Entrepreneurs’ Forum invites growing businesses to join its scale-up programme

The Entrepreneurs’ Forum is inviting North East businesses with ambitious growth plans to apply for its fifth annual Scale-up Leader’s Academy.

Delivered over six months, the programme – launching in January 2021 – offers a range of practical advice through a mix of inspirational events, team sessions and scale-up coaching workshops led by Gazelle International coach Ian Kinnery.

Exploring what it means to ‘scale-up’ sustainably, it prepares business owners to face the challenges of growth, helping them create an actionable ‘One Page Strategic Plan’ to achieve their goals.

Those interested in the Academy can attend the forum’s preview event on Thursday, October 1, at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, when Ian Kinnery will explore the barriers to scaling a business. The event will also be streamed via Zoom.

At the event, Sally Marshall of the Teesside-based Marshall Robertson Group, who completed the fourth cohort, and Andrew Mackay of Newcastle-based Coleman James who completed the third, will highlight the lessons they learned and how they were implemented within their businesses.

Andrew Mackay of Coleman James said: “It was an invaluable experience. Coleman James began life in 2016 with just me and a laptop. Over the past four years, we’ve grown to an award-winning team of 14 based at our modern studio in Hoults Yard, a space which gives us plenty of room as we continue to scale.

“We have a national client base, working in partnership with many high-growth companies in the built environment and rail sectors, and plan to open a second office. We delivered a multi-million turnover in FY20, which we’re on track to double in FY2, despite the impact of COVID.

“We were already on a significant growth trajectory but the Academy placed a focus on actionable insight delivered by industry experts – in particular around the key areas of ‘people, strategy, execution and cash’.”

Jonathan Lamb, chief executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, said: “The Scale-up Leader’s Academy launched in 2017, and since then we’ve supported almost 40 North East business leaders to develop a toolkit that allows them to prepare for rapid and sustained business growth.

“For each cohort, we refine the programme to reflect our members’ feedback and to address key challenges faced by scale-ups such as access to talent and leadership development.

“For this year’s cohort, we also had to adapt quickly, shifting the programme online during the lockdown. Regardless of delivery method, our goal is to ensure that our members and their senior leadership teams are fully equipped with everything they need to grow sustainable businesses.”

Applications are currently open for the 2021 Scale-up Leader’s Academy.