Small businesses in Yorkshire invited to take part in free University productivity training scheme


The training will be led by colleagues from the Business School at Leeds Trinity University.


Small businesses from across the Yorkshire region are encouraged to join a new training scheme aiming to boost performance and productivity through collaboration. The initiative, Think Better + Perform Better = Achieve More, is led by Dr Emilee Simmons, Dr Claire Hookham and Christine Habib from the Business School at Leeds Trinity University. 

The training scheme, originally funded by The Productivity Institute, welcomed its first cohort earlier this year. Dr Simmons has now secured funding to run additional cohorts in the summer and is encouraging local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to sign up to the training sessions, which will begin in June 2024. The aim is to build a cohort of up to 25 SMEs from any sector. 

Dr Emilee Simmons, Deputy Head of the Business School at Leeds Trinity University, said: "We are so proud of the success of our inaugural cohort, where senior leaders significantly enhanced their capacity to foster entrepreneurial mindsets within their teams. This journey wasn't just a one-way exchange, as insights from these leaders have profoundly shaped our programme's evolution. We are committed to continuous improvement, tailoring our approach to meet the dynamic needs of every cohort to come.” 

Dr Claire Hookham, Senior Lecturer in the Business School at Leeds Trinity University, said: "Working closely with our first cohort of senior leaders has been an invaluable experience, allowing us to customise our offerings to address real-world challenges. For instance, our session on overcoming imposter syndrome was directly inspired by feedback indicating a need for strategies to conquer this pervasive issue, both personally and within their teams.” 

Businesses will be able to attend a range of training sessions, both in person and online. The programme is designed to support senior leaders to enhance strategic decision making to support productivity in their organisations. Two in-person training sessions will be held at Leeds Trinity University’s Main Campus in Horsforth, designed for senior leaders and/or Founders, while other team members will have access to a range of online webinars to support key functions around digital transformation, marketing, people development and operations. The training programme will end with a session open to team members and senior leaders to explore how Leeds Trinity University can support them going forward. 

Vicki Dhanjal, Business Development Director – Virtual Wards at Sciensus who previously participated in the scheme, said: “I found the course incredibly insightful and a great opportunity to pause and reflect on current practice whilst learning from colleagues from different industries.” 

Dr Emilee Simmons has worked with over 1,000 businesses around the world to help them at various points, from start-up through to growing profits beyond £60million. This training scheme is a culmination of her experience and the breadth of expertise available at Leeds Trinity University to help make a positive impact within the SME business community. 

Christine Habib, Senior Lecturer in the Business School at Leeds Trinity University said: “There are a multitude of challenges faced by organisational leaders, including the need to work flexibly and provide agility in their workforce, as well as dealing with more uncertain futures. On this journey, entrepreneurs will work and think reflexively to build key competencies, emotions and behaviours that lead to more successful value creation. We aim to help businesses to be readily equipped to handle uncertainty and to better embed productivity and collaboration across their organisations.” 

To be eligible to take part, organisations must have been established for at least two years and ideally have 20 or more employees. 

There are several opportunities to join the training sessions between Monday 24 June and Thursday 11 July. The training is free for all eligible organisations. Businesses interested in attending the new training scheme can register online now. 

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