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Successful Programme is Brilliant for Business



25 February 2013

Successful Programme is Brilliant for Business

The Smart Business Acceleration Programme, a 12 week course offered to local businesses by Vision Manawatu, recently received outstanding praise in a review to determine its success with recent participants.

Vision Manawatu has been offering the Smart Business Acceleration Programme to business owners in the region for almost a decade. The intensive 12-week course is designed for small-to-medium businesses that are looking to grow their operations. It offers concentrated learning opportunities for business owners and key staff, in addition to ten hours of one-on-one business coaching by a personal mentor.

The programme aims to get local businesses ready for growth by developing their management skills, creating an investment-ready organisation structure, and providing access to an extensive business network.

A recent review of the Smart Business Acceleration Programme was conducted reviewing all participant companies from the 2011 and 2012 programmes. The review, conducted by business advisor Mark Hargreaves, found that past participants had greater confidence levels in managing their business since completing the programme. The review also highlighted that business owners had stronger staff engagement and communication, greater confidence to challenge suppliers for better terms, and increased overall performance in their businesses.

In the review, participants described the course as “far exceeding expectations” and one business owner stated that he wished he had done the course six years ago when he first began his business.

“I would recommend all business owners to do this course within the first six months of beginning their business”.

The review also showed that business owners who completed the course gained an increased awareness of some of the risks they faced as a small business and the need to develop mitigation plans. Many of the participants reported that they now recognise that they must have a strategy for growth in their businesses, rather than leaving it to chance.

Comments by participants in regards to how the course has benefited their business include:

“The course triggered a lot of inspiration”

“My confidence as a business owner has significantly increased as there were previously so many unknowns”

“I have learned how to successfully engage and empower staff”
Elaine Reilly, CEO of Vision Manawatu, says, “Vision Manawatu identified that better management skills and access to investment capital are key barriers to small business growth. That is why this programme is so important to our small-to-medium business sector because it supports our region’s entrepreneurs, prepares small businesses for growth, and improves our business productivity in the region.”

“We are proud to offer the Smart Business Acceleration Programme to businesses in the region because we are committed to achieving the Regional Development Strategy goal of ensuring our region is brilliant for business.”

Elaine Reilly is impressed with the high number of small-to-medium business owners in the region that want to take up these opportunities to grow and develop their businesses. She encourages all small-to-medium businesses in the region that are capable of, and have the desire for, accelerated growth to register for the 2013 intake.

The Smart Business Acceleration Programme is run by Vision Manawatu. Participants may be eligible to receive a 50% subsidy through the NZTE capability development scheme. The programme is designed to be accessible to business owners and is offered on Thursday nights 4:30 – 8:00. Participating businesses may involve up to three staff members to take part in the programme.

Applications are now open for the 2013 Smart Business Acceleration Programme and close on March 6th.

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