Programme Elements

A peer network and business growth programme designed specifically for growth orientated small and medium sized businesses in Cumbria.

Overnight Experiential

The programme begins with an Overnight Experiential (OE) which is a two-day (one-night) event held off site. It involves all delegates and the Cumbria Forum team, plus an independent facilitator. The OE features different management and leadership exercises, focused discussions, individual and group reflection and introduces the peer-to-peer learning process which runs throughout the programme. Delegates are taken out of their comfort zone, away from their workplace, and encouraged to think about their business differently and reflectively, perhaps for the first time.

The purpose of the Overnight Experiential is to primarily lay the foundations of trust and confidentiality between the delegates and facilitators necessary for the effective running of Cumbria Forum and to begin to break down barriers through learning and social activities. It provides the opportunity for you to engage in experiential activities which are designed to relate the learning back to real-life work situations.


  • Business Model Canvas: A strategic entrepreneurial tool designed for “ doer’s”.  It allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model to improve or redesign your business for growth.  Get your business plan on one page and fluid to react to the changes around you.   
  • Financing Business Growth: How to get access to finance to support and grow your business


Masterclasses provide the opportunity for you to come together with your fellow delegates as a cohort and learn from inspiring and engaging speakers. They are not intended to teach you — rather the idea is that they stimulate, inspire, and challenge you to consider how the subject matter relates to you and your business.

The masterclass series has been designed to challenge delegates, stimulate thinking and increase awareness. They are delivered by inspirational business and academic speakers. There are two themes: 

  • Business Growth & Leadership

Concentrating on issues such as operations, marketing, financial planning, intellectual property and strategy.