Sonya Farrall, Creative Director for Baba Baboon, reaps the benefits of a placement student, after accessing Innovation and Productivity Pathfinder.
Baba Baboon has been based at the Innovation Enterprise Zone's office spaces for over a year to help grow their business, meet clients and network. The PR communications business helps organisations, such as charities, small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and more gain publicity in the mainstream press.
Funded Business Support
Steve Hargreaves, the Business Development Manager for Business Engagement, introduced Sonya to the pilot Innovation and Productivity Pathfinder programme, where her business could benefit from a fully funded* student placement to develop a bespoke innovation plan.
The project supports the growth of companies in Newcastle-Under-Lyme and Staffordshire through innovation. By accessing Pathfinder, Baba Baboon benefited from fully funded resources and knowledge to look at innovation potential, as well as free access to Staffordshire University's facilities.
Another way the business benefited was from Hichem Elwerghi, a Staffordshire University Computer Science student, who joined as a Student Innovation Consultant Intern. Hichem received industry guidance from Innovation Advisor, Stephen Silk, Design Analytics - who is also an office tenant at the university.
The Student Innovation Consultant Intern was very proactive and took the time to learn about the business and research innovation potentials. From the first conversation, Hichem implemented potential gaps to innovate Baba Baboon. Both the Student Innovation Consultant Intern and the Innovation Advisor were easily contactable either through online or in-person meetings.
As a result, Hichem's in-depth input has provided the team with clarification on what they need to prioritise. They are now putting a plan in place to take their business to the next level.
From their positive experience, Baba Baboon is open to taking on additional interns to support the team and offer young professionals valuable work experience.
*The Innovation and Productivity Pathfinder project has been fully funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund. The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people in employment.
I recommend Pathfinder to anybody who is looking to transform their business, who has got a fantastic idea and doesn't know where to go, or anybody who is looking to innovate their business and doesn't know how to do it. And I'd also say anybody who doesn't think that there is any innovation within the business, there could be. Once you start talking about your ideas, then the Pathfinder programme can help you implement them.