From Teesside to stateside – Tees Valley business Enterprise Made Simple is about to notch up a world first.
And it’s all thanks to relationships forged through the drive and desire to help fledgling firms in our region to succeed.
In the New Year, a brand-new three-month training programme called Inspiration USA will get underway.
Devised and run by Enterprise Made Simple, it will see Tees Valley businesses fly out to US university Babson College to identify new ideas, strategies for growth and inspiration USA-style.
The idea is to share and support as well as learn from the US business community in Boston and the experts at Babson, a well-respected entrepreneurial university, in a bid to open the door to future success.
The link was forged by Enterprise Made Simple CEO Phil Teasdale who is the first UK Fellow at the US college and the new initiative has been nominated for the Innovation in Enterprise Education award through the National Enterprise Network.
The company, which has an HQ at Middlesbrough’s Acklam Hall and offices in Stockton, Redcar and Sunderland, specialises in support for new businesses and training for established firms to help them flourish.
Phil, who is originally from Middlesbrough, enrolled on a course at Babson and discovered a real “meeting of minds”.
It changed the way he approached his business, he says, and he knew it could do the same for others.
“We will be the first place to deliver this programme in partnership with Babson outside of the US, it is a massive coup for the Tees Valley,” says Phil.
“The initiative is not a trade mission, it’s a training programme, a business scale and growth initiative.
“We will take all types and size of business into the programme, they can be from any sector whether it is digital, manufacturing, chemical, process, logistics – there are no absolute rules, all we ask is that they are ambitious.
“Next February we will spend a week based at Babson where we will meet and travel to view businesses, hear from guest lecturers in sales and marketing, the likes of Microsoft and Google. MIT and Harvard are involved too.
“There’s also an event hosted by the English/Boston Chamber of Commerce and the British Consulate.”
It has been a bit of a “happy accident”, says Phil, that a partner business in Boston will send a delegation to our region in December, just before the programme starts, to come and see for themselves what our region has to offer and just what Tees Valley businesses are trying to achieve.
He started Enterprise Made Simple 11 years ago and remains passionate about its work supporting Tees Valley’s firms.
When the company turned ten, he says, he decided to invest a bit back into his own skills and enrolling on a course at Babson was the result.
It refreshed his thinking and changed the way he looked at things, encouraging him to adopt an “act, learn and build” approach.
The new initiative is something that came about after he developed great relationships with his peers in Boston.
“Teesside has a really entrepreneurial culture,” he adds. “For so many years people were told get a job with a steady income, your business will never make it and we’re starting from a really low base.
“But in the last four or five years, with developments at TVCA, the university, DigitalCity and the like, there are lots of collaborations going on and people are realising ‘yes, you can’.
“It is good to be able to work with start-up businesses but it is also important to sustain them and then grow those businesses.
“The majority of the work we do now is with businesses looking to grow, scale and sustain themselves and their workforces. We’ve been heavily involved in the businesses set up by workers employed by SSI and its supply chain, for example – to date we’ve been involved with around 300.”
The firm specialises in training and has developed and runs its own accredited qualifications. Commercial courses always with a focus on business growth and increased productivity.
It also delivers the award-winning Going For Growth programmes to advise firms on building and scaling, including help and support in areas such as sales development and new routes to market as well as digital growth.
Over the past six years, adds Phil, 3,500 business owners and their teams have attended the programmes with positive results.
Credit: Tees Business
By Enterprise Made Simple