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LDA Announces Grand Extension to SME Seminars


The London Development Agency (LDA) is extending its programme of free support and advice seminars so more of the capital’s small and medium sized businesses can benefit.

In the last year, the LDA has brought high profile organisations such as KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte and Ernst & Young together to provide expert advice to more than 1000 SMEs to help them through the economic downturn.

Advisors from these firms have encouraged SMEs to consider new strategies for success by leading discussions on topics such as identifying alternative sources of finance, expanding a business through effective human resource management and successfully tendering for public sector contracts.

They have also given small business owners the chance to share their experiences and meet other entrepreneurs who are facing the same challenges.

The seminars were introduced by the LDA as part of the Mayor of London’s Economic Recovery Action Plan, announced in December 2008, and were aimed at providing immediate support to businesses.

Last week, PwC hosted the last seminar for 2009 but due to the popularity of the events held over the last year, a new series is now being planned for early 2010.

Director of Business, Jobs and International Promotion at the London Development Agency Audrey Slade said:

“Small and medium sized businesses are vital to London’s economy and the LDA recognises that they are operating in a challenging environment. For this reason, we are pleased to be bringing our partners in the private sector together so they can share their expertise. The valuable advice they offer will give London’s SMEs a boost.”

The LDA and its partners have so far hosted 11 seminars and many small business owners are now in the process of acting on the advice they received.

Octavia IT Services Chief Executive Officer Giles Sirett attended one of the seminars. The London Bridge based company provides outsourced IT Management and IT support to a wide range of businesses and is implementing some of the strategies outlined by industry experts. “This seminar gave us some really solid guidance in the area of cash management. As a business, we have traditionally focused purely on service-excellence and profitability - cash has never been a concern. However, increasing financial pressure on our customers means we now need an effective cash-management strategy. The advice I received from this seminar showed me that this is something that must be adopted, culturally, across the entire organisation,” he said.

Support for small and medium sized businesses is also available through the LDA’s Keeping London Working guide and it can be downloaded from the London Development Agency website.

It gives people access to the information they need to find a job, improve their skills or expand their business.

Advice is also available through Business Link in London


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