Focussed training and expertise aimed at helping North East food and drink businesses bounce back from the effects of COVID-19.

The Speaking From Experience sessions running from 6th May 2021 until 10th June 2021 are fully funded by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

Cohort 2: Thursday 6th May 2021, 1.30pm4.30pm


Identifying The Opportunity

1. Scanning The Current Horizon

Nichola Reeder, Facilitator: A top-line overview of the Food & Drink Sector in the UK as we emerge from the pandemic.

2. Beyond Now – Future Impacts
Karen Green, The Food Mentor: An in-depth look at how consumer behaviour has changed and what this means for the future of food and drink.
3. Broadening Your Appeal

Andy Skowronski of A&C Associates, International Industry Advisor and Trainer: Understanding where, why and what people are eating and what that means for planning an effective channel strategy.

4. SME Operational Toolkit 
Nicola Reeder, Facilitator & Ian Pilkington, Business Consultant: an overview of the key tools, templates and forms any small business needs to survive and how they’ll be introduced to delegates over the course of the programme.

Cohort 2: Thursday 13th May 2021, 1.30pm–4.30pm


Risk & Resource

People are one of the largest investments in any business. How has the current situation affected your team and do you have a clear plan of action to manage any fall out.

 1. People Management in a Time of Change

Jayne Hart, The HR Department: a practical overview of the key HR considerations in a Covid-19 world and advice on how to tackle them.

2. Identifying & Minimising Risk
Andrew Williams AQCT: understanding how to identify and more importantly mitigate risk in your business.

3. Courage in a Crisis: Adapting To & Benefitting From Change

Speaker TBC: a case study from a North East Business on how to adapt to change, and thrive through a crisis.

Cohort 2: Thursday 20th May 2021, 1.30pm–4.30pm


Planning with purpose

Where do you want your business to be in the short, medium and longterm? How can a clear plan help you get there?

1. Building Business Resilience

Ian Pilkington, Business Coach, i2i Consultants: What is resilience and how do you lay the foundations for a solid business.

2. Agility and Adapting to Change
Des Kennedy, Managing Director, Infinite Design: Why change is good for your business and how to meet it head on.

3. Resilience on the Region

Chris Jewitt, Chief Executive, Food and Drink North East: How the North East food and drink sector rallied in the face of Covid-19.

Cohort 2: Thursday 27th May 2021, 1.30pm–4.30pm


Money Matters

Do you have a grasp of your business finances? Is it the right time to invest and if so, how and where?

1. Forecasting Your Finances

Harlands Accountants: why forecasting matters and how to start.

2. Building Margin Chain
Harlands Accountants: understanding your bottom line profits.

3. Costing Workshop

Ian Pilkington, Business Coach, i2i Consultants: how to work out what to charge and still make money.

4. Powerful Profits
Harlands Accountants: how to maximise your returns.

5. Funding Potential

Harlands Accountants: where to go and how to find the ideal funding partner to help your business grow.

Cohort 2: Thursday 3rd June 2021, 1.30pm–4.30pm


Selling Your Sizzle

In order to succeed your business must have have a well managed online presence. But how can you get the best from paid, owned and earned channels?.

1. Brand Building & Why it Matters

Steve Wheaton Managing Director, Enspire: using a raft of successful case studies learn how to drive high impact branding that aligns to your values.

2. Customer & Consumer Connectivity: On and Off Line Marketing Strategy
Des Kennedy, CEO, Definitive: understand how to reach your audience and influence them to act – whether that’s via press, digital, social or any other tactic! 
3. Persuasive Propositions: Knowing Your Value

Speaker TBC: learn how to ensure your propositions are as powerful as possible whether for a customer, buyer, funder or journalist.

Cohort 2: Thursday 10th June 2021, 1.30pm–4.30pm


Pulling It All Together

1. Strategizing Sales Channels: Retail, Hospitality, DTC, Export

Nichola Reeder & Panel: explore the different channels open to food and drink producers in order to plan your strategic channel opportunities. 

2. Inside the Buyer Psyche
Camilla Pickles, The Buyers Mindset: get inside the head of a retail buyer to understand what they need to hear to make your pitch successful
3. What Next for Your Business?

Delegates: As we reach the end of the programme we’ll reflect on everything you’ve learnt and pinpoint the top 3 priorities for your business success.