Do you work in a family business? Don’t miss this chance to learn from some of the county’s most successful enterprises.

The Family Business Placement Scheme, run by Cumbria Business Growth Hub, allows staff from SME family businesses to spend time working in other businesses.

It enables them to swap ideas, share best practice and, potentially, explore ways they can collaborate.                                                                        

More than 30 businesses have expressed interest since the scheme’s launch earlier this year and 16 have completed placements so far.

Watch this video to see what happened when Chocolate Cottage, of Grasmere, spent the day with Ginger Bakers in Kendal:

The invitation is open to staff from SME family businesses, defined as those with fewer than 250 employees where two or more members of the same family are involved in the running of the business.

Those taking up the placements need not necessarily be family members and could be current or next-generation managers. Host businesses can be of any size and don’t need to be another family business.

The scheme is extremely flexible.

Placements can be a day or longer, whatever the businesses agree between themselves.

To find out more, call Michelle Wiggins at Cumbria Business Growth Hub on 0844 257 84 50 or email michelle@cumbriachamber.co.uk

Participants to date include Armstrong Watson, Barn 61, Cranstons, CJ City Properties, Construction Risk Consultants, Chocolate Cottage, Ginger Bakers, Lakeland Retreats, Link Recruitment, Longthwaite House, Out of Eden, Playdale, RPS Partnership, Thomas Graham and TSP Engineering.

Phill Heartwell, digital marketing manager at Out of Eden, a hospitality supplies business at Kirkby Stephen, spent time with Thomas Graham, the steel stockholder in Carlisle, to find out how they approach catalogue production.

Phill said: “The information provided was very detailed and helped me a great deal in understanding their processes. 

"I would highly recommend any family run business take the time to register for this scheme.

“The chance to get in touch with other Cumbrian businesses and pick their brains about how they approach business is a chance not to be missed.

“I plan to continue using this scheme to get in touch with other businesses to expand my knowledge of best practice and extend my network of contacts.”

Rob Johnston, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the lead partner in the Growth Hub, believes many more businesses could benefit.

He said: “It’s a great opportunity to find out how other businesses do what they do and gain useful insights to take back into your own business.

“You could choose to visit a business similar to your own or take a look from a completely different perspective in another sector. Two family businesses can choose to do a swap if they wish and visit each other.

“Visitors can look at a whole range of things – across the business or focusing on a particular topic.

“It’s not only the placement that benefits. The host business also gains from this cross-pollination of ideas. It’s a win-win.”