Another Facet To Supporting Businesses
If you don’t know how to do something, you ask someone you know, who does know, right? That’s the principle behind Your Partnerships Academy, in a nutshell.

It’s a little more complex than that, obviously, but the energy behind it is the same as in everything Your Partnerships does – connecting people, to support local businesses to be the best they can.

The Academy was born from the idea that Your Partnerships is full of subject experts.

These people – you – get 30 seconds to give your pitch at networking events, but you could probably talk for a lot longer about the thing you specialise in, and some people would be interested in hearing it. There is a need for high-quality business training, to support business owners on their journeys, and Your Partnerships set up the Your Partnerships Academy to meet that need, to deliver quality training, on the subjects that are in demand. And, as ever with Your Partnerships, to offer another way for local business owners and decisionmakers to connect with each other.

Subject experts
Historically, training provision for business has been delivered by professional trainers, who have learned the subject matter, but the YP Academy turns that on its head, by teaching the experts how to deliver the training. The benefits of this approach are clear. The experts gain training skills, if they didn’t already have them. They get to showcase their expertise to a receptive audience, who may go on to become clients, or recommend clients to them. And the audience gets to hear high-quality, real world information about something they’re interested in. Oh, and network together around the talk, building more connections.

With EU finding drying up, many opportunities for business support will also have dried up by the end of 2023, leaving a real gap for potential entrepreneurs seeking to start their own businesses, and new businesses seeking to expand. Even people who have established businesses can find themselves needing to learn new skills.

What the YP Academy looks like
A separate organisation to Your Partnerships, but run with the same ethos and largely the same team, YPA began by hosting EU funded training for businesses, gauging the need in the marketplace, and road-testing mechanisms for setting up and running training. Face-to-face and online training were trialled, and exploring the best frequency for events, the content that engaged, and whether single- or multi- speaker events were most attractive. These, held in person, proved the most popular.
A leader was needed to take YPA forward, and Louise Ellis was the obvious choice.
With 20 years of experience in learning and development, and also with grant funding, she has both the skills and connections to make the Academy work. Louise is hosted at Saffron Academy, which is one of the partners in the YP Academy, along with Dynamo Training.

Louise is now reaching out to YP members with a double-headed ask:
  1. What do you want to learn about?
  2. What specialist expertise can you share?

The YP Academy is going to be very much driven by the needs of the members – as with the rest of YP – so speak up if you have needs in your business. Do you want to know more about becoming a limited company, how to ensure you’re compliant with everything that you should be, or how to write engaging web content? Do you need support with marketing, social media, or HR? Well, there’s a selection of people in YP who know about these things, and could lead a seminar about them (maybe with a bit of support).

Louise explains “we’re giving people in small businesses the expertise that only large businesses can afford”. Most SMEs can’t afford to have a Finance Director, an HR Director, a Compliance Manager, a Marketing Director, and so on. But they can afford to go to specific expert-led training, targeted at the needs they have in those areas, to enrich their businesses.

The training is going to be arranged thematically, with several related speakers across a day, or half a day. There will also be bite-size training, with just one or two speakers. The aim is to keep it affordable, so while there will be a small fee, a room that is full will help keep the cost down.
If you are interested in delivering training through YPA, your role is simply that – to deliver the training. Louise and the YPA team will handle the bookings and marketing side, and the venue on the day, and the profit from the training will be split between you, as the trainer, and the Academy as host.

Open to all
A core part of the YP Academy is also going to be bringing new people into the network. What YP offers is unique, in terms of the breadth of the organisations represented, and variety of different events at which people can connect. And with venues covering a growing swathe of the South of England, as well as an outlier in Leeds and several meetings a month online, the opportunity for growth is considerable. And that can only benefit existing members.

The people behind the YP Academy
Louise Ellis brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the field of business training, and a deep understanding of the intricacies and challenges that businesses face. Explaining her role, Louise says. “I’ve worked in various organisations, including colleges and large businesses, as a regional trainer, and managing extensive training projects. All this knowledge will help ensure the success of the Your Partnerships Academy, which in turn will ensure that businesses and employees are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the competitive business landscape.”

Claire Hall, Director of Saffron Academy, said “I am delighted to be partnering with Your Partnerships both through Saffron Academy’s Skills Lab project but also as a Your Partnerships Ambassador for Newquay. I am looking forward to watching the project grow, and helping local businesses develop the skills they need to thrive.”

Karl Smith, Business Development Manager at Dynamo Training said "Dynamo Training are delighted to be a sponsor member of YP and YP Academy and are very much looking forward to supporting businesses with key training. Dynamo Training understands what is required to provide industry-leading, accredited, and non-accredited training programmes that can help businesses and staff succeed. We utilise an array of learning platforms that allows us to deliver bespoke training courses that work for you. Our focus on investing in tutors and assessors who are experienced, ensures that all programmes are delivered to the highest of standards."

And Brock, of Your Partnerships, has the final word. As ever. He says “Your Partnerships has always been about helping business owners make connections to develop their businesses. Your Partnerships Academy is the next step in this, and is an excellent platform for businesses to share their expertise and grow their own profiles, and to equip other businesses, whether they’re YP members or not. We’re excited to see it develop!”
You can find out about the latest Your Partnerships Academy events at and book online.

by Hannah Danson of HD Words for Your Partnerships