And we are off! The 2023 cohort of Crucible kicked off with a three-day masterclass from Alison Machin, a strategic leader with more than 17 years’ client-facing experience supporting SMEs, public sector and the voluntary sector.
Crucible is De Montfort University’s (DMU) flagship business incubation programme for DMU graduates who have an idea, product or service and need support to turn it into a business.
The 10 new Crucible members with businesses including glass blowing, clay sculpting, bra design and speakers hit the ground running, sharing their thoughts ideas and plans with each other and encouraging constructive feedback, leading to fresh perspectives and ideas.
Activities across the sessions included thought-provoking scenarios, requiring teamwork and strong communication from the new recruits. Often leading back to business analogies, these exercises offered opportunities to gain insight into ‘off-stage’ elements of a business, and some of the processes and procedures that must occur that perhaps have not been considered yet.
Alison worked with the group to complete the business model canvas, sharing key areas to focus on, provoking a deeper dive into business ideas, and always asking ‘why’, encouraging further thinking.
New member, Charlotte Damon, an intimate apparel technical consultant behind The Lingerier, said: “It’s been really good to get all of the thoughts out of my head into a strategy to give me a clearer idea to move forwards. Alison’s made the sessions really fun, going into the meanings and terminology, which has been really useful.”
Helen Saunderson, whose business is Golden Mud Ceramics said: “They make you think…really think about your business and customer, done in a way that you often don’t realise – from exercises involving thinking about a plane taking off and everything that must occur for this to happen, to building towers with marshmallows and spaghetti – offering a lot of fun as you learn.”
Having completed the first sessions with this year’s cohort, Alison said: “It’s been inspiring working with a room full of engaged entrepreneurs, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they progress over the coming months.”
Masterclasses that make up the Crucible experience are also open for external businesses and the local community to attend. Upcoming sessions include Resilience in Business, Project Management and Branding to Funding. For more information on each of these sessions, or to book your place, visit the Crucible website.
Posted on Tuesday 19th September 2023