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What we learnt from the first Boost education ‘power group’

education power group

Darshana Patel, programme office for Boost Business Lancashire, shares her experiences of bringing together businesses operating in the education sector for a face-to-face #growthconversation.

In my role as Boost programme officer, I'm lucky enough to come across great Lancashire businesses either in person or through the many case studies we produce. I'm continuously amazed at the quality and diversity of enterprise on our doorstep and proud to be associated with this through Boost. Having crossed paths with a number of businesses within the education sector, I started to make connections and this sparked an idea.

What would happen if I brought a cohort of non-competing businesses together over a coffee? So one day in April, seven amazing entrepreneurs met at Society 1 in Preston to share their experiences, knowledge and passion.

There was no set agenda, nothing to sign up to or any call to action. The conversations flowed naturally and ranged from bandwidths to Ofsted to working with schools across the globe. It was quickly established that there was a huge amount of common ground and potential for collaboration. Jacob Knowles from Empine Print Management coined the term ‘power group’ and the first Boost Power Group was born.

Here’s what some of our guests had to say. “A proper meeting of the minds. It was an absolute pleasure to take part and an honour to be invited in the first place. We have since set up a follow up group and are excited about what the future brings. Really looking forward to more of the same and helping each other reach new audiences.”

Chris Hunter, Director, HM Network Ltd

"The Power Group proved to be a huge success and well worth the time. I feel that this form of collaboration could prove to be a huge determining factor in the growth of each of the businesses involved. Not only that the sharing of experiences and ideas could be invaluable.” 

Jacob Knowles, Managing Director, Empine Print Management Ltd

We want this to be the first of many Boost power groups. Even with all the technology and connectivity we readily have access to, this experience shows that you cannot beat a simple, old-fashioned, face-to-face meeting because as the saying goes “people do business with people”.

One key lesson I've learnt from this exercise is not to assume. I had assumed they wouldn’t be interested, they wouldn’t turn up, they'd already know each other, and they'd make their own contacts. I was glad to be proven wrong.


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