Businesses across Lancashire are invited to participate in a fully-funded programme with Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) in partnership with the Health Innovation Campus to help them re-shape their business, innovate and thrive in the ‘new normal’, following the Covid-19 crisis.

Designed and delivered by LUMS’ leading academics, the programme will deliver online workshops to small groups of business leaders over a five-week period. The first cohort begins at the end of June with additional groups running between July – August 2020, with each supporting around 10 businesses.

Matt Hutchinson, Project Manager at Lancaster University Management School, said: “We understand that not everyone’s experience will be identical, but we know there will be similar challenges and worries plaguing many of our local SMEs.

“This programme is designed for business leaders to benefit from the expertise of our world-leading academic and business minds, while also sharing and working through real-time experiences with a strong peer network.

The beauty of this opportunity is that businesses will have their own unique journey – and we will be on hand to support as they explore ways to drive business recovery in the short-term, while planning for a more resilient long-term future.”

Samantha Winder, ERDF Programme Manager for the Health Innovation Campus, added: “We’re delighted to be involved in this programme with the world-renowned experts from LUMS. The support on offer will give organisational leaders valuable skills to help them come through the challenges currently facing businesses and thrive in the coming months and years.”

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF) and supported by Boost; Lancashire’s business growth hub, the online peer-learning programme for eligible SMEs offers business leaders the time, space and framework to work through problems and challenges, and look for opportunities.

Participants who complete the programme will focus on strategic options for their business, develop personal action plans and establish how to implement change effectively.

“LUMS is in a unique position to bring together its community of businesses, academics and staff to focus on what the future looks like for business, and recovery of our region as a whole,” Matt Hutchinson continued.

“It’s understandable that in the early stages, businesses were in ‘firefighting’ mode – responding reactively to the developing situation. Now, as the economy prepares to gradually re-open, the reality of what that actually entails, and how different socio-economic scenarios will impact on markets, supply chains and customer bases for individual businesses will be at the forefront of many minds – and that’s where we can help.”

SMEs interested in participating should register their interest by contacting the business engagement team at Lancaster University Management School: responseprogramme@lancaster.ac.uk More information can also be found online: www.lancaster.ac.uk/lums/covid19responseprogramme

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