More than 200 Cornish business owners gathered at Tregenna Castle Hotel yesterday for the launch of a new business support programme in the Duchy.
Unlocking Potential is being delivered by Plymouth University and Cornwall College in partnership with YTKO, and funded by Convergence.
Launched to coincide with the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011 (GEW), the programme has already received the backing of business minister Mark Prisk, who said: “Unlocking Potential is an admirable project to give businesses and individuals the skills they need to compete and succeed.
“As a Cornishman, I am greatly encouraged by its launch and I am sure it will have a significant impact in Cornwall and across the south west.
“I want to see more people gain the skills and confidence to start their own business and help to drive the UK economy forward to long-term sustainable economic growth. Innovative projects like this can contribute a huge amount to achieving that ambition and I wish Unlocking Potential every success.”
Delegates at yesterday’s launch enjoyed a keynote speech entitled from Digby Lord Jones of Birmingham, while there were also presentations and messages of support from Cornwall Council chief executive Kevin Lavery and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP chairman, Chris Pomfret.
Professor Wendy Purcell, vice chancellor of the University of Plymouth outlined some of the programme’s ambitions and said: “Unlocking Potential will drive a new economic dynamism which will harness and support the enterprise talent across our proud county of Cornwall.
“By equipping businesses and individuals with the skills to compete more effectively in the global economy, we’ll have a unique enterprise programme tailored for Cornwall.”
Interim director of Unlocking Potential Mark Smith described the event as a chance to celebrate the tremendous achievements of the county’s businesses and to explain how Unlocking Potential could support business leaders in their continued pursuit of success:
“All our activity will be shaped by what businesses are telling us they collectively need,” he said. “That principle underpins everything now and in the ongoing evolution of Unlocking Potential. The ability to react to the needs of groups of customers is what makes us both different and complimentary to the other high quality support offerings in Cornwall.”
There will be another Unlocking Potential event tomorrow at St Mellion International (5pm-9pm), entitled Seek the Unique, followed by further events in Falmouth, Pool and Wadebridge. For further details and to book a place click here.
For more podcasts from the event, please see our Audio Blogs section to the right of this page.