Bringing an understanding of small businesses to LEP Board
In a series on our Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board members, we talk to them about their hopes for the way forward for the Sheffield City Region, and what they believe and hope they can contribute to its vision and strategy.
ALEXA GREAVES is Chief Executive Officer of AAG, a £5million IT services provider based in Barlborough, just off Junction 30 of the M1.
A former City banker, she developed AAG from a start-up business, transforming it from a traditional IT reseller to an award-winning IT support and technology partner. This has given her a well-rounded understanding of the challenges and opportunities a start-up business faces, and the route a business needs to take if it is to make the step change from start-up to the wider horizons of a major player.
“I want to bring this small business understanding to the LEP Board. From the perspective of a small enterprise, business support is critical – probably more important than grants. Many businesses start well but when they reach the five-year stage they suddenly struggle. Communicating what’s available is vital.
“The idea of joining the Board appealed to me because it allows me to promote the importance of supporting local businesses.
“As a company we go in to our clients to understand the challenges they are facing – and I believe the LEP Board should be working closely with businesses to get that insight.”
Working in the male-dominated environments of banking and IT, Alexa also believes in promoting the skillsets of women to attract more females into these worlds. She is an advocate of mentoring, and believes AAG has succeeded through having a team inspired and nurtured to perform to the best of their ability.
“I believe the role of the LEP is vital in developing this area and promoting its strength both locally and nationally in order to maximise its true potential.
“The opportunities available in higher education in this area attract strong talent but this talent is often lost, either straight after people graduate or shortly after.
“It is this region’s duty to provide the opportunity and desire to remain by building and sustaining a strong economic growth. Talent retention can only be achieved by fulfilling the vision the LEP has to deliver a bigger and stronger private sector.”