remain competitive.
  • Seeking new ways to develop innovative products and services.
  • Wanting to improve and build resilience and adaptability.

Don’t get left behind

GC Business Growth Hub’s Greater Manchester Business Survey (June 2020) found that:

Interviews were completed with key decision-makers at 534 businesses across Greater Manchester (representative of local authority, business size and sector) from January to March 2020. 

Hundreds of Greater Manchester's businesses are benefitting GC Business Growth Hub’s Innovation Service. Read their inspirational stories here.

 

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“The COVID-19 operating environment requires that managers re-examine their collective thought processes and challenge their own assumptions”

McKinsey & Company, When Nothing is Normal: Managing in Extreme Uncertainty website article (Nov 2020)

What our clients say

Creation 360 Creation 360

“I must admit that I was sceptical … but I’m happy to say I was wrong. I was impressed with the knowledge and experience within the Hub, and the commitment to helping us overcome challenges and get the product to market.” ― Glyn Adams, CEO at Creation 360

The Insights People The Insights People

“Without the commitment and support of the Innovation team and GC Business Growth Hub we would not have achieved what we have done to date.” ― Nick Richardson, CEO at The Insights People

AV Unibrak AV Unibrak

“Working with the Innovation Team gave us the confidence to make changes in the business, which have ultimately resulted in improved overall operating efficiency and profitability.” ― Jamie McCann, MD at AV Unibrak

Twelve hours

That’s all we’re asking: invest 12 hours, to shape your thinking going forward and futureproof your business.

Innov8 consists of three sessions, held over three consecutive weeks, each of which is four hours in length.

Graduates of the workshop programme will receive an exclusive invite to our two-hour ‘Ask the Expert’ panel session, featuring seasoned industry professionals.

Innov8 is fully-funded, meaning that we’re able to provide it at no cost to your business.

Apply online now: Innov8 application form

Apply now

Meet the Innov8 programme leader

Rob Holdway, Innov8 programme leader

Prof. Rob Holdway is Co-Founder and Director of management consultants Giraffe Innovation Ltd. Providing senior management support and coaching to a wide range of organisations both in the UK and internationally, on the successful commercialisation of good ideas.   

Rob has a B.A. (Hons) Industrial Design, M.A. from Brunel University and spent four years as a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art/Imperial College working on the Good Design Practice Programme with the University of Cambridge. His clients have included: De La Rue, Virgin Group, PC World, Belkin, RSA, Early Learning Centre, J. Sainsbury Plc, Toyota, Morphy Richards, British Airways, Canon, Dell and L’Oreal.