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AN exciting out-of-the-box event is open to local businesses this coming Monday (12 November) at the new Downshire Civic Centre.

T0 Breakout and Breakthrough your business limitations to grasp wider opportunities or improve performance, start by attending this free lunchtime event which will introduce the idea of 
collaboration between businesses for win-win results, helping you to explore whether there 
really is strength in numbers and if working with others could help you to achieve more and 
grasp new business opportunities.

Research is showing that collaboration as a business strategy can impact on profitability, on 
profit growth and increase sales, in each case by up to 30%. It can increase customer satisfaction,
improve productivity and staff development, and help significantly speed up new product development  and innovation. In turbulent markets and changing technology collaboration could be a real help for smaller businesses trying to stay competitive.

VENUE: Down District Council Offices

Downshire Civic Centre

Downshire Estate – Ardglass Road

The new Downshire Civic Centre.

Downpatrick

BT30 6RA

Date: Monday 12/11/2012

Times:12:00 – 14:00pm (a lunchtime event).

The event covers:

* What collaboration is,

*  How to decide if it is right for you,

*  How your individual business activities might fit together with those of others to cut costs or improve efficiency,

*  How any resources or skills you have which are not fully utilized could be better used,

*  How barriers or weaknesses that might be holding you back from growing your business or entering a new market could be addressed by teaming up with others,

*  How surprising new product ideas addressing changes in the market or technology could be developed by working with others,

*  Hear about subsidised support available for collaborative projects,

Benefits of attending:

This is a valuable opportunity to take time to consider whether collaboration could offer new possibilities to your business, for growth, to cut costs, or for diversifying into new areas. It will give you a head start in considering support opportunities Beyond will be providing for collaborative projects.

Audience:  Who should attend this event?
- Owners/managers of any size of business in any sector should attend – indeed the wider the range of businesses attending the better the possibilities become 
- Social Enterprises or community groups considering social enterprises and how to work with small businesses
- Statutory organisations interested in finding better ways to link their support services to business or social enterprise

The session will use three valuable individual and group exercises to help participants think about how collaboration might really work for them. It will also provide short presentations on what collaboration is, how to look for opportunities, and how to avoid the pitfalls.

Speaker:  Nick Mack of Creative Edge will be facilitating the event.

Nick is a keen advocate of collaboration. He has gathered a wide ranging insight and experience in the possibilities of collaboration within the private, statutory and community sectors. He has designed development and health check tools to help partnerships form and work well together locally and internationally, and promoted the opportunities of collaboration in rural development, sustainable development and innovation. He has assisted a number of organisations and initiatives to find better ways of working together to solve problems and achieve better outcomes.

Light lunch provided at this event.