A masterclass in business

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A SELF-EMPLOYMENT masterclass held in Morpeth has been declared a success.

The pilot three-day event, where, in a break with tradition, the majority of sessions were led by working business people, recently took place at the Northumberland Business Service (NBSL) premises in Newgate Street.

Following talks involving the organisation, the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, Business Link and Northumberland County Council, NBSL agreed to approach the unitary authority for funding.

Chamber member Graham Cook, a Partner at Morpeth-based Inspire People Group, put together the interactive training programme which was delivered to 12 people of various ages and backgrounds — each at different stages in the self-employment cycle.

The masterclass covered a range of areas, including presentation skills, book-keeping and accounts, legal aspects of self-employment, contracts, marketing and brand creation, websites, networking and business insurance.

As well as leading some of the sessions, members of the Chamber of Trade helped out by giving inspirational and informative talks.

Mr Cook said: “The results of the masterclass were very positive and in many ways enlightening.

“There were a number of direct beneficiaries to the programme, including the course delegates and also the business people who contributed — many of whom found new presentation skills that had previously laid undiscovered.

“Speakers were very open and honest about their own business experiences, with many of them offering ‘live’ facts and figures surrounding business performance.

“Getting business people involved really does make a difference to the traditional approach to new start support programmes.

“Detailed responses from the delegates are currently being analysed by NBSL, however the vast majority of participants rated the overall programme either very good or excellent each and every day. I remain confident that this concept is capable of being rolled out to other parts of the county where partner organisations and groups can be encouraged to participate for the good of the local business community.”