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First cohort of Aston Programme present plans for growth

Leadership Whisperers
The Leadership Whisperers delivering their pitch in central Birmingham

8 June 2015

SME participants, including The Leadership Whisperers (pictured), have presented their business expansion plans as part of their involvement in the Aston Programme for Small Business Growth project. 

Emma Taylor (Leadership Whisperers) is one of 30 participants on the first cohort of the Aston Programme for Small Business Growth run by Aston Centre for Growth. Her business works with Executive leaders and teams utilising Equine Guided Leadership Development, which is a unique and powerful way of learning that involves leading horses on the ground through a variety of exercises to gain direct feedback on your leadership style. 

So when each participant was asked to present their three year growth plan, she took the opportunity to showcase what her business was all about by bringing the horses to the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral and presenting live in the city centre. 

The pitch, and the appearance of two horses, attracted the attention of many passers-by and Emma drew a significant crowd, even in the worsening rain, as she outlined her plans for global expansion before the group retreated back indoors for feedback from an expert panel of investors. 

The participants’ Plans for Growth presentations have been developed over the past four months of the leadership and management training programme.  Other businesses presenting included a car club, a pipe fittings manufacturer, a deli restaurant and niche recruitment agencies. 

Business Growth programmes at Aston allow business owners and senior managers to participate in a series of practical workshops designed to develop leadership confidence, plan for the growth of their business, and build a unique network of contacts.  The Aston Programme also offered pitching workshops that helped participants develop an investment pitch, putting them in a confident position to approach external funders.

The Aston Programme for Small Business Growth is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

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For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or j.garbett@aston.ac.uk  

ERDF