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NPA Enterprise & Employability Launch Event Making the most from Networking. Objectives. To provide some practical hints and tips on how to establish effective business networks from within your local community to support learning and development of your learners.

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Npa enterprise employability launch event making the most from networking

NPA Enterprise & Employability

Launch Event

Making the most from Networking


  • To provide some practical hints and tips on how to establish effective business networks from within your local community to support learning and development of your learners.

  • Help you Identify what Business & Enterprise support you may need.

  • Identify which businesses can offer you the best support solutions.

  • Give you guidance on what business networks exist for you to tap into and how to develop effective networks which can allow access to greater business involvement.

  • What do you do next?

Identifying needs
Identifying needs

  • What business networking do you have at present?

  • Who do you collaborate with?

  • Do you measure its effectiveness?

  • Have you identified from your course program what type of support your school or college needs to enhance students learning?

  • Do you target businesses that can offer specialised skills e.g. interview techniques, graphic design, marketing, retail, customer service?

  • What types of businesses would you like to be in partnership or collaborate with that can offer something different?

Identify a support network
Identify a support network

  • Do you have a database of businesses that support you at present?

  • Do you use your Parents Council or other internal support body to help recruit businesses?

  • Do you have parents of your students with skills or businesses that can help?

  • Have you established what a business would gain from working with you and your students? E.g. new recruits, social responsibility, product development, consumer research?

  • Do you have success stories to get in your local paper that may help demonstrate the benefits to a business?

  • Are there local training organisations that can supplement learning?

Effective business networks
Effective Business Networks

  • The majority of SME businesses in Scotland rely heavily on effective business networking.

  • In business , people buy people first, then services second, thus networking is an established and proven way of doing business.

  • This is often their greatest source of business.

  • You choose who you want to work with.

  • Are you members of any networking organisation?

  • If you are how effective is it for you?

  • If you want to meet business people then you need to do this in a business arena. Businesses may not have access or get exposure to education thus you need to go to them.

How to find business networks
How to find Business Networks

  • Do you have established links with your local Business Gateway provider? This link will help you find the one for your area.

  • Chamber of Commerce - Most Chambers meet at least monthly.

  • Parents Council – can they help you get introduced to business partners?

  • Finding networking events in your area – This organisation have numerous events listed for your area which could get you access to relevant business people.

  • Existing parents – do you know or are they involved in business networking?

  • Scottish Enterprise - . They list all the business sectors which can help you potentially identify businesses that could offer you and your students value

How to find business networks1
How to find Business Networks

  • Networking organisations: BNI – Business Networking International ,

  • 4Networking - UK business network organisation.

  • Federation of Small Businesses – represents the views of over 20,000 members throughout Scotland.

  • Business Club Scotland -

  • Association of Scottish Businesswomen -

How to find business networks2
How to find Business Networks

  • Your existing business / collaborative partners – can they introduce you to their network?

  • Local Authority Partners – does your local authority have good business links that would allow these to be explored further by you?

  • Authority Placement Officers – they will have a host of businesses they work with and have developed employment relationships with that could be explored further.

  • This can prove invaluable particularly if it is a specialist area of support that you require.

  • External Training Providers – they will have good links to businesses and may well have well be able to support you also.

Exploring your networking opportunity
Exploring your networking opportunity.

  • Getting access to businesses and networks is only one part of the process.

  • You will have to realise the potential they have for you.

  • You will need to identify how they can help you.

  • You will need to help them understand how they can support Enterprise in Education.

  • You will need to help them understand “what do they get from the support we give”?

  • The majority of businesses genuinely want to help in some way, however are often unclear on how.

Examples of some best practice
Examples of some Best practice

  • Cumbernauld College – BNI

  • Enterprise project in Aberdeenshire

  • SPS Leadership program in Falkirk

  • Retail Skills for Work – Grangemouth

  • Personal Statements – Tesco

  • Product design for food industry – Sainsbury

  • Graphic designers being used in Aberdeenshire schools.

  • Fraser Doherty - Edinburgh

What s next
What’s next

  • Who owns the business network process for you?

  • Evaluate where you are at present.

  • Identify your needs for the next 3 years.

  • Look at businesses who have worked with you in the past for support.

  • Target businesses or key people who can help you.

  • Identify skills of parents and people currently associated with your school or college.

  • Clearly identify “what is in it “ for businesses to support you. Use previous success stories to support this.

  • Identify local business networking opportunities.

  • Develop a collaborative strategy that supports the learning & development of students which gives businesses the opportunity to “give something back” to society. This will tick the social responsibility box for businesses


  • Engaging with Employers to support the learning and development of our young people is critical to achieving continued success.

  • Education needs to become more creative at how it uses its local business resources more effectively, thus benefiting long term learning.

  • Many employers are willing to support Education however are unsure on how to help or what is required.

  • Students enjoy working with people from outside education as it gives them breadth of learning.

  • Businesses can help students make a successful transition from education to the world of work.

  • Effective business networking and how to get the best from it, is a proven way of developing learning for students, education providers and businesses themselves.

Thank you questions

Thank you.

Questions ?