Blackburn and Darwen Hive Ambassadors Network

Lancaster Masterclass – Innocent

Supported by Hive and NatWest, and organised by Lancaster University, the latest of the Lancashire Forum Masterclass series of events taking place in Blackburn went down a storm earlier this month.

Joe McEwan, Head of Brand from innocent, delivered an inspiring Masterclass ‘From start up to mega-brand’ to an enthusiastic SME audience at Blakeys Café in Blackburn.

He offered insight into how innocent has come to be regarded as one of the greatest start-up businesses in the last decade.

Joe said: “There’s no right way to build a brand, but at innocent we’ve probably got things more right than wrong over the last 18 years, and we’ve succeeded in creating a genuine, thriving two-way relationship with our drinkers. It’s been one heck of a journey and it’s been wonderful to share some of the things we’ve learned along the way.”

Matt Hutchinson, Programme Manager for Lancashire Forum at Lancaster University, said: “It’s fantastic to work closely with Joe who is Lancaster University Alumni. He was keen to share his perspectives as someone who has first-hand experience of a small start-up business doing things right and growing exponentially as a result.

The event was arranged as part of Lancashire Forum, a Lancaster University business growth initiative which is fully-funded for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) eligible SMEs. The six-month programme, which forms part of Boost; Lancashire’s business growth hub; brings together like-minded directors and managers of SMEs from around the county and provides them with the tools and networks to stimulate self-development and business growth.

Drawing on key elements of Lancaster University Management School’s research, Lancashire Forum provides opportunities for participants to network with peers from a wide range of sectors, enabling them to learn from each other and inspire confidence to make positive changes to their enterprises.

The next cohort of Lancashire Forum begins in March 2018. To find out more about eligibility or to apply, contact Jane Hunter, Business Liaison Officer at Lancaster University on 01524 93632 or