Could your business diversify, innovate or develop a new low carbon product or service?
With the Covid-19 pandemic we are seeing a call to reset the new ‘normal’ to be greener and embrace a low carbon future. This will require all of us to change our habits, what and how we buy, how we use energy, making more informed decisions along with many other aspects of our lives as well. This change creates an opportunity for existing and new small and medium sized (SME) businesses to look at diversifying or building their portfolio of products and services to capture part of this market opportunity.
To support SME businesses in Worcestershire the County Council are running 2 free assessment programs which could lead onto 40% contribution capital grant of up to £100,000. These 2 programs are: Renewable energy generation and Low Carbon Innovation projects with funding coming through the European Regional Development Fund.
The Low Carbon Innovation grant provides 12 hours of tailored advice from either Simon Maycock or Ewan Bent to your business. Simon and Ewan are experienced business leaders coming from the energy and low carbon market. The guidance and advice they have and are providing has been invaluable to business owners in helping them shape their ideas and moving them significantly closer to commercialising their concepts. So much so that many of the businesses helped have requested continued support.
To find out more about the grant, the support programme and how to apply, read more here
In our 5 steps to business survival guide, we refer to innovation and strengthening your competitive advantage. This support program may be the perfect vehicle to help you develop a new product or service.
Gill Hutchinson of Aardvark Marketing Consultants Ltd has taken on a new role providing support for Woodrush High School in developing more effective links with local businesses as their designated Enterprise Advisor. Gill is joining a successful team of 40 local business leaders in Worcestershire as the LEP are the first in the country to have every school engaged in the programme.
The Enterprise Advisors are part of local networks deigned to build stronger links between schools, colleges and local business. In Worcestershire, the scheme is being delivered by the local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Worcestershire County Council. Their aim is to bring local businesses together to support schools as they develop their whole school careers strategy and, ultimately, support the development of Worcestershire’s future workforce.
For Woodrush school, there is an existing programme of careers advice and events, where students are encouraged to find out more about the world of work and different options after leaving school. These include many new apprenticeship schemes or further education at University. By inviting closer links with businesses, the students can increase their knowledge about the many opportunities available to them and business people can get involved with activities such as career talks and offering practice or mock job interviews.
Gill Hutchinson says “This new partnership programme provides a structure and better resources for all the county schools to deliver careers education. As a former teacher, I know how much students appreciate visitors and how they can benefit from learning from people with diverse backgrounds and experience. Doing a practice interview is a very valuable experience for many students who find the process of job application daunting, and they gain confidence as a result.” Woodrush High School make the process of doing an interview easy and even provide prompt list of questions to get you started.