focus on portsmouth

offer a broad and flexible set of offerings that we believe will be of great benefit to those fledgling organisations that need the help the most.

A modern and positive apprenticeship programme is another focus of ours and, as with others I have mentioned, we are working in partnership with the University and City Council to inspire our 11-16 year olds to consider this as a career option while we explain and encourage the businesses to invest in these young adults and give them a valuable start to their working careers.

But this all needs to be managed, coordinated, measured and kept active and dynamic. Markets move, as we know, very quickly and we need to make sure that we predict the needs where we can, manage the changes and create the environment in the City that encourages the new investment needed to maintain our growth and deliver on our aims. Partnerships are the key to making this happen, and we are very well placed in our City to take advantage of the various markets, as over the past few years we have built a strong, broad and productive set of relationships with all the stakeholders and key players in the City.

Shaping Portsmouth has been charged with the responsibility to measure and report on all the key metrics of our 17-year Portsmouth Economic Development and Regeneration Strategy and action plans and the City’s Business Leaders Group will be the recipients of this output every six months and will hold all the City partners and the City Council to account to deliver on the aims.

Portsmouth will come out of this current period ready and able to pick up where it left off in March 2020 and reset its sights on our vision to be the number one city in the UK to invest, live, learn, work and visit.

Stef Nienaltowski

Portsmouth business mentor launches scheme to help owners of small firms

A business mentoring firm has launched a new extension of its existing service to help small business owners who are on a budget.

Portsmouth-based Business Improvement Group, which offers mentoring services to business owners looking to improve themselves, has launched a new scheme aimed at small business owners who want to make the same improvements but don’t have the budget to do so.

The scheme, Let’s Talk, which was launched at the beginning of June, allows business owners to get two 20-minute phone or video conference calls each month with one of the Business Improvement Group’s mentors.

This time can be spent discussing anything from personal development to advice on financial issues.

Ian Skinner

Managing director Ian Skinner wanted to launch the scheme after realising how many businesses were in need during the pandemic and wanting to do something to help them.

He said: “It was an idea born out of lockdown and my approach to affordability, looking at small businesses in particular. I still wanted people to access professional resources so that’s why we are doing it through phone calls and video conferencing.

“What I am looking to do is look at the smaller businesses which need just as much help as everyone, but don’t have as much to pay for this resource. I want to be available to people who won’t have been able to afford this ordinarily. There’s only so much money you can pay for this sort of thing when you set up a business and especially now when businesses are struggling.

“Lots of people are also starting up businesses at a younger age and they don’t have the experience in starting a business, so that’s what we’re here for.”

The Business Improvement Group was launched in April 2019 by Skinner and offers one-to-one and group coaching, mentoring and business advice with experienced business owners in Portsmouth. It also offers group mentoring sessions through tailored presentations enabling shared experiences and learning, helping people get the most out of their businesses.

Skinner said: “Personal and professional growth aren’t mutually exclusive. To grow professionally you must grow personally and growing professionally helps you to grow personally.”

For more information click here THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2020 Ian Skinner 19

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