Top female entrepreneur inspires Rebecca Bonnington to brew up training plan for Scotland’s time-poor small business leaders

She’s an expert in coaching high achieving executives and ambitious entrepreneurs on how to become better leaders, create high performing teams and grow their business.

But a conversation with Edinburgh-based lawyer-turned-tea-entrepreneur Erica Moore ( inspired Rebecca Bonnington to brew up an intensive programme aimed at Scotland’s SME and family-run firms by condensing international coaching group Shirlaws unique business frameworks into six intensive sessions.

Rebecca Bonnington, a partner with Shirlaws, explains: “I first met Erica while delivering workshops as part of the CRUX knowledge sharing programme in Edinburgh. This is a collaboration between Shoal, Skyscanner and Shirlaws to advise 50 ambitious start-ups and small businesses on how to accelerate growth by learning from Scotland’s best business minds.

“I always tell my audience to feel free to pick my brains over a cuppa and Erica was the first to phone and make a date. During our conversation – over a cup of second flush Darjeeling tea, of course (!)  – it became obvious that eteaket had reached that classic ‘tipping point’. Erica’s business is highly successful, but she knew she needed something extra to help her jump to the next stage.

“Shirlaws business frameworks are ideal in this situation, the price and time commitment are obstacles for smaller SMEs though. It was then that I had a lightbulb moment and realised that I could still offer the framework but in a group scenario rather than one-to-one coaching.”

Erica Moore adds: “Without a doubt CRUX is a great programme, but it’s very much geared towards start-ups and fast-growing businesses particularly in the tech sector. Companies like eteaket, which has been trading successfully for 10 years, grow more organically and need a different framework to scale up.

“Businesses like mine have a clear vision of where they are, where they want to go and what they want to achieve, but are struggling to identify that next step. My conversation with Rebecca focused on the need to develop a roadmap for businesses occupying this middle ground.”

The rest is history and Bonnington will roll out the CIRCLE Programme to 15 ambitious business owners and decision makers in Edinburgh this Spring, starting on May 17.

The beauty of the programme is that it’s contained within a series of six intensive and interactive half-day sessions, making it a perfect fit for business owners who want to grow their organisations but are struggling to carve out the time or money needed for leadership development training.

Participants will not only learn about the Shirlaws frameworks, they will also be guided in implementing these into their businesses.

Rebecca Bonnington continued: “While you’re busy focusing on bringing in sales and managing an ever-expanding team, you barely have time to make yourself a cup of tea or have enough funds to put yourself through the latest leadership development programme (both of which are probably on your to do list).

“The CIRCLE Programme has been designed by Shirlaws with the needs of such business owners in mind. The work we do makes a huge difference in a very short space of time to businesses and business owners. We know this because we’ve been working with SME and private enterprise businesses for 20 years now. Using our tried and tested models and frameworks, we help grow your business, whilst successfully giving you access to more money, more time and less stress.

“We would now like to share this incredible knowledge through our CIRCLE Programme with smaller businesses who are ambitious to grow and want to use the Shirlaws frameworks to create strong, sustainable businesses.

“I don’t want to work with anyone who is interested in a fast buck, I work only with clients who work hard and want to build something sustainable and of quality. If your business is above £1.5m turnover then you’ll be able to work with me one-to-one on your business. If it’s below that, the CIRCLE Programme is designed especially for you.”

There are still a few places available to join the CIRCLE Programme. Contact Rebecca Bonnington on 07734 934084 or for more details.

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