Thursday, 17 September 2009

Business Support in Wales

The beauty of being freelance and having a 'Portfolio' of business options means that, if one area of your expertise - in your portfolio - is suffering you can concentrate on another area where that sector is not so depressed. At the moment the photography side of the business is quiet, I am therefore concentrating more on the Management & Training Consultancy side which, fortunately is keeping me busy.

Yesterday, I spent the day with an old friend and colleague Barry Quilter, Barry is Operations Director and second in command at Venture Wales. 

We spent the day at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells in mid Wales, with about 75 other like-minded individuals, who all had one objective which was, to investigate methods of improving what we deliver and how we deliver training, for the new business start ups in Wales.

The day was organised by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and more specifically the Department for the Economy & Transport  as part of the many programmes they fund throughout the Principality to assist both new and existing businesses.

The day consisted of firstly discussing the content of the Business Training that is currently delivered by the providers across Wales. The delegates were all pre-arranged into teams based on their knowledge and location, and to ensure an even distribution of skills and talent. Each team also had a number of WAG personnel present who were able to clarify any areas of contract criteria, that may require clarification.

All in all an excellent session where personal experiences and good practices were shared. This session also considered the currency of the training programme and whether it still met the needs of new businesses and if not, what changes needed to be addressed. We discussed the provision for delivering the training courses in the Welsh language, which a considerable number of businesses prefer, especially in north Wales.  Amongst a myriad of other topics discussed were, the Marketing section of the training programme and how this could be improved and updated, especially in the area of internet marketing.

The next stage was concerned with the various methods used by the different providers in their delivery, the times and the days/weeks, content and the skills required by those delivering the training, both now and for the future.

All in all an excellent day, and all thanks to WAG for organising the day and specifically  Jon Linford and Arwel Williams, managers at the DfET who I understand were responsible for the operational and logistics (amongst other things) for the day.

Next stage of this review will be to meet up again to discuss all the many, many 'written' comments and suggestions that each team provided.  All this information now needs to be collated and evaluated and conclusions and suggestions prepared for the next session and meeting of the group, sometime within the coming weeks.

Thinking of Self-Employment?

If anyone is considering starting up their own enterprise - whether it's a one-man photography business or an Incorporated business employing many - and you reside in Wales, you can contact me by leaving a comment on this page with your contact details and, I will then signpost you to the best person to handle your query. Alternatively, you can also contact Venture Wales direct and/or WAG where you will find a considerable amount of information to assist you to.

Obviously, any contact details you leave with me on this blog, will not be sold, shared or given to anyone other than those that I am specifically asked to pass on to.

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