Three years after EnterprisingYou was launched, its success has been celebrated at an event hosted in Manchester’s historic Midland hotel and attended by a wide variety of people, from existing and alumni clients of the programme, representatives from each Greater Manchester local authority, universities, all those involved in delivering EnterprisingYou and Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester.
Yvonne Sampson, Head of Enterprise at GC Business Growth Hub, welcomed everyone and provided a summary of the journey that EnterprisingYou has been on since its launch just before the covid lockdowns.
“EnterprisingYou has created a strong brand, providing customer focus service delivered by an exceptional team of internal and external providers. We have created an EnterprisingYou family of clients past and present known as our EnterprisingYou Alumni. Our Ecosystem is exceptional, and EnterprisingYou spreads far and wide. Everyone involved, from GMCA to the 10 Local Authorities, business coaches, job centres, local libraries, and universities, has created a positive EnterprisingYou vibe and buzz.”
Yvonne concluded with the screening of a recent case study video produced with EnterprisingYou client, Ngwafu Tansie of Gwafuvegan looking at her journey on the programme and how the support she received enabled her to grow her West African vegan catering business. Ngwafu was also in attendance at the event.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham applauds EnterprisingYou
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester spoke about how important the self-employed are and it was important to give them structured support.
On the timing of the launch, he admitted it could be seen as the worst possible time to launch a service like this. Andy attended the launch as he was increasingly worried about the self-employed and the gig economy.
“The programme was there to help people making a change in their lives. It was tailored to the person, accommodating to their availability – very different from the standard public sector service.”
Andy expressed the hope that EnterprisingYou will graduate from being a pilot to becoming mainstream and a permanent programme.
“The people on the programme, and others like them, the freelancers, are the change makers. They are the backbone of the country. We need to take this as a success, and it needs it be part of a wider and bigger initiative.”
Celebrating EnterprisingYou alumni
Attendees also heard from EnterprisingYou alumni like Lucy Wilkinson, professional clown and founder of children’s entertainment company Louby Lou Limited. Lucy described how she has been entertaining kids for the last 25 years and is still going strong. “The best part of being a clown is being able to witness smiling parents, giggling children and above all sharing and creating memories that will last a lifetime.”
Lucy expressed how much she appreciated the support she has received from EnterprisingYou and how the help she got made a real difference. “Having EnterprisingYou at my side has ensured an amazing journey of growth, respect and a deeper understanding of the inner workings a business has to undertake to succeed.”
Although Lucy has completed the EnterprisingYou programme, she continues to receive support through being able to attend events where she can meet and talk with both GC trainers but also other EnterprisingYou alumni. As she says, “EnterprisingYou has laid the foundations.... With their ongoing support, it's now up to me to build my future!”
The event concluded with panel Q&A with Janine Smith, Director of Business Growth at GC Business Growth Hub, Andy Mather, Programme Manager, Lucy Wilkinson of Louby Lou Limited and Paul Norris, EnterprisingYou Business Coach.
The morning ended with all attendees warmly thanking the panel members for their contributions to the success of the EnterprisingYou programme. As many in the audience were alumni of the programme, the thanks were genuine, and the hope was that the undoubted success of the programme could continue and help more people as it did them.
The material effect the programme had, both in numbers helped and in the value it generated is impressive and was an undoubted success. The presence at the event of so many who are testament to the effectiveness of the EnterprisingYou programme and of Andy Burnham, was a fitting end to this phase of EnterprisingYou.