Thurrock-based business MB-HS Group has recently completed a Knowledge Thurrock Innovation Associates (KTIA) project to help increase sales and promote carbon reduction. The project involved Innovation Associate Jess Brown identifying and researching a new range of products for MB-HS Ltd to retail online which fit criteria specified by Managing Director Andrew McCormack.
The new range of 20 products had to be simple to use, cost under £250 and could help small businesses to decrease their carbon footprint. Products such as an electrical usage monitor and a solar backpack were identified and are being used to create a website which shows businesses these solutions in an easy-to-understand way.
Andrew hopes that future development of the website will help foster a cross-sector community of small and medium sized business owners who are serious about environmental concerns.
The project was very successful with Andrew gaining everything he had hoped for, he explains “the student’s work was first class, it is good business ethic to meet your promises and Jess met all of hers. I will continue to develop the website and hopefully in the future I will be able to expand to the best 50 or 100 green products. Hopefully we will be able to generate some media interest as there are a lot of publications who use best 20 lists for gadgets or destinations but not the best green products”.
Richard Snell, KTIA Project Delivery Manager said “I am really pleased that we’ve been able to partner with Andrew’s business to help grow new revenue streams and promote carbon reduction. In addition, Jess, the Innovation Associate now has demonstrable proof of her skills to show future employers when she graduates next year.”
KTIA was created to help small and medium sized businesses improve their business processes and overall profitability. They have created a variety of business engagement activities, including workshops on carbon foot printing, social media and marketing strategy; launched a social media twitter page and maintained a blog spot; held monthly networking meetings; and is working in partnership with Business Link, the FSB and other local business support groups to deliver solutions and encourage competitiveness and innovation.
KTIA is supported by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Solutions for Business programme. Academic partner organisations include the University of East London, Anglia Ruskin University and South Essex College of Further and Higher Education.
KTIA has been successful as a small number of businesses have engaged with the project; further growth is expected as the project branches out from Thurrock to neighbouring boroughs Basildon and Castle Point.