The Head of Brand for smoothie drinks giant innocent is delivering a talk to the region’s businesses next week to share his experience of working for a start-up that has quickly become a leading, global brand.

Joe McEwan, a Lancaster University graduate, will be heading north again when he delivers a masterclass for Lancashire businesses in a bid to boost the growth of the region’s small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), offering insight into how innocent has come to be regarded as one of the greatest start-up businesses in the last decade.

The event has been arranged as part of Lancashire Forum, a Lancaster University business growth initiative which is fully-funded for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) eligible SMEs.  The six-month programme, which forms part of Boost; Lancashire’s business growth hub; brings together like-minded directors and managers of SMEs from around the county and provides them with the tools and networks to stimulate self-development and business growth.

Drawing on key elements of Lancaster University Management School’s research, Lancashire Forum provides opportunities for participants to network with peers from a wide range of sectors, enabling them to learn from each other and inspire confidence to make positive changes to their enterprises.

Joe McEwan, Head of Brand for innocent, said: “There’s no right way to build a brand, but at innocent we’ve probably got things more right than wrong over the last 18 years, and we’ve succeeded in creating a genuine, thriving two-way relationship with our drinkers. It’s been one heck of a journey and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the things we’ve learned along the way.”

Matt Hutchinson, Programme Manager for Lancashire Forum at Lancaster University, said: “It’s fantastic to be working closely with Joe who has strong links to Lancaster University and the wider region. He is keen to share his perspectives as someone who has first-hand experience of a small start-up business doing things right and growing exponentially as a result.

“This is a great opportunity for Lancashire business leaders – it is free to attend and there’s everything to gain.”

The event will take place between 5.30pm – 8.00pm on Thursday 8 February at Blakey’s Café in King George Hall, Blackburn. To register to attend, or to find out more about eligibility for the next Lancashire Forum which will begin in March 2018, contact Jane Hunter, Business Liaison Officer at Lancaster University on 01524 593632 or lancashireforum@lancaster.ac.uk .

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