The Role of the Enterprise Coach or Outreach Worker

It seems to me that there are an awful lot of enterprise coaches/outreach workers/community motivators /enterprise enablers out there all of whom are tasked with the similar roles:

  • to promote an enterprise culture in the community that they work in, and
  • to help individuals to start their own businesses by providing 121 support and signposting them to specialist service providers

The roles are beset with many and varied challenges, including how to:

  • engage individuals in using the enterprise service that they offer
  • help people to move forward and to be more enterprising
  • effectively help people to access specialist support
  • recognize when progress is being made and when it is not
  • develop a service that provides a demonstrable return on investment to funders and other stakeholders
  • manage the diversity of people, ideas, interests and motivations

If you are in one of these roles what other challenges are you facing?

If you have been a customer what other challenges do these enterprise workers need to consider and work on?

I think it is true to say that no-one has yet really bottomed out all of these challenges and that we need to find a mechanism for sharing what works.

Comments

  1. I’m definitely an advocate of good quality 1-2-1 support, as I believe that personal investment, belief and trust go along way to stimulating and sustaining enterprise activity.

    And I’m supremely opposed to the ‘vanilla’ generalism that most 1-2-1 support agencies offer. How many times have we heard ‘where’s your business plan’, ‘that’ll never work’, ‘you have to have a cash flow forecast’ …. oh and by the way I can’t help you with those, but I can refer you to someone who can … signposting ? It’s a joke factory.

    If we are to really promote enterprise as a viable option to individuals then we have to create a customer centric service. Most customers want personal service, with a knowledgeable advocate, they sometimes need an element of hand holding and very often need major amounts of ‘nudge factor’.

    Until the agencies wake up to the fact that they are there to provide a ‘real and relevant’ service, that not only meets but exceeds the clients needs and not that the client must be shoehorned into whatever service offering they currently have available …. then I think it’s safe to say that the aspiration of an enterprise culture will be severely impinged.

    • designsalon says:

      I totally concur with Marie’s response…I had personal experience of the ‘vanilla’ approach when I decided I wanted to start my own business and was seeking funds to organise a showcase for designers in the visual and decorative arts.

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