Business Support

Growth Hub Training & Events

We run a number of free workshops on a range of topics throughout the year. To book a place on any of the below sessions, please email

Here are the details of the latest events for your diary:

The Importance of Market Research to Innovation – a joint event with CUSP

Date: Thursday 7th July
Time: 9.15am to 1.30pm (includes networking lunch)
Venue: Energus,  Blackwood Road, Lillyhall, Workington, CA14 4JW

This half-day event explores the importance of market research for successful innovation.    We will be asking why many start-up companies survive and how to minimise the risk of business failure.  We will explore the importance of early-stage market research and how this can inform the development of new services and products that truly meet your customer needs.

Exploring the need for market-centric innovation – for both established companies and start-ups.

Established companies are experts at refining their product, which means they can miss new opportunities. This is where start-ups come in, but most start-ups are designed around the founder’s idea or passion-  only when it’s too late do they realise that there is no market for their product.

Product-market fit: changing your product and finding your market.

PMF is making sure there is a sustainable market for your product. It can only be achieved by understanding your market. But it’s a process rather than an outcome. And it needs the company to correctly understand the data from the market research – you often need to design your product or route-to-market to get that market data.

Jobs-To-Be-Done theory: understanding your customers deeply so you can get product-market fit.

This is used by some of the world’s most successful companies. It’s a technique of designing, conducting and analysing market research to find out what your customers want – even when they don’t know themselves. It is therefore ideal for finding new sources of value and new markets  – e.g., how deep research of why people buy McDonald’s milkshakes led to a 7-times increase in sales,

False signals and the Chasm: research your market even when you think you’ve cracked it.

Why the initial stages of market research and growth can mislead you later: the case for continual market research through all stages of growth.

Book your place:

The event is suitable for innovative start-ups and established Cumbrian SMEs.  ERDF eligibility requirements apply

Introduction to DIT support 

Date: Tuesday 19th July
Time: 10am to 11pm
Venue: Online

Meet Cumbria’s Department for International Trade team who will discuss how they can help you grow your business overseas, learn about the grants available to support with marketing, attending overseas meetings or trade shows, market research and consultants from Sarah Peak.

Discover the variety of training programmes available for new exporters to experienced exporters wanting to learn more from Irina Shmakova.

Find out about how to sell online direct to consumers using a variety of tools from expert John Baines.

Meet Ella Chippendale an international trade advisor who works on a 1:1 basis with businesses in Cumbria who will share with you her top tips on developing your international sales and how she can help you.

Don’t miss out, join us and let DIT tell you how they can help you export your product, service or drive international sales.

Introduction to Lean

Date: Tuesday 26th July
Time: 9am to 3pm (lunch and refreshments are not provided)
Venue: Lakes College,  Lillyhall Business Park, Hallwood Rd, Workington, CA14 4JN

Workshop details:

Cumbria Business Growth Hub is pleased to partner with Acclaim Training to deliver an introduction to Lean workshop.

Simon & Tracy Morris will talk you through:

  • What Lean is, and also what it isn’t
  • Case studies
  • Practical applications
  • Process mapping
  • 8 Wastes
  • Improvement tools
  • 5S, Kaizen, Visual management, Line balancing, Policy deployment, Standardisation

Simon is a TAP accredited Learning and Development professional, with over 20 years’ experience in work-based learning. From classroom training of 5000 apprentices for Jaguar Landrover, to training Lean at boardroom level, Simon has evolved Acclaim’s provision to blended learning, mixing classroom with modern methodologies and philosophy. Simon is currently creating competency frameworks for the defence and nuclear industries, working with the MOD, Office of Nuclear Regulator, and Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Tracy is an Applied Psychologist specialising in organisational psychology. From conflict resolution, dealing with difficult situations, to stress and change management, Tracy works with leadership provision to help create modern, fit for purpose, leadership programs. Tracy is also a mental health first aider. As Acclaim’s Business Development manager, Tracy works with customers to build bespoke programs that offer measurable return on investment.

First Local Food & Drink Producers Site Tour – The Torpenhow Cheese Company

Date: Tuesday 13th September
Time: 10.30am to 3pm

The Torpenhow Cheese Company was formed at Park House Farm near the village of Torpenhow (pronounced ‘Tra-pen-ner’) on the edge of the Northern Fells in Cumbria. Established in 2019, they turn the rich free range milk from their Jersey/Friesian herd, into creamy deep flavoured cheese.

The day will consist of an introduction to Mark & Jenny’s journey through Organic conversion on their dairy farm in the Northern fells and the process to being 100% pasture fed followed by a tour of the cheese making area or a short video of the process before visiting the cheese stores (dependent on numbers).

Tea & coffee will be available throughout the day with a Ploughmans lunch provided by the venue.

Following lunch, please bring along suitable footwear and clothing for a tour of the farm, hopefully a walk to see the herd in the paddock and potentially a woodland walk to visit the pigs (if they are within walking distance). We’ll then finish with refreshments and a chance to network further back at the farm.

With a limited number of places, don’t miss out. This is just the first tour with more in planning for later in the year.

Finance Training with Dodd & Co Accountants

Date: Tuesday, 25th October, 2022
Time: 9.30 – 12.30
Venue: Online

Workshop details:

Designed to provide you with a basic understanding of the most common financial issues relevant to small business entities and companies. This session will focus discussion around the following areas:-

  • General record keeping and discussion of current MTD regulations
  • Calculating profits and considering allowable expenses
  • Thinking about VAT – why and when to register
  • Taking on employees – additional responsibilities of the business owner
  • Taxing business profits – important dates and deadlines