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Pete Hollingsworth joined the Growth Hub as a Business Adivser in October 2017. In today’s blog, we get to know a bit more about our NoDE specialist at the Growth Hub.

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“I’ve worked within business consultancy for around 15 years. I’ve been a business adviser for 12 different Government and ERDF projects in addition to a small business owner. “

Pete became an adviser because above anything else, he enjoys working with and helping others. He has a passion for helping small businesses and potential business owners to reach their ‘ultimate’ goals. “With every challenge comes with a solution but, not everyone can see that at the time so I’m there to help them find it”.

With a keen interest in technology and his enthusiasm for keeping up to date with the latest digital trends and gadgets, Pete was the perfect candidate to become the Northamptonshire Digital Enhancement Project Adviser. “The digital world is constantly changing, it’s an extremely fast paced environment to work in, something can be the brand new ‘in’ thing one day, then the next be replaced with something bigger and better. I am a big fan of digital technology, it helps improve accuracy and allows you to be more efficient and save time. It’s my responsibility to make sure that my clients are aware of what opportunities are open to them and what is expected of them as a business, such as complying with data protection laws and making sure they have up to date software. NoDE offers SMEs the support they need to step into the current digital climate with confidence and helps them to build on and expand their current foundations.”

The digital era is taking the world by storm. Digital marketing and online platforms are now an essential part of business growth and keep businesses thriving. Pete wanted to get behind the project as it offers the complete customer ‘package’ and believes in its core purpose.

“NoDE has several advantages, we offer free workshops and tailored 1-2-1s, meaning we can help businesses to reach their potential and grow, whilst expanding their current knowledge base. We can also offer SMEs the opportunity to apply for a grant that will allow them to digitally enhance their business.”

With the boom of online forms, social media and of course, the ever faithful online next day shop, Data Protection laws and Cyber security have taken centre stage, everyone wants and needs to know that their information is safe and stored on a secure server. Pete’s currently making sure that all his clients are up to date with the recent data protection law changes and focusing on grant applications.

“More and more businesses are becoming victims of cyber hacking and are also at risk of being fined for no longer being compliant with the new data laws. The project provides well sourced and impartial information that hasn’t come from Wikipedia. SMEs could potentially receive a grant to digitally enhance their business, this could be used for making the necessary upgrades to help keep hackers at bay and stay compliant or to turn a poor website into a fantastic website, the list is endless.”

Despite GDPR and cyber security taking centre stage, online browsing and shopping has reached an all-time high, meaning it is becoming almost mandatory for businesses to have an online presence, from a strong, user friendly website to its own Facebook page.

Pete explains the importance of having an online presence;

“Every business should have an online presence. Your website is a reflection and representation of your business. Your business could be great but, if your website is not user friendly and not visually appealing with pop ups popping out everywhere you click, no one is going to want to spend time on it to find out what it is you’re offering. You also have to think about how you are driving traffic to your website, how can you enhance your online presence? We can help our clients to build or expand their online presence so that they can reach new markets and customers.”

Despite being at the Growth Hub for just over 6 months, Pete has hit the ground running and has helped the NoDE project reach Northamptonshire based SMEs, welcoming them to the digital era. “I am thrilled with how well NoDE has been received by local SMEs and that it’s making a positive difference to their businesses. One of the best parts about my role at the Hub is providing a high level of support for businesses and encouraging them to take the plunge and embrace the technologies and services that are now available to them. Projects like NoDe (and the others we offer) are invaluable, you can never stop learning and progressing your skill set and knowledge. I would recommend our workshops to our clients as they are delivered by specialists within the field who can help answer any questions you have and help give a fresh and different perspective!”

Upcoming workshops available:

Digital Marketing Essentials – Book Here

Grow your business in the Digital World – Book Here

Digital Innovation and Product Design – Book Here

The Nortamptonshire Digital Enhancement project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Northamptonshire Growth Hub – a partnership between The University of Northampton and Northamptonshire County Council, providing comprehensive and unbiased support for your new or growing business.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • A Northamptonshire based company;
  • A small to medium sized enterprise (employ fewer than 250 people);
  • A non-retail business;
  • Have an idea of how new technologies and capabilities will improve your business.

Anyone wishing to know more can call the Growth Hub on 01604 212696, or email enquiries@northamptonshiregrowthhub.co.uk for details on eligibility and how to apply.

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