“In the wake of chaos, thinking ahead has never been more important.”

That’s the message from the Unlocking Potential (UP) programme, which is bringing its Future Focus events back for the Cornish business community.

Programme director, Allyson Glover, said: “Our job is to stimulate and encourage innovation. The aim of the Future Focus programme, in partnership with the University of Exeter, is to get people out of their day-to-day, to re-energise business and help those aspiring to innovate products, services, processes, systems and culture.

“In addition to all the workshops, webinars, online tools and peer-to-peer learning, Future Focus also offers grants for coaching and innovation, as well as help with research and recruitment.”

Having recently established a ‘lab’ series in partnership with Visit Cornwall, this bespoke support is designed to equip businesses in the hospitality sector with the tools they need to increase direct bookings for 2021 and beyond.

Glover added: “With the challenges and hurdles appearing and moving daily for businesses during the pandemic, we are working to continuously adapt the programme to provide realistic and achievable solutions to those immediate needs. That is why we are delighted to be working with the team at Visit Cornwall to create a bespoke lab series tailored to the hospitality industry throughout December.”

Aimed at businesses based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, turning over at least £500k and with ambitions to innovate, its initial programme welcomed over three and a half thousand delegates, 85% of whom said they were “more excited about the future of their business and were more confident to try something new”.

The first Future Focus programme saw a mix of peer-to-peer workshops (labs), events and business trips nationally to meet influential business leaders and renowned pioneers.

With its return, Future Focus will be running large inspirational events and labs online, and as soon as it is safe to do so, will develop a programme of trips. For now, its online innovation and future planning sessions will pave the way for a mix of one-to-one support, the new lab series (where businesses are matched into strong peer groups to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and collaboration), and one -to-one work with business development managers. Via Future Focus’s partnership with the University of Exeter, there are monthly networking events which focus on specific topics (such as People, Planet, Profit; Circular Textiles; Mining Business Breakfasts and more recently Covid-related topics).

More information on the programme and events can be found at www.unlocking-potential.co.uk