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Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in business
Born and raised in South Africa, I have been in the UK for 20 years and have quite a varied background in Psychology, Business Strategy, Sales, Marketing and Finance. Above all else, I genuinely love to help businesses get from where they are now, to where they want to be.
I started my first business just as the pandemic struck and have since started two more – I think that once the entrepreneurial bug bites, there’s no going back. When setting up the first business, I quickly realised that building solid foundations can be time-consuming and frustrating due to the immense amount of information out there. But if you break it down logically, your foundations should be based around your reasons for starting a business in the first place: i.e. where you want to be, and should reflect your values. Being able to help businesses plan for success and access the working capital they need to get them there is an absolute joy.
I joined New Anglia Growth Hub on a temporary contract in 2021 as a Business Growth Adviser and thoroughly enjoyed meeting other business owners in the Norfolk and Suffolk region. We have truly incredible talent and I am humbled by the determination, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that I have come across thus far.
In February, I volunteered to help co-ordinate the Peer Networks Programme and when it finished in March, the Growth Hub realised there was a gap in the support we offer to the smaller, ambitious businesses in our remit. We are now working on a brand new programme for high growth businesses to enable the continuity of support moving forward.
You were recently appointed High Growth Network Facilitator. What will the role involve?
This is a very exciting opportunity, not only for me, but for the micro businesses throughout the region. I have been tasked with designing and delivering the High Growth Network Programme, a short but intensive curriculum that provides structure, clarity and direction for small, ambitious businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk. As this is a brand new project, I am planning this the same way I would as if I was setting up a new business. I have written the syllabus and my colleague Robert Turnbull and I are currently working on getting that accredited through the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) as a nationally recognised qualification. Next, I will be working hard to promote the programme and recruit participants for the first cohort that is due to start in July.
How many hours of support will businesses receive and what kind of areas can they expect to be covered?
The programme is designed to run alongside the day-to-day management of small businesses, so there will be opportunities to implement the learned skills of that session straight into the business over the course of the next two weeks. Businesses will move through the programme in cohorts of around eight participants and there will be 12 hours of support provided in a hybrid, workshop/peer setting, where like-minded business owners will learn both independently and from each other. We will be covering six fundamental aspects to business, including Vision & Goals, Marketing Strategy, Sales Strategy, Operations, and Finance, and finish off with a comprehensive Plan of Action.
Regardless of the allotted 12 hours, I’m fully committed to helping small business owners make their business work for them and get them to where they want to be, so will make myself available for any clients who require additional 1:1 support. I will also make sure we have regular accountability sessions to ensure everyone is getting the most out of the scheme.
What kind of businesses are these sessions most suitable for?
I understand first-hand that one positive outcome of the pandemic was the surge in former employees taking the leap and starting businesses of their own, doing what they love. So, we have a huge number of relatively new businesses that have a viable product or service but lack the structure needed for scaling. The sessions are most suitable for businesses who have been trading for more than a year, have three or more employees and have the desire to level up in the next 12 months. Once we have set the solid foundations with the High Growth Network Programme, there are a number of internal and external pathways they can access via the Growth Hub, including Scale Up New Anglia.
What would say will be the main benefits for business owners who take part?
Business can be lonely and I’m keen to create a community of successful collaborators, a network of local business owners who can reach out to each other for support when things get tough and opportunities as they arise. The fully-funded support is worth over £3,000 per participant, so taking the time to participate and get the most out of the programme would be a significant investment in their personal and professional growth.
Not only will clients come away with understanding the critical aspects of running a successful business, a robust plan to achieve their version of success and be awarded with a nationally-recognised High Growth certification, they will have a strong network of like-minded peers they can turn to and the continued support from the New Anglia Growth Hub.
We are committed to providing fully-funded, comprehensive support to help aspirational businesses throughout the region achieve their version of success, while stimulating the economic development throughout Norfolk and Suffolk. If there is the will to succeed, we will do everything we can to help you get to where you want to be.