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Enterprise Inquiry Report Enterprise Inquiries supported by Santander in November 2011 1.0 Introduction Business in the Community,
held three Enterprise Inquiries in November as follows: 9th November,
Manchester 16th November,
Birmingham The Enterprise Inquiries had the following objectives:
To bring together senior business leaders from large corporates with small business owners in areas of disadvantage to gain better mutual understanding.
To identify case studies of large businesses who are already helping small businesses grow either through the supply chain,
through meet the buyer workshops etc.
To identify a few simple actions which businesses attending the Inquiry can implement immediately to start to make a real difference.
To provide Business in the Community’s national business leaders on the Business Action on Economic Renewal leadership team (which is led by Charlie Mayfield,
Chairman of John Lewis Partnership) with key information and insight to develop the Enterprise Strategy for BITC.
Director Yorkshire Bank and Board member of Leeds Local Enterprise Partnership board David Stuart,
Commercial Relationship Director,
T: 01234 123456 | www.bitc.org.uk President HRH The Prince of Wales | Chairman Mark Price | Chief Executive Stephen Howard Business in the Community is registered in England and Wales.
Charity No 297716.
Company No 1619253
Robinson Design Group
Bespoke Valeting Solutions – Small business reality today Witnesses: David Colman,
Hallmark plus small business owner Adam Ralph,
Greenspace Solutions Hallmark considered they were not getting the best value out of large FM companies who were keen to operate the onsite catering facilities but failed to show passion for the grounds maintenance side of the contract.
Hallmark sourced local small businesses and invited them to an Open Day as a preparation for tendering for the grounds maintenance work alongside the usual large corporates.
Often tender requirements have a requirement of a long trading history,
however Hallmark’s procedures eliminated this restriction,
making it easier for small businesses to tender.
Greenspace Solutions was one such small business and won the contract.
Hallmark has now worked with Greenspace Solutions for 4 years and has helped the business grow from 2 employees to 10 over this period.
and offering opportunities to diversify into other areas they have worked in partnership to provide a platform for growth and sustainable year-round revenue,
knowing that they will receive dedicated service and exceptional quality.
Hallmark has assisted the Greenspace Solutions Team with knowledge and expertise to enable them to become both Safe Contractor and BALI certified,
key qualities to attracting new business.
plus small business owner Daniel Moxom,
MD Evolution Telecom KC was formerly known as Kingston Communications and is the largest plc in Hull.
The company employs 1000 people and contributes £150 million to the local economy – 3% of Hull’s GDP.
KC has launched an investment fund of £300,000 to provide much-needed finance for growing digital and technology businesses in the region.
the Acorn Fund and Sirius Business Advice Centre,
who each receive £150,000 from KC to distribute as loans to eligible businesses.
And because the financing provided by KC will be matched by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF),
the total cash available to local businesses will be £600,000.
Mentoring and support is available through the scheme to make sure any fledgling business has the best possible chance of long-term success.
Grants will also be available to help explore business ideas where more market research is needed before loan financing is agreed.
He has received a loan of £20,000 without having to commit security and is learning a lot from being mentored by KC as they are in the same sector.
GMI Construction GMI Construction is a construction firm employing 50 staff.
retail and healthcare markets and increasingly sees a trend towards carbon neutral.
As a result they are working with 4 businesses in their supply chain to do the EMS (Environmental Management System).
The cost of EMS is borne by the businesses themselves however GMI has spent a considerable amount of time
Enterprise Inquiry Report Page 2 of 7
supporting the smaller businesses through the programme.
EMS standards are increasingly being expected by the larger construction companies and therefore by equipping smaller businesses with this accreditation will make them more sustainable in the longer term.
HR180 The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme is helping small business and social enterprise leaders build the skills,
strategies and networks they need to fulfil their businesses' growth potential,
create employment and strengthen local communities.
Launched in 2010 in Yorkshire (Leeds),
The programme is offered on a fully funded basis to selected leaders of established small businesses and social enterprises who plan to grow their businesses,
create employment and have scalable business models.
As of November 2011,
Business leaders are currently being recruited to participate in programmes in all four regions in 2012.
the core of the programme is a high quality,
practically-focused business and management education,
delivered over twelve sessions lasting approximately 100 hours.
Every participant develops a customised growth plan to direct their organisation’s business strategy and expansion,
and a range of business support services are provided to support the small business leader as they define and execute this plan.
the programme is creating powerful peer learning and networking opportunities between the selected small business and social enterprise leaders.
MD of HR180 advised that the Goldman Sachs programme has helped her focus on her business and what she needs to do to make it grow.
It is too easy to get side-tracked with the day to day and neglect the strategic side of your business.
Ranging from businesses employing 3-100 people,
there was a real range of expertise and knowledge.
This combination was very powerful in helping Claire grow her business.
? Small businesses are not always equipped with the knowledge and experience to do the right pitch.
Every business seems to have a gatekeeper who stops calls/pitches getting through to the decisionmakers although they have never been given a policy on how to deal with SMEs looking for work.
There are companies who want to buy local but SMEs don’t know how to identify these companies.
Access to finance is difficult for small companies with no track record but seed funding needs to be linked to mentoring.
What role can Business in the Community and its large business members play in supporting small businesses
? Support peer networking among small businesses Organise meet the buyer days Demonstrate clearly that you want to support local suppliers
Could there be a database of companies who have a buy local policy
? Could large companies re-think what forms and processes they have in place and whether these discriminate against smaller suppliers
? Large businesses need to question whether their supplier lists are decided too much on the basis of turnover and presence as opposed to quality and service.
Managing Director – Accenture David Roper,
Regional Director – Santander Paul Buchanan,
Director – The Herdy Company Witnesses: Chris Gorst,
John Caunt Scientific Ltd The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme has also been running in Manchester (see above for description of programme).
The example beneficiary for the Manchester programme was Oliver Caunt of John Caunt Scientific.
This is a family business,
Oliver advised that the application process for the Goldman Sachs programme was helpful in itself in making him think more broadly about his business and what it can achieve.
Obviously the structured programme of learning accelerated this further.
He was struck by the wide diversity of businesses on the programme however many of the issues they were facing were common and therefore there was useful learning to be derived from each other.
Chris Gorst advised that Goldman Sachs wanted to support potential high growth businesses that would employ more people in the future with the right kind of support.
All SMEs going through the programme would be tracked for 30 months after completion of the programme in order to evaluate the impact of the programme.
B4 Box and Kate Parker,
Procure Plus B for Box is a small construction company which focuses on providing training and development opportunities for those who may have previously struggled to secure employment.
Procure Plus is a social enterprise which procures jointly for several housing associations in the North West bringing increased economies of scale and value.
Procure Plus has worked with B4 Box in partnership to provide pipelines of work which keep people in work for longer.
B4 Box has less margin than traditional construction companies because they are focussed on providing opportunities for their workers.
Housing Associations are keen to make sure they get a social return on investment for their expenditure.
Procure Plus advised that 90% of the construction sector was made up of businesses employing 10 people or less.
the tendering process has the potential to be more onerous for Procure Plus because they are disaggregating contracts in order to make them more achievable for small businesses,
however they still feel able to purchase quality services at competitive prices by procuring via this methodology.
RRDi Richard Fryer advised that his company developed the idea of temporary manhole covers 4 years ago.
There are 1 million manhole covers in the UK so there is a big potential market for this product.
Richard was told about the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) who joined their Corporate Mentoring programme that matches up small to medium-sized,
innovative companies with large,
blue chip corporates to talk about a range of issues.
Richard was paired with United Utilities who have since helped him do product testing and development and are also potential customers for the product.
? Gatekeepers in the workplace Lack of time for small businesses to think beyond the day to day.
Time and capacity to bid for large contracts Access to finance is difficult for start-ups What role can Business in the Community and its large business members play in supporting small businesses
? Support R&D development in the UK by matching large businesses with innovative SMEs.
Establish an “adopt a small business” programme with big business by market segment and/or geography Support programme for small business to move to the next level,
there are plenty of these Introduce small business exception clauses in the procurement process to encourage a fairer playing field Create local community based networks of small businesses and leverage big business for key topic teach-in’s Have brokerage dedicated to matching small with large businesses Use of web site like “Compete4” which was used for the Olympics contract opportunities.
Managing Director of Business Banking at Santander Jonathan Fortnam,
John Lewis Solihull Mark Allwood,
Enterprise Inquiry Report Page 5 of 7
Cleone Foods Dean Walton,
Alumet Systems Witnesses: Andrew Herring,
Big Tick winner 2011.
Pinsent Masons is a law firm which provides pro bono legal advice to start up businesses and entrepreneurs.
They run fortnightly legal surgeries with two lawyers who do 45 minute consultations.
They run the surgeries on a rota basis and referrals have up until now been made by BusinessLink who know what kind of businesses will benefit most from their advice.
A F Blakemore – support for small food and drink producers via Heart Distribution – Caoire Blakemore,
Commercial Manager AF Blakemore AF Blakemore has 7 business units within it.
One of these is Heart Distribution which was set up in response to requests from small local suppliers to sell their produce to AF Blakemore.
As a result they now work with 128 local producers across the county.
refrigerated vehicles to accommodate purchasing from these producers.
A lot of the investment in the business is the time spent coaching producers e.g.
educating them about bar codes.
It is a business imperative for Blakemore to meet the customer demand for these products and at the same time they need to keep the shelves stocked,
cut down on deliveries and on marketing so it is in their best interests to work with small suppliers in this way.
University of Warwick,
Warwick Manufacturing Group – support for SMEs accompanied by small business Dee Sharma,
They have projects working with Tata Steel and Siemens.
They have funding to do a small business coaching programme for small businesses.
As a result of the coaching received they have developed a low cost marketing strategy using social media to grow their business.
A F Blakemore – Mark Titley,
AF Blakemore who are mentoring 6 small businesses through a peer to peer support group called the 12/8 Group Mark Titley is one of the 6 mentors who has been matched with one of the 12/8 group members,
ID Security Systems.
He realises now that a large company can get much better value out of a small company.
ID Systems have subsequently won work with AF Blakemore and as a supplier have challenged their preconception of what a security company can deliver.
What are the barriers that prevent small businesses from surviving and growing
? access to larger customers is difficult- often don't know the rules of the supply-chain game lots of support available but hard to access or to know who/how to approach What role can Business in the Community and its large business members play in supporting small businesses
Enterprise Inquiry Report Page 6 of 7
Many large customers use small suppliers because they can be much more flexible and respond quickly.
The MD/board can build a culture of supporting other businesses but this has to be a cultural shift Flexible payment terms and payment cycles as short as ten days Can BITC help with brokerage between large and small
? Collate and make available all the info re supports available to small businesses
Small businesses attending also gained value with one delegate writing afterwards to say: I just wanted to say thank you for inviting me to the Enterprise Inquiry.
It was a great morning with some great topics discussed.
I have already benefitted from it and have 6 dates in the diary with a leading bank with their commercial teams all over the north of England.
I had done work with them before but have now managed to take the opportunity and turn it into something long term.
Thanks to additional funding secured from the Department of Communities & Local Government and Santander,
Business in the Community will be holding a further 9 Enterprise Inquiries in different cities and towns around England in the first half of 2012.
These Inquiries will consolidate our learning on Enterprise and also link large and small businesses in local communities.
On June 14th Business in the Community will launch its Enterprise Growth Checklist,
the Enterprise Growth Checklist will serve as a call to action for Business in the Community to support local economies through demonstrating their support for small businesses.