Beta joined forces with Doncaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in the ‘Doncaster Leadership and Entrepreneurship Academy’ project to increase the productivity of small firms in Doncaster, by creating and delivering an innovative programme to upskill and enhance the leadership and entrepreneurship capabilities of business leaders.
Through a novel approach to public/private collaboration and the engagement of some of Doncaster’s large employers, the project team developed a 12 month programme derived from European best practice and expert local knowledge. The four-day leadership and entrepreneurship series was delivered, in conjunction with The Consultancy Academy, to three cohorts of small firms in one-day modules. The programme focused on peer-to-peer learning, exposing participants to real life examples of strategies and growth plans, and self-evaluation techniques. This allowed them to reflect on their own businesses more effectively. Many modules were held at the premises of large employers and featured ‘meet the boss’ presentations, which enabled leaders of the large companies to share their insights and experiences. The project demonstrates how effectively large firms can contribute to the growth and sustainability of small firms in their local area.
The project ended with a celebration event where delegates were able to network with their peers and were also presented with a certificate of attendance. Feedback from programme participants was very positive.
“The programme enabled participants to learn from other small business owners by sharing experiences and bouncing ideas around. Taking time away from their businesses allowed them the freedom to develop their goals and take their ambitions to the next level. Results included creating a vision and strategy, writing and developing business plans, having a greater understanding of communication styles and the impact of that on staff and customers, and developing relationships with larger businesses with one leading to the establishment of a new partnership.”
Richard Wrigley, Managing Director of Beta Technology
The project was funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, and was one of only eight selected throughout the UK. Each project represented a joint investment with UKCES, with organisations investing in cash, in-kind, or both, alongside a maximum government contribution of £200,000 per project. The total government contribution is £1.3 million.