Signs of growth reported

Paul Johnson, Director of St Kitt’s Herbery with Laurence MacRory, viral marketeer, Oxford Innovation

There is a sense of recovery and signs of real growth among Cornwall’s businesses, according to a local business support service.

Oxford Innovation’s Grow Cornwall team, which is working with many of the region’s businesses with potential for high growth, has reported that a number of the businesses it is working with are experiencing above average growth.

Grow Cornwall has assisted almost 120 businesses in Cornwall, including Camborne-based regulatory affairs specialist TRAC Services. Director Sarah Trethowan said: “The Coaching for High Growth Programme provided us with the support we needed at a time when the economic downturn presented us with a growth opportunity.

“Our client companies began to outsource more work and the programme has helped us to work out how to maximise these opportunities and face the challenges of growth with confidence.”

Grow Cornwall works with a wide range of businesses. Mike Jobson, a coach with sales and marketing expertise, has been working with St Kitt’s Herbery in Camelford. He said: “Growth for many companies is about delivering an effective sales and marketing plan whilst maintaining control of the finances.”

St Kitt’s Herbery, started by husband and wife team Susan and Paul Johnson in 2001, produces more than 300 fine herb-based products. With support and guidance and a focus on its e-commerce and web-based sales opportunities, it experienced online sales increase by 88% in the four months from January 2010, compared to the same period in 2009.

The Oxford Innovation’s team of coaches have a diverse set of business backgrounds and sector expertise, from aerospace and nanotechnology to dog food and beer. Their extensive networks enable them to identify specialists from across the UK and further afield, to address the challenges faced by businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as they seek to grow.

The Coaching for High Growth programme is fully-funded by Convergence. Andrew Farmer, programme manager at Oxford Innovation, urges businesses to make use of the opportunity. He said: “It offers high quality support to any eligible business based in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly. Businesses should get in touch to find out how they can benefit from the coaching approach and deliver the growth, which this programme is designed to deliver.”