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BizFizz is different – it has no rules, no set systems, no boundaries! The coach is entirely free to pursue a course of action that directly benefits the community, no matter how unconventional that course of action may be. And it works! — Fred Forshaw, Bizfizz Coach, Tuxford

Roles in BizFizz

The Coach

  • The Coach appointed is an experienced businessperson with an advice and coaching background. They have an infectious enthusiasm for enterprise and community development.
  • The Coach receives intense training on the coaching approach.
  • They will work full time. A coach has no strategic role.
  • They are employed by a local organisation and focus their work solely on the community.
  • They are located in the heart of the community, highly visible and easily accessible, and visit local businesses as well as community venues.
  • They will be supported by, and are responsible to the Local Management Group (LMG)
  • The Coach supports his or her Local Management Group in evaluating the service and results of enterprise coaching.
  • The Coach also co-ordinates the monthly meetings of the Local Panel.

The Coach provides:

  1. Business coaching
    The coaching function comprises exploring motivations, desires, and skills of would-be entrepreneurs to offer useful guidance.
  2. Advice and guidance
    The Coach will use his or her expertise to point out possible solutions to problems and help the entrepreneur make informed choices. Such advice and guidance will not be directive, but will be given in a way which stresses the entrepreneur’s responsibility to make his or her own decisions.
  3. Information
    In the function of a One-Stop-Shop the Coach is the source of a wealth of information.
  4. Signposting and networking
    Enterprise coaching does not attempt to replace other business support programmes, but will, if necessary signpost people to the support they need. By really getting to know all the entrepreneurs within a particular community, the Coach will be able to match people to programmes and greatly improve the take-up rate of business support programmes from the project area.

    Networking is one of the most important ways in which the Coach will help the entrepreneurs. S/he will make a big difference in any community, but they have another huge resource to call on, the Local Panel.

Local Panel

Key to the local operation is a Panel of 20-30 clued-up and connected people who will act as a network for the Coach and the entrepreneurs, helping them unblock problems and provide key information and contacts. It is not a management committee, but an advice and networking committee; it consists of the ‘clued-up and connected’ people of a community who can contribute to concrete action.

  • The Panel consists of residents with strong personal networks and knowledge of the local area supported by local experts in the area of community development, law, marketing, financial management, commercial property, access to finance, local media, purchasing, IT, community planning, community networks, the local labour market, training, education, people who represent local authorities, statutory agencies, existing companies, banks and voluntary and community initiatives.
  • Some Panel members form the Local Management Group, for the core and will provide you with your first set of introductions to expand your network and bring new members to the Panel.
  • The Panel receives an induction on its function and responsibilities as well as continuing support from the Coach.
  • Panel members will sign a commitment to the project, which asserts that they are willing to contribute to your project by attending monthly meetings of about 2 hours, abide by client confidentiality, promote enterprise coaching in the community and refer potential clients to the Coach.
  • Panel members contribute their own extensive personal and professional networks to the programme, creating a far larger resource for the Coach and entrepreneurs to use.

The Local Panel works through:

  1. Monthly discussion of ‘cases’
    On a monthly basis the Coach will co-ordinate and, in confidence, bring Client cases to the Panel. The Panel will use their knowledge, creativity and their contacts to help solve these problems. They might use professional contacts but equally might use personal contacts (e.g. they have a friend in the same industry who has solved this problem already).
  2. Individual support
    If appropriate, the Coach contacts Panel members directly between monthly meetings where s/he thinks a Panel member could be helpful to a particular entrepreneur. They may, with their permission, introduce an individual entrepreneur to an individual Panel member.
  3. Access to a wider network
    The Coach will be introduced to community members by the Local Panel members on any possible occasion. This will make sure that they get as many contacts as possible within the first three months. Each Panel member will be expected to introduce the Coach to 10 other useful contacts. This will be a ‘warm’ introduction, which will encourage these people to also buy-in to the ‘support your local entrepreneur’ philosophy. In this way the entrepreneur will not just be able to call upon a network of 30 people, but a network of 330 people.

Local Management Group (LMG)

This is a group of 4 – 5 people, who will take responsibility for driving the local project forward. Membership of the LMG should not be drawn from any one organisation.  Suggested LMG composition, based upon our best practice experience, is:

  • One representative from the Local Host Organisation.
  • One or two representatives from other local partners.
  • One or two other panel members local to the project area.

All members of the LMG are also members of the Local Panel, with support from the funder or project manager, they will take key decisions about how the programme operates locally. The LMG provides hands-on support to the Coach, particularly in the areas of client referral, panel development, project promotion, and at a strategic level to address barriers affecting clients.

The LMG provides a reference point for day-to-day issues for the Coach, including any employment issues that may arise during the course of the project, The Local Anchor Organisation will report on budgetary matters to the LMG. The LMG is responsible for the strategic direction of the programme within the framework of the model, and will address issues related to sustainability and performance with reference to the data the Coach collects.  The LMG will evaluate the impact of the local project.

Although they will at times take advice from the Local Panel, the LMG will act to avoid the Local Panel becoming a ‘management committee’ and help it to focus on finding practical solutions for entrepreneurs.

Local Anchor Organisation (LAO)

A local organisation acts as ‘employer’ for the Coach and as a conduit for funding on behalf of the Local Management Group. The Local Anchor Organisation (LAO) will be the legal employer of the Coach, will provide support to the Coach on all contractual matters related to his/her employment, and will be the contractor with the Bradford Council representative. The management and performance related issues of the Coach lies under the purview of the LMG. A representative of the LAO should be a member of the LMG.

The enterprise coaching model is designed to give the Coach as much freedom as possible to spend the maximum amount of time working with entrepreneurs. As such, the Coach will not be expected to attend strategic networks and partnerships, work on funding bids, or other activities not directly related to breaking down barriers faced by clients. It is essential that the Coach’s time does not get taken up with his/her employers’ internal management or reporting arrangements. The LFO will be a credible organisation working in the project area that will enable the Coach, through resources and referrals, to support local entrepreneurs.

The Local Network

  • The local network consists of people who want to effect strategic change in how regeneration programmes are delivered in the local area, particularly with reference to removing strategic barriers to enterprise in areas experiencing economic disadvantage.
  • Specifically, the network includes people who have been directly involved in an enterprise support project in their area, in addition to local coaches who wish to remain actively involved at a strategic level with the programme.

nef (the new economics foundation)

nef developed BizFizz. It’s role is:

  1. To hold a local area meeting to introduce the project to the community, the management group and the panel.
  2. Developing and organising the training programme.
  3. To support the coach 1:1 with weekly/fortnightly telephone calls from the coach at a preferred set time.
  4. Continuing support of the Enterprise Coach and the Local Panel and the LMG in the early stage of the project.
  5. Supporting the sharing of learning across the enterprise coach projects, with a review at three and six months.