Ready2Grow – Growth Academy Workshops

Growth Academy Member Workshops

Developing a Sustainable Organisation

Date: Monday, 19th March 2018
Time: 9:00- 13:00
Location: University of Northampton Innovation Centre, Green Street, Northampton NN1 1SY

Developing New Markets and New Customers

Date: Tuesday, 27th March 2018
Time: 13:00- 17:00
Location: University of Northampton Innovation Centre, Green Street, Northampton NN1 1SY

People, Policies and Planning

Date: Wednesday, 28th February 2018
Time: 13:00-17:00
Location: University of Northampton Innovation Centre, Green Street, Northampton NN1 1SY

Funding for Business Growth

Date: Thursday, 8th March 2018
Time: 9:00-13:00
Location: University of Northampton Innovation Centre, Green Street, Northampton NN1 1SY

To book, please get in touch with us by emailing or by calling 01604 892810.

We have a limited number of spaces available, so book early to avoid disappointment.

About the workshops

Developing a Sustainable Organisation

This half day interactive workshop looks at the need for businesses to innovate, to bring relevant new products and services to market and to ensure that the business is growing in a sustainable manner.

  • Developing a growth strategy and growth plan.
  • The changing political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental changes affecting businesses:
    • Horizon scanning.
    • Understanding new technologies and how to adopt them within the business.
    • Engaging your supply chain.
    • On-going Market research.
  • Measuring productivity and product/process changes.
  • A practical and effective process for new product and new service development.
  • Writing and reviewing the business plan.


“Thank you – lots to reflect on and start work on to plan the successful growth of my business.” 🙂
Vicky Robertson

“I found it really useful and game me an opportunity to realise what we do and why. Thank you!”
Garry Connor

“It was a great opportunity for myself to interact with other businesses.”
Rozina Sayani

“Extremely useful course. I learnt a lot about how to grow my company.”
Damien Sodel

“Thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. Thank you!”
Rosemary Saunders

“Really good, eye opening workshop – thank you.”
Mita Unalkat

About the presenter:

Ruth Roan (owner of has worked within the business consultancy sector for over 15 years specialising in Entrepreneurship and Business Growth.

Ruth and her team run multiple government funded programmes and deliver training and consultancy to corporate’s nationally.

Developing new markets and new customers

This half-day interactive workshop looks at how to develop new markets and win new customers in order to drive business growth.

  • A facilitated exploration of why customers buy from you and why others do not buy from you.
  • An introduction to a range of alternative marketing strategies appropriate for driving growth in SMEs.
  • A practical and effective process for creating a marketing strategy (with specific reference to developing an online strategy) in an SME.
  • Things to think about when building a brand.
  • Critical steps for creating compelling proposals for commercial opportunities.


“Thanks – very useful and extremely well delivered.”
Tony Reeves

“Very useful and very personable well-informed presenter.”
Tania Waghorn

“An excellent workshop delivered by an extremely engaging trainer with great knowledge.”
Gary Connor

“Great delivery from tutor – great background knowledge and experience.”
Billy Parish

“Excellent presenter, professional, knowledgeable and entertaining.”
Frank Rodgers

“Great interaction from the teacher and sound excellent advice and tips.”
Lewis Ramoo

“Very good course, very relevant to what I needed.”
Gary Phillips

About the presenter:

Nuala Foley (Nuala Foley & Associates Ltd) is a highly experienced business consultant having worked with start-up enterprises and SME’s for many years.

Her company was established in 2013 and therefore in addition to her business knowledge she brings first personal experience of starting and running a business.

Nuala can provide support on:

  • business planning;
  • route to market;
  • developing new markets;
  • sales support – training and prospecting;
  • marketing strategy; and
  • market research (local/export markets.)

People, policies and planning

This half day interactive workshop looks at the management and operational skills and techniques which are required to grow and sustain your business.

  • Setting and Communicating the Vision and strategic aims for the business.
  • Recruiting the right staff for your team.
  • Flexible working, work/life balance, wellbeing.
  • Engaging and managing the team – Culture, attitudes and behaviour, excitement, motivation, feedback.
  • Performance management.
  • Understanding regulations that affect your business (e.g. waste disposal regulations, equality and diversity, employment).
  • Risk management.
  • Ensuring appropriate policies are in place – Equality and Diversity; Health & Safety; Environmental; Sustainability; Quality management and Disaster recovery plans.
  • Having a business plan – regularly reviewing and revisiting.


“Very good, looking forward to the other workshops.”
Stuart Horn

“Well run and presented workshop.”
Paul Hughes

“Very interesting workshop thank you!” 🙂
Kelly Whitehouse

“Very informative and helpful course.”
Lewis Ramoo

“Sarah is approachable, good interactive workshop.”
Phill Rodgers

“Really good workshop, very useful information, opens eyes in many aspects.”
Damian Sodel

“Overall very useful in growth and understanding of business.”
Steven Rodd

“Excellent opportunity to discuss and compare experience.”
Felicity Roberts

“Another great sessions and a knowledgeable trainer.”
Matthew Atlfield

About the presenter:

Sarah Shreeves has worked with Exemplas on the development and delivery of business start-up and SME growth programmes and is a specialist in the development and delivery of programmes relating to management and leadership and getting the best from teams.

Exemplas works in partnership with like-minded organisations to help small businesses succeed.

Having previously delivered SME support contracts such as Business Link, Train to Gain and Growth Accelerator to over 500,000 businesses, Exemplas have gained an extensive understanding of what SMEs need in order to help them grow.

Working with SMEs, Exemplas draw on their knowledge and experience to deliver the assistance and advice required to enable them to take their business to the next level.

Funding Business Growth

This half day interactive workshop looks at how to fund your growth strategy and what you will need to prepare for your business to be Investment Ready, and what you need to do once you have finance in place.

  • Planning funding to meet the Growth Strategy.
  • Getting the mix right – Debt, equity, grants, asset finance, R&D tax credits, crowd funding and others.
  • Preparing for Due Diligence – Forecasting, costing and pricing,  Investment readiness.
  • On-going Financial management – management accounts, managing cashflow, communications with funders.


“Thank you for all of the informative workshops.”
Phillip Rodgers

“Very informative and relevant workshop.”
Lisa Spreckley

“Great workshop. Thank you.”
Garry Connor

“Great introduction to funding.”
Mita Unalkat

“Friendly and knowledgeable presenter.”
Karl Davies

“I have had a great time networking!”
Debbie Skinner

“Very good workshop, enjoyed it.”
Phil Kightley

“Many thanks – a very useful session.”
Sam Wright

“Great presenter, able to identify with big and small needs.”
Felicity Roberts

About the presenters:

Janette Pallas is a specialist growth coach, adviser and training consultant specialising in supporting high growth businesses.

Janette’s expertise is in supporting ambitious senior management teams to successfully develop from strategic and operational plans to commercialise new products and services.

Janette will challenge and support you to develop robust business plans and funding applications to access the finance required to grow the business.

Alex Toft comes to us with a history of working with SMEs and helping them to overcome barriers to growth.

His expertise expands across a wide base, from industrial, healthcare, public sector to the service sector having worked for the likes of Unilever, ICI and NHS plus a local air ambulance.

His experience extends further than just blue chip companies, having founded a biotech and invented a drug, he went on to grow it into an international company running trials across 23 countries and raising the finance to support the venture in the process.

He fully understands the growing pains and challenges of many SMEs both through his own experience and as a mentor under various programmes he’s been involved in.