Workshops to help SMEs identify their next innovation are being staged in Cumbria.

The Coaching for Innovation mini-series has been organised by Cumbria Innovations Platform and The Harrison Network.

The workshops aim to help find creative solutions, while designing and testing ideas, and will look at the need for continual innovation to keep a business moving forward.

The first workshop on November 14, at the People First Conference Centre in Carlisle, will look at the challenges faced by a businesses from the customer’s point of view, and examine the competition.

It will be driven by the needs of individual delegates and the end result will be a “problem statement” to take to the second workshop on December 12, where ideas to solve problems will be explored and ways of unlocking creativity will be discussed.

Each delegate will come away with at least one innovative solution to test.

The third workshop on January 16 will follow up the process and examine what worked and what didn’t.

Sarah Allison, Cumbria Innovations Platform project manager, said: “We want to give small businesses the opportunity to see how they can stay ahead of the competition by continuously innovating.

“These workshops are designed to create step change in approach to innovation and a network of people with the will, ability and relationships to support one another into the future."

One-to-one coaching sessions will also be offered to support SMEs while they innovate.