Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Creative Leadership and Enterprise Centre (CLEC) recently hosted its first Help to Grow Management alumni networking event, ‘From entrepreneur to business growth’.
Over 100 business leaders in Wales have attended the course since March 2022, improving their skills and developing their organisations.
The event, which took place on Thursday, April 20th at the Cardiff School of Management, featured a networking session and inspiring talks, including one from the founders of Tiny Rebel, who recently completed the Help to Grow Management course at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Entrepreneurial talks and networking
The event began with an excellent networking session led by Annie Thompsett, where businesses practiced essential networking skills. This was followed by a talk from Prof. Brian Morgan, Director of CLEC and co-founder of Penderyn Whisky, on the entrepreneurial traits and mindset that are important to successfully starting up a new business. He used the example of Penderyn Whisky, founded in 1998, to indicate some of the unexpected events that over-optimistic entrepreneurs can be tripped up by.
He stressed the importance of getting your business properly funded in terms of working capital and of getting the marketing, design, and branding of the product in place early on in the development phase to ensure sustainable growth.
Brian said: “It’s great to see such a wide range of businesses here tonight, from a variety of sectors. This is one of the main benefits of the Help to Grow course. It’s an excellent opportunity for businesses to meet, learn from each other, and get the help they need to address today’s economic challenges while growing their business.
“Help to Grow continues to support these business leaders through a series of events based on a thriving alumni network.”
The event concluded with a motivating talk from Tiny Rebel’s founders, followed by an insightful Q&A session and more networking. Brad Cummings and Gazz Williams shared the creative process involved in marketing and brewing their diverse range of beers and how they grew the business to become one of Wales’ largest microbreweries. They also discussed their plans for future diversification.
Left – Co-founder, Tiny Rebel, Brad Cummings | Right – Co-founder, Tiny Rebel, Gazz Williams
Gazz Williams said:
“It’s great to be here tonight with some of the business leaders I met on the course as well as alumni from other cohorts. It’s so important to get out and talk to other businesses about their struggles and victories.
The Help to Grow course has been invaluable in helping us learn from other businesses. It’s not only validated what we’re doing correctly, but it has also helped us to focus on areas that need improving.
The course helped us to take a step back and develop our plan for the next stage of our journey as a business. It has also helped to keep us up-skilled in line with our staff, who are also undergoing training.”
Helping businesses thrive
Help to Grow Management has helped a diverse range of businesses from sectors including social enterprises, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism, construction, marketing and communications, engineering, and professional services.
The course, accredited to the Small Business Charter, is delivered by Cardiff Metropolitan University academics, external facilitators, and business mentors. It offers 1:1 business mentoring, 50 hours of training, and the opportunity to improve business resilience.
Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, you can take part around your existing work commitments and access learning through a blend of short online and face-to-face sessions.
Help to Grow Management is just one part of the support that Cardiff Metropolitan University offers to local businesses. This includes a range of professional leadership and management courses such as our renowned, accredited 20Twenty Leadership Programme and the Executive MBA.