Modernising the Traditionals
by Ethar Alali
This morning, I find myself at Greater Manchester Chambers of Commerce (@gmchamber) to meet up with Nik Lakhani of Aims Management (@Aims_Management) an associate working with me on a programme of work to to help SME’s enter the public procurement process. Chambers such as this have existed for some time, which have always aimed to work on behalf of businesses and introduce businesses to each other. The opinion I had was always that they were staid, traditional organisations. However, I walked into their office and see a much fresher building.
Chambers of Commerce generally have quite high, up front joining fees, but they work on a number of issues affecting businesses in the UK. This includes policy issues on behalf of UK business that are important to their membership. The ratio of big business to SME is typically about 1:4 and Greater Manchester’s chamber is the largest in the UK with nearly 5,000 active members. That said, Manchester has see a number of other organisations spring up in this space, including Manchester Digital (@McrDig) and of course, the Federation of Small Businesses, which explicitly cater for small business across the UK.
What was interesting for me was the venue and the energy of the space. It was a place not too dissimilar to the more modern company offices we’ve worked with before. It’s good to see the Chamber keeping up with that representation. Especially in Manchester, with its high proportion of digital businesses. In addition, the environment caters to the charity and young entrepreneurs too, with a business lounge that can be used by its members.
What Are We Up To?
Not so fast! Suffice to say, discussions this morning We’re very positive. Watch this space :)
Ethar Alali (@EtharUK) is CxO and Chief EA at Axelisys, specialising in providing innovative agile enterprise advice to blue-chips and SMEs. Formed in 2011, Axelisys works with some of the biggest household names in the UK and across the world.