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Lancaster University offers 'comfort blanket' for SME owner-managers

Delegates at a workshop run by Lancaster University Management School

Delegates at a workshop run by Lancaster University Management School

20 August 2013

The Lancashire Forum, a new programme developed by Lancaster University Management School, has been designed to tackle the isolation felt by many owner-managers running small and medium-sized businesses and aims to help drive business growth.

Running a business can be a lonely place and quality trusted business networks are hard to find.

The Lancashire Forum, a new programme developed by Lancaster University Management School, has been designed to tackle the isolation felt by many owner-managers running small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and aims to help drive business growth.

The programme is part of Boost Business Lancashire (Boost), the £7.2m Lancashire Business Growth Hub led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership). The aim of Boost is to grow the county’s economy by £20m and create at least 1,200 new jobs and safeguard 700 more by 2015.

The Forum is a peer network and business masterclass programme, created to foster a culture that brings together ambitious businesses and provides knowledge and support from peers, leading academics and business experts associated with Lancaster University.

The programme launches in September and will work with 30 businesses for a six-month period.

It includes an overnight experiential, inspirational evening masterclasses, strategic planning sessions and expert panel sessions on topics such as finance and marketing.

Kim Ashby, Lancashire Forum Programme Manager, said: “For growing businesses, having access to a network of like-minded businesses and experts who know about the most recent opportunities available to support growth can be priceless. This is what the Lancashire Forum aims to provide.”

The programme will be fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund for eligible Lancashire businesses.

Lancaster University are running a number of preview days throughout August and September, at which interested parties can find our more information, meet the team and ask any questions. Further details on preview days, eligibility and the programme can be found here.‌