Lisa Greenhalgh, Chief Executive Officer at MSIF

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Fri 21st, Sep

Introduce yourself – name, where do you sit in the business, and what does the business do?

My name is Lisa Greenhalgh and I am the Chief Executive Officer at MSIF. I oversee the running of MSIF’s entire operation including its investment and ongoing business strategy. We specialise in providing loan and equity investments to businesses within the Liverpool City Region, the North West and North Wales.

What changed would you like to see to improve or develop your sector?

I would like to see (and help) bridge the gap in Angel Investment opportunities for businesses in the Liverpool City Region. Earlier this year, alongside Brabners and Grant Thornton, we founded the LCR Angel Network. After finding out that 69% of investors choose to invest within their own region, we knew it was important to create and, grow a network that brings SMEs and business investor’s in-front of each other.

What does a typical working day look like?

I get up at 5.30am to fit in a workout before the day starts. Every Monday morning we have a team meeting to highlight opportunities, work in progress and what networking we are attending throughout the week.  I also sit on the Investment Panel for MSIF so a review of investment papers happens most days. 

Outside of the day job, I am the Deputy Chair of Governors and Chair of Audit for Edge Hill University and Chair of Governors at Churchtown Primary School. Every day is pretty fast-paced and busy, with no two days alike. Most evenings I will get home about 8.30-9.30pm and unwind for the night ready for the next day ahead.

Where would we find you on your day off?

Most people would say that I am most likely to be on the golf course improving my handicap of 11! But in reality that’s not true even though I should go to the practice ground more… I have recently started singing lessons so I like to practice when I have the house to myself on a day off.

What is the best advice you have been given in your career?

Best advice I have been given is trust your instincts.  Its likely to be spot on..

Why choose Liverpool City Region?

There is some amazing talent within the Liverpool City Region and many fantastic businesses that contribute a real buzz to the city!  I want to continue to support as many businesses as possible through loan or equity investment, the MSIF Finance Hub or the Angel Network.

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Posted by Chris Witterick

Mon 17th, Sep

7 months ago, I took the (some might say strange) decision to move from a pretty secure and enjoyable role with one of the region’s leading business networking organisations to oversee the rebrand and subsequent re-emergence of one of Liverpool’s original ‘Co-working’ spaces, Launch22.

I have long held thoughts about there being a distinct lack of quality business support and mentoring in the region, and after talking with Chief Executive of Capacity, Chris Catterall, about their intention of taking over operations of Launch22 and their plans to offer a unique business support hub for social enterprises and third sector organisations, this seemed like the challenge for me!

My first day at Launch22 in February was definitely an eye opener. I realised that for all my ambitions about changing the way we support businesses and mentor them to success, I was going to face some considerable challenges. Launch22 had an existing mentor programme, but it wasn’t actually delivering results to either mentor or mentee. There is definitely an appetite for business leaders to offer their services as a mentor, but there were several barriers to them doing so:

  • Lack of coordination in matching a mentor’s skills with a mentee’s needs
  • Lack of expectation management for both mentor and mentee
  • Lack of genuine experience and training to mentor
  • Lack of willingness to take advice from the mentor and implement it in practice.

With this in mind, we set about making some positive changes at Launch22.

1. Rebrand – In order to have maximum impact with our new business support/mentor programme, the space needed a new identity which would align it with the Capacity brand. After a number of awful suggestions (mainly by me) we decided on ‘LAB by Capacity.’

2. Refurb – While hosting events was a big part of the overall LAB offering, our events space wasn’t being used to its potential. Therefore we took the decision to transform the events space into three private offices now known as ‘LAB Base’, which will be suitable for 6 to 10 people. They are being built this month, and we are really excited by the progress so far…

This refurb will not only give us a sustainable revenue stream, but most importantly will mean we are putting our money where our mouth is; what’s the point in helping businesses grow if you don’t have anywhere for them to grow into?

1. Events – Fortunately, the refurb will not signal the end of the LAB event calendar. We will still host a series of smaller, more targeted events to benefit our members. For example, we have partnered with global accounting firm BDO, who will deliver a series of workshops including: business process, financial planning, forecasting, profit and loss, tax, and payroll. These are all issues which affect small businesses and start-ups, and all valuable skills which would normally cost significant amounts in training.

2. Mentor network – After identifying the issues in the existing mentor programme, I decided to try and do things a bit differently. My previous role allowed me to develop a great network of business leaders across the North West, who I’ve been able to call upon to develop this extended network. As a result, LAB by Capacity has access to over 100 mentors, all of whom bring a variety of experience, specialisms and skills as well as profile, influence and cash to invest in the right enterprise. All new and existing members can access the LAB mentor network; we just need to chat about what makes you tick, decide what your business might need, and identify who could potentially help it grow. We rolled this mentor network out in July and already, two of our member businesses have secured nearly £100,000 of investment and two others are expanding their businesses at a far quicker rate than expected thanks to our introductions. We really believe we’re onto something here.

So 6 months on, LAB is motoring along really well: membership is higher than it’s ever been, the new mentor network is already showing signs of success and we have three fully-serviced private offices being constructed to offer to new and existing LAB members. We’ve also hosted a number of high-profile events, which you can read about on our blog.

It has been a great effort from the team here, and we are really looking forward to what the next 6 months has in store for us…

If you would like to come in and see what we’re up to, we have free trial days available. Just sign up at labliverpool.co.uk/free-trial-day. Alternatively, pop down and see us at 12 Tithebarn Street or contact us directly at chris@labliverpool.co.uk.

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Claire Currie, Partner and Private Client Solicitor at Kirwans Solicitors

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Fri 14th, Sep

What changes would you like to see to improve or develop your sector?

I would like to see more data checking by the banks when dealing with the accounts of those who have passed away. I often feel they are rightly cautious during their customers’ lifetime to ensure no-one else is able to access their bank account, but once someone passes away, the security around whom the banks pay the closing balances to seems to fall away. There are many checks they could do that just don’t happen.

What does a typical working day look like?

After dropping the children off at pre-school and school, I usually head to the office. After responding to post and messages, I will typically see four clients during the day. Between appointments, I usually do desk work such as writing wills, speaking to clients and dealing with correspondence regarding estates. As an equity partner and head of our Family department, I also have numerous management responsibilities to squeeze in too. I couldn’t do this without the support I have in the office, and my secretary Nicola who makes sure that everything runs smoothly. I tend to finish at 3.30pm to do the school run and then fit in a couple more hours once the children have gone to bed.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

As I didn’t go back and study law until my later twenties, I would say that it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you want to do as a career now. During life, you will find your path. Equally, don’t worry about being the person you think people want you to be; be yourself. As long as you are kind and always try your hardest, things will come together. Cherish your friends, as they will be the most important things in your life apart from your children. You don’t necessarily need lots of friends either; just a few close ones who you can always turn to.

Where would we find you on your day off?

Doing something with the children. We always try and get out somewhere active and outdoors.

What is the best advice you have been given in your career?

Mistakes can happen and the character of a person is how they deal with those mistakes rather than the mistake itself. Always seek help.

Who is your role model in business?

Computer scientist, academic and social entrepreneur, Dr Sue Black. Although she is in a completely different sector, she seems to have taken what she has learnt in business and is willing to give it back while also championing the increasing role of women in technology.

Why choose Liverpool City Region?

The region is such a vibrant one, ever-changing and developing, and the business sector is both innovative and supportive, making it an attractive prospect for businesses. It's also a great place to live; the real sense of community, coupled with the many family-orientated events on offer, means I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

 

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As ArrivaClick launches in Liverpool, we caught up with Asiya Jelani, Director, ArrivaClick, to find out more about the scheme and the wider social and economic benefits to the Liverpool city region.

Posted by Asiya Jelani

New Product & Business Development Director for Demand Responsive Transport at Arriva, Asiya Jelani is responsible for the creation and launch of ArrivaClick, a product that has been described as a “game changer” for the bus industry. Asiya has taken a new product to market and is now leading its expansion across the UK. Starting out as a PR and marketing graduate trainee in 2000, Asiya went on to spend a number of years in the emergency and non-emergency ambulance sectors and brings a mix of public and private sector transport knowledge and experience to her current role. In the last year she has led the team at Arriva to mobilise two complex mobilisations, winning two industry acclaimed awards for innovation. A proud Northerner, Asiya is passionate about pushing herself and others out of their comfort zone. A devoted mother to two teenage boys, in her spare time, Asiya enjoys losing herself in a book and trekking in the mountains to clear out the cobwebs.

Fri 31st, Aug

Why is Click important to Arriva as a business?

The Arriva group is one of the largest transportation businesses in Europe with bus and train operations in 14 countries. Arriva UK Bus operates 5,000 buses across the UK and since 2013, through Arriva Transport Solutions, we also operate a number of non-emergency patient transport services on behalf of the NHS. We also run a variety of other modes including buses, trains, trams, bike shares and many more.  Our goal is to be mobility partner of choice for customers and Click adds a new on-demand mode of transport to our offering as a business. 

Why does ArrivaClick add to the existing transport offer?

ArrivaClick was developed to address a number of challenges within the public transport market.  Consumer lifestyles have changed, populations are increasing in urban areas and decreasing in rural ones, working patterns are more flexible and people now access many more services online, meaning that the way the nation moves around has changed. 

Bus travel remains the most used form of public transport, making up around two thirds of all public transport journeys. In some areas, however, the level of bus passengers has reduced whilst the use of private cars and other single-occupancy vehicles, has increased.

Partnering with Via, we have developed an on-demand mini bus service, offering customers the ability to book and pay for rides through their mobile phones, selecting their desired pick-up and drop-off points.

Our first trial in Sittingbourne has been extremely successful with around 12% of the population using the service, allowing us to deliver around 1,500 rides per week using five eleven-seater minibuses, with users shifting from all modes of transport.

What are the wider benefits of ArrivaClick?

This service also provides an opportunity to blend service provision across commercial, local authority supported and social transport. Where users’ needs can be met by the provision of an accessible vehicle, seat and driver support, we have the capability through our systems and control services to allow booking, aggregation of demand and deliver a highly efficient unit cost for the journey.  We are very interested to see if there are opportunities to join up these strands with partners in the health and public transport sectors.

Why Liverpool?

Over the last couple of years, Arriva has undertaken extensive market analysis research to gain insight into which UK locations are best suited to the successful uptake of a DRT solution. We all agreed that Liverpool would be the ideal place to launch the most ambitious DRT project in the UK!

We are looking forward to growing a service that meets the diverse needs of Liverpool’s communities and businesses, providing customers with more choice and supporting the delivery of a public transport system that works for everyone. ArrivaClick complements Liverpool’s existing public transport network and has the potential to transform thousands of journeys, create up to 70 new jobs in the area as well as supporting access to employment, leisure, tourism and retail, boosting Liverpool’s already thriving economy. ArrivaClick also aligns with the metro mayor’s aspirations to make access to public transport more streamlined and customer friendly.

We have had great support from Merseytravel in rolling out the service as well as from partners like Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce who all recognise wider benefits for the city.

We are really excited about the arrival of ArrivaClick to Liverpool and look forward to welcoming you to the service!

 

To find out more about ArrivaClick, please visit www.arrivaclick.co.uk, or download the app

If you enter the code LIVERPOOL5, before booking your first ride, you will receive £5 free credit*.

 

If you are an employer and would like to know more about how ArrivaClick can help you and your employees, please contact Mike Kent on kentm@arrivanw.co.uk or call on 07879431998.

 

*Terms and conditions apply, please visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/arrivaclick/terms-and-conditions/ to see more.

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Our Chairman Neil Ashbridge takes a critical look at the latest government announcements impacting on future trade and exports.

Posted by Neil Ashbridge

Fri 31st, Aug

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) have long been calling for clarity for business in a post Brexit world. The BCC has just published its latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook which indicated that despite a strong performance in many cases, economic and political factors remain the key concerns. The volatility around sterling as well as the escalating labour shortage are both highlighted by the survey of over 2,600 exporters. Addressing these issues must be a priority for the government.

The first tranche of technical notices aimed at giving businesses and consumers advice on the implications of a 'no deal' exit from the European Union, has also been published to mixed reviews. As supporters on both sides of the Brexit argument become increasingly entrenched and the Treasury is once again being accused of promoting “project fear”, away from the media, businesses are quietly trying to assess what this all means for them. A no-deal Brexit is likely to be disruptive to a large proportion of the 46,000 businesses in the Liverpool city region so any clarity is to be welcomed. However if the Government realistically expects business to be ready for all eventualities on Friday 29 March, then much more specific and practical advice is needed sooner rather than later.   

The BCC has particularly welcomed the plans for VAT, which businesses feared could cause a cash-flow 'time bomb' after the UK's exit from the EU, and on which they have been campaigning. However concerns remain around cross-border trade and customs, where changes are set to impact businesses from day one in the event of a 'no deal' outcome as well as banking and financial services, where changes could have a significant impact on non-financial firms trading across borders.

Export Strategy

The Government’s recently published Export Strategy strikes a much more positive note. It sets a new national challenge to raise UK exports as a share of GDP from 30% to 35% through encouraging, inspiring and supporting more businesses to export.

International trade is at the core of the mission of Chambers of Commerce all across the UK.

Every year, Chambers directly support more than 30,000 businesses exporting goods and services overseas, working with other private sector organisations, and with the agencies and departments of HM Government.  

We particularly welcome the increased focus on the practicalities of exporting, including the role of our existing exporters to enable them to inspire other businesses and facilitate peer-to-peer learning. The strategy highlights the importance of improved communication with businesses to provide information, advice and practical assistance on exporting as well as signposting for SMEs to support access to new markets and private sector support.

The Chamber’s recently established International Trade Club is an excellent example of how this can work in practice. This Trade Club is exclusively for exporters and importers of goods and services, companies seeking international partners, shipping and logistics companies who are looking to actively expand their network of contacts, share the views on international trade and exchange practical advice. The first event is on Friday 5 October and you can find out more details here.

Our aim is to provide companies with the right kind of knowledge to prepare for different trading outcomes, working with specialists to provide insight and advice. Future events include Preparing for trade in a post BREXIT world on 28 September (details here) and looking at business opportunities in the USA (10 October) and South America (10 September).

BCC Quarterly Economic Survey (Q3)

Finally, a reminder that the QES for Q3 is now open. As the largest and most representative independent business survey of its kind in the UK I would encourage you all to take a few minutes to complete the survey.

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Dave Drury, Mott MacDonald’s Director of Transport Planning for the North of England and Scotland

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Thu 30th, Aug

Introduce yourself – name, where do you sit in the business, and what does the business do?

I’m Dave Drury and I’m Mott MacDonald’s director of transport planning for the North of England and Scotland. I’m responsible for a team of over 100 multi-talented individuals who are delivering projects for many public and private sector clients. Any plan to develop or redevelop land or buildings to regenerate areas and boost economic growth requires effective and sustainable transport strategies. Mott MacDonald has a successful track record in this area and continues to help clients get government funding by putting forward evidence-based business case support.

What changes would you like to see to improve or develop your sector?

For me, the sector needs to fully embrace the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) agenda. At Mott MacDonald, we have several initiatives to support EDI, specifically when it comes to gender equality. EDI is part of our everyday life, both at home as well as work. We can experience and learn through the diversity of family and friends and this applies in the workplace too. If we all bring our uniqueness to the table, we know we can come up with better solutions. This is critical in a business like ours which solves problems as a way of life. 

What does a typical working day look like?

It is quite exciting as every day can be different depending on where I am in the country. While I’m based in Liverpool, I spend a lot of time visiting colleagues in different offices and also meet regularly with clients in various regions. This enables us to really get to grips with what our clients’ needs are and what they are looking to achieve. It also allows us to understand what their clients’ needs are and what they expect. We’re then able to offer our insights and experience to support their ambitions. Despite these challenging economic times, there are still many opportunities to implement sweeping changes that benefit and improve the quality of life. As a people person, I really enjoy this side of my role as it all about working closely with clients to implement a vision of what their city or region could look like.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

Listen to your parents. When I think back to when I was younger and my dad was offering words of wisdom, I often didn’t listen as I wanted to find out for myself. Now I have four boys of my own I realise that I should have listened more.

The same could be said about working life. Our team in Liverpool has grown rapidly over the last two years and we have a lot of young enthusiastic and vibrant apprentices and graduates working on our team. There is a great deal of knowledge and experience in our company that they can draw on to help them develop in their careers. Equally though, there is plenty of insight and fresh thinking they can offer that our more experienced team members could learn from. This is why diversity is so important.

Where would we find you on your day off?

Watching my sons play football or rugby, or simply spending quality time at home with the family.

What is the best advice you have been given in your career?

Speak to someone the way you would like to be spoken to. It doesn’t matter where you are in life or career in terms of level or hierarchy, you should always speak to someone the way you want to be spoken to.

This is also the view at Mott MacDonald, where we have a collegiate and collaborative culture, which gives prominence to equality and diversity and we take proactive steps to create an inclusive workplace that includes the way we work with each other. The company is very open and approachable, from those at the very top of the company downwards. This may be because we’re employee owned, so our Group board is comprised with colleagues we’ve worked alongside for many years or throughout our careers.

Why choose Liverpool City Region?

I’ve lived in the city region all my life and I am passionate about Liverpool and the surrounding area. I was born and bred on the Wirral and started my career with Wirral Borough Council before moving to Liverpool City Council. I worked in the public sector for over 17 years and have spent the past 11 years in the private sector. Moving from the public to private sector helped me to understand the commercial and business aspect of the job.

The potential Liverpool City Region offers also excites me. We’re keen to be at the forefront of the strategic development that is planned for the area, not just for us as a company but also so our staff can be part of these vitally important projects.

 

Mott MacDonald are one of the sponsors of this years Smarter Travel Live Event in Liverpool on the 16th and 17th October. Find out more and book here.

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We all know that computers often slow down over time, but why is this and what can you do about it?

Posted by The PC Support Group

Wed 29th, Aug

1. Remove unwanted software and stop programs running automatically on start-up

When your new shiny computer first arrives there is usually nothing on it except for the operating system (usually Windows) and consequently it boots up in seconds and runs faster than Usain Bolt.

What you may not realise is that a lot of software you load will automatically add at least some element to the start-up routine of the computer so as soon as you boot the computer up the software starts running. After a while there will be quite a few of these programs vying for attention on start-up and/or continuing to run background services whilst you go about your work, all slowing your computer down.

So, check what these are (or get your IT support company to) and remove anything unwanted or unnecessary.

2. Keep your disk tidy

Files and programs are written to your hard disk in the most efficient way to read them back, which usually means the information is stored together. However, over time your disk becomes full and so the data often gets written in different areas making it slow to read back. This is known as disk fragmentation. Luckily a disk defragmentation program can move these all around and put them back in an efficient structure again.

Disk fragmentation is typically not an issue on modern Windows operating systems as they perform background disk defragmentation during idle time. However, if the disk is very full, defragmentation may never actually finish so you should make sure you have plenty of free disk space and perform a manual defrag every so often (when you’re not using the computer) to ensure it has run properly.

3. Upgrade your memory

Programs and their data are typically only partially loaded into memory, with the remainder staying in temporary ("swap") space on the hard disk. The relevant part of the program or data then gets loaded into memory (Random Access Memory – RAM) as it’s required. Not only is this process slow but as your disk get filled up (see 2 above) it gets even slower.

The more RAM you have the less likely your computer will need to swap data from disk space so consider upgrading the size of your RAM; it could make a huge difference for very little investment.

4. Upgrade your hard drive

Given how your computer uses its hard disk drive (see point 3 above), a slow drive means a slow computer so consider replacing your standard hard drive (that has lots of moving parts and spins like an old-fashioned record) with a new Solid State Drive (SSD). SSD’s have no moving parts and so are incredibly fast and don’t wear out like traditional hard drives. They are more expensive than standard hard drives but if you save 30 minutes every day you could make the difference back in efficiency in weeks or even days!

5.Is your anti-virus checker efficient and up-to-date?

Some anti-virus software can be very intensive and use quite a bit of your computing power. Unfortunately, some users, in an attempt to speed up the computer, remove their antivirus and then get infected with malware. Some malware is stealthy and if you don't have antivirus installed you may not notice it except as a general slowdown, thus having the exact opposite affect the user wanted.

Check with your IT support provider that you have efficient anti-virus software and that it is configured correctly to give you maximum protection without slowing your computer down. Never remove anti-virus software!

 

Finally, do remember that computers do actually wear out and become obsolete as the technology around them moves on. Any hardware that is over 3 years old is unlikely to perform at its best.

For example, as the average computer gets faster, and web technology advances, browsers and sites become correspondingly more complex and therefore, on the same hardware, slower. Your computer may not be able to run the latest and most efficient versions of software due to incompatibility issues or your graphics card may not be able to handle the wonderful enhanced graphics now used by browsers and software.

If you’ve tried all of the above and your computer is still slow then perhaps it’s time to move on a buy a new one.

If you would like any help or advice about using a fully managed IT support provider, The PC Support Group would love to hear from you. Call us on 0330 088 6116 or contact us on info@pcsupportgroup.com or visit the website on www.pcsupportgroup.com

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Join us at this year’s Annual Dinner and Awards

Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Fri 24th, Aug

I am delighted to announce that tickets for the Chamber’s Annual Dinner 2018 are now available. Once again the magnificent Rum Warehouse will provide a stunning backdrop to what I know will be another entertaining and successful evening. We are also particularly pleased that SP Energy Networks will be our main sponsor, and that we will welcome Mike Moran MBE, CEO of Proton Partners International, as our keynote speaker, providing a fascinating insight on his career journey so far.

Celebrating excellence in business is the theme of our Annual Dinner Awards this year and over the next few weeks we will be looking at each of the award categories and revisiting last year's winners.

The theme of responsible business will run through all of the award categories, building on the success of last year and also acknowledging the growing awareness of the importance, and the benefits, of being a responsible business. We will be presenting six awards this year and you can find out more information here.

It is particularly timely given the Government recently launched its first Civil Society Strategy in 15 years setting out its vision to empower and invest in society. The strategy highlights the increasingly important role that businesses continue to play in building a fairer society, recognising that a strong business environment and prosperous local communities go hand in hand. It is easy to be cynical about the intentions behind the strategy and the resources available to deliver tangible outcomes, but there are some positives too - not least the recognition of the pivotal partnership role that business plays. It is also encouraging to see so many different government departments involved in the strategy, acknowledging the fact that responsible business impacts on all aspects of our lives.

The real positive is the extent to which business itself is driving forward this agenda. Too often the media focusses on the negative examples of poor employer practices which sadly still exist, but we know that there is an increasing number of local businesses who are mainstreaming responsible business, whatever the size or sector, putting social and environmental responsibility at the heart of what they do. They recognise that it is key to long-term, sustainable growth as well as how they manage risk and retain consumer and investor trust in their brand and business plan.

The strategy also highlights new business models including “purposeful business” which recognises that in supporting employees, communities and the environment a business can actually create shareholder value.

The success of any strategy however can only be judged on what it delivers. The government has pledged its support for responsible business, with an update on its approach in 2019. This year it will establish a responsible business Leadership Group which will lead the debate about the role of business in society as well as building on the work of the Inclusive Economy Partnership. In the meantime, we think actions speak louder than words and we look forward to identifying opportunities to work with local partners, including our Responsible Business Forum, to support delivery of these objectives and highlight business activities at a local level which are already having an impact.

Help us to showcase the very best of responsible business practice in our city region as we celebrate excellence in business at this year’s Annual Dinner Awards.

For more information on the awards and how to enter go to http://www.liverpoolchamber.org.uk/services/annual-dinner-awards-2018.aspx or email awards@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

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Neil Bradley, Partner Manager at Growth Partners Plc

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Wed 15th, Aug

Introduce yourself – name, where do you sit in the business, and what does the business do?

Neil Bradley – Partner Manager at Growth Partners Plc. We are an employee benefits and engagement company that develops businesses from the inside. We work closely with businesses to provide a bespoke suite of services ranging from strategic HR and employment law advice to payroll and pensions services alongside emotional wellbeing, fitness & nutritional and online GP services to ensure their employees are healthier, happier and more productive. This is all delivered through our innovative GrowthPro portal.

What changes would you like to see to improve or develop your sector?

There’s been a lot of publicity recently about the gig economy and workers rights with a number of high profile court cases going in favour of the employee. Whilst everyone recognises the convenience of using such services, its important that the employees of these types of companies are treated fairly and are able to access benefits and services just like any other employee would.

What does a typical working day look like?

Slightly cliched but no two days are the same, especially as we are going through such sustained period of growth currently. Days at the moment are taken up with meeting new clients and partners, assisting the on-boarding team, working with the events team on the next conference and attending exhibitions. Our Head office is in Leicester, so currently a lot of my time at the moment is looking for office space in Liverpool for our new Northwest base.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

Do what makes you happy! Everyone gives you advice at that age but that’s based on their own life experiences, not yours.

Where would we find you on your day off?

With 3 week old identical twin girls then the concept of a day off is not something I can relate to at the moment!

What is the best advice you have been given in your career?

Two things really - You only get so far in your comfort zone, if you want to further then you have to step outside that comfort zone at some point. Secondly, to be a success you have to be able to relate to people. The more people can relate to you and build a mutual trust with you, the further you will get.

Who is your role model in business?

I could say someone famous or inspirational, its really anyone who goes out and works hard to try to achieve their dreams and goals

Why choose Liverpool City Region?

I would turn that around and ask why wouldn’t you choose Liverpool? The fastest growing regional economy, most filmed city in the UK outside London, more listed buildings and public parks than any other UK city bar London. The list of stats goes on and on but at the end of the day, Liverpool is the place to be. I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world for the last 20 odd years in my career and its always coming back to Liverpool that puts the biggest smile on my face.

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Gordon Millar, Artistic Director and CEO of Unity Theatre

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Fri 10th, Aug

Introduce yourself – name, where do you sit in the business, and what does the business do?

I’m Gordon Millar, the Artistic Director and CEO of Unity Theatre. We are a performing arts organisation in Liverpool. We are home to live performances that ambitiously interrogate society and humanity. We want the public to know and rely upon the Unity to curiously explore shifts in society that have an impact upon those living in the city region.  The work we present is contemporary, bold and innovative. It often crosses the boundaries of conventional art forms and is known for being engaging and entertaining.  

What changes would you like to see to improve or develop your sector?

The performing arts is such a varied sector. However, one thing that almost everyone agrees upon is the necessity to diversify the voices that are represented on stage. At the Unity we are at the forefront of making sure that you see yourself on stage, regardless of background.

What does a typical working day look like?

The role is so varied that there are no typical days. The job focuses on both the business and artistic requirements of the organisation. One moment I can have my head in a spreadsheet and fifteen minutes later watching a dress rehearsal of an upcoming production.

What advice would you give your teenage self?.

Don’t be afraid of your experience. Live in the now. Nothing on the outside determines what you are on the inside.

Where would we find you on your day off?

Like work, no one day off is ever the same. However, currently I love walking in nearby North Wales with my wife and dog.

What is the best advice you have been given in your career?

Treat every day as if it were the first day in post.

Who is your role model in business?

I don’t have any role models. However, I do believe it is vital to keep learning from a variety of people.

Why choose Liverpool City Region?

I initially fell in love with Liverpool as a child, following the great football team of the 80s. I then studied here in the 90s before settling here ten years ago. The city is abundantly rich in character.

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5 minutes with...

Fri 12th, Oct

Michelle Cameron, Senior Policy and Communications Advisor at the Chamber

More than a third of remote workers report new back pain since working from home

Fri 12th, Oct

Ergonomic working practices are not being extended to home workers

5 minutes with...

Fri 28th, Sep

Mike Moran, CEO of Proton Partners International

The Generation Game

Tue 25th, Sep

MSIF Investment Director, Simon Thelwall-Jones, discusses one of the biggest issues facing local SMEs

Immigration policy recommendations risk further red tape for employers

Fri 21st, Sep

This week, the Migration Advisory Committee published its report and recommendations for the future of the UK’s immigration policy. Gordon Irving, Solicitor at Broudie Jackson Canter shares his thoughts on the report.