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Helping companies grow


Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge hosts first workshop for the CEO Growth Challenge programme, a joint project with bank Santander aimed at helping firms in the East of England grow.

CEO growth
The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School hosted the first workshop for the CEO Growth Challenge programme, a joint project with bank Santander which aims to improve the performance and competitiveness of companies in the East of England with high growth potential.

Top executives at companies involved in the first workshop on 3 December were left with three key messages: to view their business through the eyes of customers, define carefully the company’s current strategic position, and focus on opportunities for growth in the short and medium term given their understanding of that current strategic situation.

Twenty representatives from more than 10 companies attended the workshop, the first of six such events in which those companies will participate, with the next one scheduled for 19 January. The workshops are augmented by company visits from dedicated Cambridge Judge faculty members.

Contributors at the first workshop from Cambridge Judge included Director Christoph Loch, Entrepreneurship Centre head Stelios Kavadias, and Simon Stockley, Senior Faculty in Management Practice. They were joined by John Williams of Santander Breakthrough, a suite of support and expertise offered by Santander to businesses including events, classes and insights.

The CEO Growth Challenge was launched to address issues faced by many small and medium sized companies, whose leaders can be diverted from growth-oriented strategic thinking by day-to-day management. The programme aims to help each business identify and systematically implement their plans for growth.

“The CEO Growth Challenge programme plays an important role in the Entrepreneurship Centre’s mission to help companies navigate the full journey of enterprise – from idea generation to start-up to growth,” said Stelios Kavadias, who is also Director of Research at Cambridge Judge. “This programme helps companies focus on growth strategies and the best ways to achieve them.”

Bill Higgins, Regional Director – Anglia, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “We are delighted to partner with Cambridge Judge Business School and deliver this unparalleled series of workshops for CEOs and business leaders in the East of England. The region boasts some of the UK’s best companies and we are focused on helping them grow and succeed both domestically and internationally.”

Criteria for applicants to the CEO Growth Challenge include sales of £1 million to £50 million; strong growth in a combination of sales, profit and employee numbers; a track record of sustained profitability; cash generation, and an entrepreneurial, ambitious and talented management team.

Companies involved in the initial cohort of the CEO Growth Challenge include Eagle Genomics, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Genie Ventures, Riverlite Limited, Cambscuisine, The Cambridge Dining Co., Anglia Farmers, The Cambridge Chophouses, Anglian Country Inns, FXHOME and Munro Building Services.