Business innovation or imitation, management training grants available & Levi Roots interview

£20m management training fund unveiled to help small business 
The Skills Minister John Hayes has called on senior leaders in SMEs to take advantage of funding that will support leadership and management training to help them grow their businesses.Business Matters reports that a

round 13,000 small and medium sized businesses and social enterprises that demonstrate a potential for growth will benefit from the new Leadership and Management development grant.

‘Is business success really all about innovation? Imitation can be just as important’ Innovation, we are constantly told, is the lifeblood of business. Would-be entrepreneurs, in particular, are seen as innovators – seeking to gain an advantage over established players through coming up with new ideas for products or services, or at least new ways of producing or providing them. However, The Independent looks at management consultant Oded Shenkar’s new book Copycats as Shenka
r dispels the myth that businesses constantly have to innovate. He points to the fact that American companies are far better at development than their British and European competitors. He dopes however say that Ryanair is the one company which proves this wrong with their business model based on Southwest Airlines done better.

Families ‘£910 worse off this year’, The Centre of Economic & Business Research findings have been published by the BBC and they find that consumers will have less to spend as inflation and costs eat into wages. The report claims that the average family will be £910 worse off this year as they face the biggest peace-time squeeze on their finances since 1921. The BBC also highlights that several retailers have recently reported tough conditions on the High Street in 2011 as consumers remain cautious, with HMV andDixons Retail, owner of Currys and PC World all reporting disappointing profits.

Levi Roots has picked up many monikers over the past four years. He’s the ‘Dragon-slayer’, a ‘one-man brand’, a true Rastaman. He’s the man behind Reggae Reggae Sauce, a hot condiment hailing from the West Indies, made according to a secret family recipe passed down from Roots’ grandmother.

His sauce also managed to out-sell Heinz Tomato Ketchup in Sainbury’s stores the week it launched across the supermarket chain. Not bad for a sauce that found its first fans at the annual Notting Hill Carnival.

Here, in this exclusive video interview, recorded for SMARTA, Levi shares his branding secrets, his plans for the future, his working relationship with Dragon Peter Jones and the importance of being true to yourself in business. He also explains why he’ll never stop attending the carnival that first brought his brand to market.

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