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Sole trader welcomes free networking opportunities and support

Sole Trader Joe Kennedy, owner of For the Floor & More, has recently benefitted from the free support provided by Lancashire Forum Creative.

For the Floor & More are passionate about home décor, supplying a wide range of custom printed vinyl flooring and wallpaper to the public. Noting it can be a lonely place as a sole trader, owner Joe Kennedy decided to take up the offer of six facilitated peer-to-peer Action Learning sessions offered by the Lancashire Forum Creative (LFC). The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and are delivered at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) campus.

Joe found out about the programme through his membership of the Propeller Hub which provides UCLan students and recent graduates with transferable business skills. Having attended the LFC Think Tank - Digital Growth in February 2020 Joe then joined the Action Learning programme as he wanted to meet like-minded people and said:

“The opportunity provided insight into how other businesses look at issues similar to mine. Being able to see my problems from a different perspective and how the other businesses solved them was really beneficial.”

"The opportunity provided insight into how other businesses look at issues similar to mine. Being able to see my problems from a different perspective and how the other businesses solved them was really beneficial."

Joe Kennedy, Owner of For the Floor & More

Joe was also able to share and pick up enthusiasm from the other business leaders in attendance and came away from each session feeling one step closer to where he needed to be. He provided some useful advice for anyone considering using the LFC.

“Business growth can be a lonely place and sometimes you need to get out of your shell and speak to people who are there to help. Nobody knows everything and it’s really good to get a fresh set of eyes on a problem that needs a push”.

Joe’s expectations for the future are to continue to grow the business as well as getting a new business up and running. He also wants to continue with further learning as and when the opportunities arise.

Laurie Smith, Programme Director at Lancashire Forum Creative, added: ''Those feelings of isolation that Joe mentions are a recurring theme amongst businesses we work with. An Action Learning set taps into the knowledge and experience of other business owners who are also there to provide support and challenge along the way. You could think of it as ‘the board you could never afford.''

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy