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Business supportThe Alternative Board launches in South Manchester to support businesses during lockdown...

The Alternative Board launches in South Manchester to support businesses during lockdown and beyond

An experienced senior manager who led a multi-billion-pound operation is now offering his services to South Manchester businesses after launching The Alternative Board (South Manchester).

Mark Kane is launching The Alternative Board (South Manchester) in May to provide local businesses with management board-style support, advice and mentoring not normally available to independent SMEs and entrepreneurs.

Recognising that peer support can make a significant difference in ensuring that businesses continue to thrive through lockdown and beyond, The Alternative Board (South Manchester) will bring business owners and leaders of independently owned companies from non-competing sectors together in a group setting, similar to a board of directors, where they help each other to identify opportunities and solve challenges they each face in their own companies.

Prior to launching The Alternative Board (South Manchester), Mark worked in financial services for almost 20 years, principally as a senior manager in an investment management company, managing an ISA plan that was worth several billion pounds, and responsible for an investment helpdesk which administered investments for clients worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

He ran numerous operational teams of all sizes through periods of great change, achieved an Executive MBA through Keele University, served on the board of trustees of the company pension scheme as a company nominated trustee, and was the operational lead for an award winning online discretionary investment service.

Originally from Dublin, he moved to the UK in 2005 after meeting his wife, an NHS doctor. The couple have two girls and live in Cheshire.

Launching The Advisory Board (South Manchester) is a way of sharing his experiences and skills, he said.

“From talking to many other business owners, I know there are many leaders out there who are feeling isolated, anxious, and alone. I want to contribute and be a real help to owners and leaders who need a hand not only with their challenges, but also with the opportunities that will present themselves over time.

“This is a particularly difficult time for everyone but I have full faith in the support offered via TAB, in our process and what we can deliver.

“I am also hugely positive about the prospects for businesses in South Manchester. Businesses in the area will grow, develop and come out of this period much stronger.”

TAB works with independently owned businesses, with a turnover in excess of £500,000, that do not typically have a board of directors to provide advice, expertise, and accountability to company leadership. What TAB offers is an ‘alternative’ board of between 5 to 7 business owners from non-competing sectors who meet monthly (although in some cases that has been more often recently).

Mark explained: “At the meeting they each bring a topic relating to their business; perhaps ideas have dried up, or they need advice on what to focus on. We then spend time on each topic drawing on the huge amount of experience and knowledge around the table, or on the Zoom/Teams call.”

The Alternative Board (South Manchester) will work with South Manchester businesses who are eager to learn, who acknowledge that they do not have all the answers, who are open minded and also open to change. Board membership is not guaranteed, as Mark is keen to ensure that any new board member is willing to help others and that he/she is prepared to share their experiences and challenges.

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