Small businesses across the Liverpool City Region will have the opportunity to get the expert advice and practical tools they need to make a positive impact on their employees, local communities and the planet, as part of The Good Business Festival.
The Good Small Business Programme, which will take place in the The Good Business Festival (TGBF) Hub venues across the three-day event from 22nd to 24th March, has been created specifically for local SMEs, offering a mixture of networking sessions, ‘business clinics’ and one-to-ones.
Among the partners offering advice and support all four city region universities, – University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Hope University & Edge Hill University, as well as local chambers of commerce and The Women’s Organisation.
Additional insight will come from Be Ethical Training, Gather (Form), Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) Circular Economy Club, Luma Creations and Baltic Creative, while PoWEr Up Mentoring from the PoWEr Collective will be on hand, too.
Also as part of the Programme, purpose-driven networking group Firestarters will hold practical workshops, covering a range of hot topics around “Powering Communities”, “Green Revolution” and “Cultural Inclusion”, with attendees having the chance to gain insight and learn from a number of partners, including local authorities, universities and chambers of commerce.
The Good Small Business Programme at the TGBF Festival Hub, is a partnership between The Good Business Festival and Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company, follows a pilot scheme in 2021, involving eight companies from the Liverpool City Region.
This saw the Good Business team work closely with companies to help audit and assess their responsible business practices, before setting out recommendations for positive change.
Building on the success of the pilot, the Good Small Business Programme 2022 has developed its in-person programme of sessions, taking place across three ‘Hubs’ – Oh Me, Oh My; Crypt Hall and Dock Leaf.
Online baby care brand Joy and Joe Baby has significantly improved its environmental footprint since taking part. Owned and managed by husband and wife team Bisi and Mayo Osundeko, the company based in St Helens, manufactures woven baby wraps.
Mayo commented: “The programme helped us to take a step back, review our practices and make many small changes which will make a big difference. The team really got under the skin of the company, analysed our processes and how we did business and provided us with clear advice and a roadmap on how to become more sustainable.
“What was great was that it wasn’t off the shelf advice either, it was specifically tailored to our own business needs. It was all about working smarter, reducing waste and even saving money.
“One of the main things we took away was how to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, we used to package our baby carriers in plastic to send on to customers, but we have now taken steps to stop this. We are proud that 80% of our products are now packaged in recyclable boxes. Following the programme we also completely overhauled our recycling process at the warehouse, which has made a big difference to reduce our waste.
“I would strongly advise other businesses to take a look at how they can get involved. At the end of the day, it has the potential to save you money, as well as help your business become more environmentally-friendly, and it’s completely free.”
Commissioned by Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram, The Good Business Festival will be held in venues across Liverpool city centre, tackling issues such as the climate crisis and helping businesses of all sizes to future-proof themselves.
And The Good Small Business Programme is local SMEs’ chance to get involved and be part of the movement.
Claire McColgan MBE, Director at Culture Liverpool, said: “Our region’s rich and diverse SME community can play a vital role in tackling issues such as sustainability, climate change and ethical business behaviour – and many companies are keen to do so as soon as possible.
“What we’re doing with the Good Small Business Programme is providing expert thinking on important issues and translating it into relevant, practical and inspirational knowledge for local SMEs.
“We hope this will not only help to ‘shake the world’ but will enable regional SMEs to thrive in an ever-changing consumer climate. We’re urging as many SMEs as possible to sign up and take advantage of this rare opportunity to gain knowledge, evolve and make a difference.”
Mark Basnett, MD of Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company, welcomed the news, saying: “The development of the pilot last year with The Good Business Festival was one of the ways in which we were looking to help our small and medium-sized businesses in Liverpool City Region better understand what it takes to be a ‘good business’ and to put these good practices in their own organisation.
“I am really pleased that the success of this pilot now means we can further develop this initiative to be able to offer more of our businesses access to a programme of events and useful resources that can help them to grow and create good jobs – which, in turn, will help build a stronger, better, more inclusive and resilient local economy that works for everyone.”
The Good Business Festival takes place from 22 to 24 March 2022. Staged across a host of Liverpool City Region venues, the festival will see major brands and inspiring leaders from business, media, music and academia lead presentations, panel discussions, workshops and knowledge sessions showcasing how businesses of every size and sector have prospered by being purpose-led.
Events are being curated by The Good Business Festival and run in collaboration with national and local partners, and are free to attend.
The Good Business Festival is passionately non-exclusive. It’s not about what you do or who you know. It’s not about agreeing on everything all of the time. It’s about everyone working towards a better world – no matter where you’re starting from.