There's a blog post dating back to 25th April 2017 about the ‘Greater Connected’, program supported the Business Growth Hub and aimed specifically at the digital, creative and technology sector.

The program, which was spread over a couple of months, included two full-day class room style sessions and a half day strategy planning session and was attended by around twenty other business owners and leaders from various digital, creative and technology businesses based in Manchester and the North West.

The sessions, facilitated by a team from consultancy Form were, whilst not revolutionary, very engaging in terms of delivery and presentation. I found value, not just in the information which does lead you to evaluate what you're doing and how you're going about it, but also in meeting, chatting and sharing experiences with the rest of the attendees. It was quite reassuring that we all have the same issues to deal with! The program did it's job, in that provoked thought and led me to refocus on my own business plans and strategy for bd2.

Having found Greater Connected both enjoyable and valuable, I didn't hesitate to say yes when Business Growth Hub invited me to the launch of 'Elevate', a new programme. However, what exactly 'Elevate' was going to be was shrouded in mystery with an 'all will be revealed on the day' message. To be fair, the launch included lunch at the rather swanky King Street Townhouse hotel in Manchester and its roof top terrace, which also made it very easy to say yes.

So a small group of agency owners, including some of the guys from my cohort - UPP agency and Seventy7, were treated to an excellent lunch followed by a short presentation. This was preceded by the type of speech that made me start to worry we were about to be sold a timeshare "...150 agencies have been through the Greater Connected programme, from these we've selected just the 15 of you here today to offer you the opportunity to join Elevate..." Flattery gets you a long way.

The programme includes a 3 day trip to Copenhagen to visit some of the most innovative technology and creative companies in the world, a 2 day 'Growth Sprint' strategy exercise, a nominated Board Advisor, drawn from a roster of experienced industry experts who will spend half a dozen days with the business offering one on one advice, ongoing content and resource provision all topped off by a final group session to share experiences. Oh, and it's 50% funded by Business Growth Hub.

I'd made my decision before desserts arrived [a very nice trio of cheescakes, profiterole and fruit tart if you want to know] as it's one of those 'no-brainer' opportunities. I just can't wait to get started!