Suffolk/ Norfolk: 100th member for New Anglia LEP’s Business Advocate scheme

A NETWORK of professionals launched just four months ago to help circulate information with potential to help their small and medium-sized business clients to grow has welcomed its 100th member.

The Business Advocate programme was launched by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and business consultants WLP, which came up with the idea.

Succinct monthly briefings highlighting three or four key initiatives are compiled by New Anglia and WLP and then emailed to each Business Advocate to pass on to clients who might benefit.

Initiatives have so far included new sources of investment for businesses and a website which provides tailored information to support companies.

Leanne Castle, an experienced business adviser and trainer with MENTA, the Suffolk-based enterprise agency, became the 100th person to sign up to become a Business Advocate.

“I think it’s a great initiative,” she said. “The monthly briefings will help to give even greater value to our clients, many of which are start-up businesses, by providing them with useful information to help them grow.”

Andy Wood, chairman of New Anglia LEP, said: “In just four months, to have 100 people signed up to be Business Advocates is a great achievement.

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“Small and medium sized businesses are important to growing jobs and driving forward the local economy. Through Business Advocates, we are helping to give them the information they need to thrive.”

Norman Wilson of WLP added: “What is making the Business Advocates programme a success is it is useful and it is simple.

“Companies send an email to sign up. Each month we send an email briefing to Business Advocates of succinct information, which we believe to be useful to SME clients. We even give our Business Advocates the logo to promote their role in the programme.”

To sign up to become a Business Advocate email and you will receive the next monthly Business Advocates’ briefing.

New Anglia is also encouraging Business Advocates to provide feedback to the LEP on important issues which are affecting clients.

To protect client confidentiality the LEP is not asking for details of the clients involved but it is keen to know what business challenges are emerging, to assist with its advocate role with the Government and the European Union.