At TDP we’re very focused on our role as a social enterprise – from providing solid ethical help to SMEs, to supporting environmental science and local institutions, we always seek to provide a positive impact with everything we do. Although this is very fulfilling we have to ensure we survive and grow as a business, so we can make even more impact in the future: to this end we’re delighted to report that we have been accepted onto the RISE Trade-up programme which is run by SSE Dartington and supported by the Rank Foundation. The aim of this programme is to take established trading social enterprises like ourselves and help them increase their commercial income by improving product/market fit and embedding marketing discipline into everything they do.
This project has now started so check back here for updates on what we’ve been up to.
We attended our first meetings as part of the cohort in March 2020. The cohort is very diverse and includes people who run theatres, beekeepers, cafe owners, bike repair shops and social care providers, amongst others – all very different from ourselves, and yet oddly similar in that we all face roughly the same challenges. We have a programme ahead that includes expert workshops and “action learning sets” where we get the chance to explore our situations in a supportive peer group.
Our first sessions have been entirely about understanding our customer base and setting out our assumptions about how we might grow it: the clearest thing to come through from these sessions has been the extent to which these things haven’t been grounded in evidence very much (quite the admission from a data company). Lots of market research lies ahead, I feel.
Between sessions 2 and 3, the Covid-19 lockdown struck and so we are all currently running through the programme remotely. Massive kudos to SSE Dartington however, as they have adapted both the content and the delivery seamlessly so far.