Growth programme project is focused upon family firms
One of Devon's oldest family businesses has joined forces with the University of Exeter and a world-class business school in Switzerland to pioneer a scheme which aims to support hundreds of rural family businesses across Devon and Somerset.
The Family Business Growth Programme has been instigated and will be coordinated by the family-owned land management business Clinton Devon Estates.
Its aim is to support the family-run firms and farms at the heart of the regional economy in their commercial aims and development, which can be affected by issues such as succession and emotional ties not experienced by other commercial organisations.
The pilot project is being funded with £50,000 from the £2.9 million Rural Growth Programme, which is administrated by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The scheme will open out 20 places to local professional firms and also not-for-profit organisations to attend a two-day masterclass at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne in May. It will be focused on the priorities of family run-businesses and based upon 25 years of research into them, by the institute.
The IMD has created a training model that will be taken back to the Westcountry by the participants. They will then offer free business advice to family firms selected on a first-come, first-served basis, between May until March 2014.
The commercial organisations taking part will pay a £2,000 contribution towards the cost of the masterclass. Accountants Francis Clark, land agents Smiths Gore and law firm Everys have already signed up.
Clinton Devon will coordinate the support programme's delivery across the LEP region, while the University of Exeter will evaluate its outcome. If successful, the programme may be rolled out nationally in 2014.
Clinton Devon has already invested in undertaking courses at the IMD, which now uses the estate as a best practice case study of family-run business.
Estates director John Varley said Clinton Devon had 700-year history of dealing with issues "peculiar to family business," alongside working with family-run tenant businesses and farms on its estate, adding: "In helping to develop the Family Business Growth Programme we hope to provide large numbers of family businesses with the knowledge and expertise to help secure their future – because they hold the key to delivering the platform for growth that is needed to secure a vibrant economic future for Devon and Somerset."
The Family Business Growth Programme will be monitored and evaluated by Dr Matt Lobley, co-director of the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter.
For further information on the Family Business Growth Programme, contact Carla Fanning on 01395 441142 or email carla.fanning@clinton devon.com