Small business growth in economically challenged Blaenau Gwent, Wales through Enterprise Facilitation

by Heath Dewey on June 25th, 2012

Moe Forouzan is the Enterprise Facilitator helping to build small business in Blaenau Gwent, Wales. We had the opportunity to talk with him about his work in this video.

Six weeks ago Kapoks had the opportunity to visit Blaenau Gwent, Wales and see the impact that one-year-old Enterprise Facilitation program, Blaenau Gwent Effect, has had on local business growth.
In their first year of work Blaenau Gwent Effect has helped start 20 new local businesses, created 24 new jobs and expanded 2 businesses. This is exceptional for any type of economic development program, particularly given the short time of operation. 

Enterprise Facilitation is a community-driven economic development tool that supports the growth of local business. The three key components of Enterprise Facilitation are the Enterprise Facilitator, a Community Resource Board, and a Management team.
"Give man a fish feed him for a day, teach man to fish feed for a lifetime. Lots of people here in the community want to be self sufficient, want to support themselves. They just need a bit of help and encouragement. That is what Enterprise Facilitation is all about." Stephen  - New business owner and Blaenau Gwent Effect Ambassador
The Enterprise Facilitator is a business advisor. She/he helps existing or potential business owners build their businesses around the core principle of the Trinity of Management. The Trinity of Management acknowledges that three key elements must be in place in order for a business to be successful:
  • Product/Service
  • Financial Management
  • Marketing
The Enterprise Facilitator helps each business owner identify their strength among the three key elements of management and to connect the business owner with other people or resources that help them complete their management team. 

This is where the Community Resource Board comes in. The Resource Board is a group of community members that have committed to assisting the Enterprise Facilitator. Their main role is to work as a networking group, opening their network of personal and professional contacts to the Facilitator so that she/he can help clients develop a strong three-pronged management team through local and regional contacts. For instance, a local accountant can quickly become a financial manager for an entrepreneur that is unfamiliar with strategic product pricing.

The Management Team is responsible for ensuring program sustainability. The Management Team is composed of community leaders and concerned stakeholders that believe in the ability of Enterprise Facilitation to create opportunities for existing and potential business owners in their community. In order to ensure program sustainability the Management Team is encouraged to cultivate expertise in the three key areas: product/service; financial management; and marketing. 
"...I know people that previous to Moe (Enterprise Facilitator) didn’t have jobs or any aspirations with regards to business but now are self-employed business people. We will see how that spreads across their families and impacts their families massively so I think it is working extremely well." Louise - New Business Owner and Blaenau Gwent Effect Ambassador
Enterprise Facilitation is a team effort that relies on strong community involvement to succeed. Buy-in and support from the community is an early challenge for programs such as Blaenau Gwent Effect but once it has been achieved new businesses are in a position for growth. Moe Forouzan and Blaenau Gwent Effect have shown how a committed, community-driven, team effort can positively impact job growth.

Posted in Community Development, Economic development, Enterprise Facilitation, Enterprise Facilitator, International economic development, Wales and UK, Blaenau Gwent, Blaenau Gwent Effect, Kapoks, Entrepreneurship, Management Team, Resource Board    Tagged with no tags


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