Chief Executive

Enterprise First & Business South

Base: Home based with travel to office hubs in Southampton and Aldershot.

Hours: F/T envisioned but consideration will be given to alternative flexible working patterns.

Remuneration: £75,000 package to include pension and annual performance bonus.

28 days holiday plus bank holidays.


Business South is part of the Enterprise First Group of not for profit business support and business engagement organisations.

Business South

The Business South vision is to grow the economy of the South-East by:

Connecting business leaders

Articulating the business voice

Promoting the region to attract new talent, new businesses, and investment

Lobbying and influencing

Central to delivering its objectives is the Champion programme, a fee based membership group of leading private sector companies and public sector organisations.

Champion activities include participation in Action Groups, Round Table discussions, Directors Dinners, all supplemented by an active programme of conferences and events.

It is the leader in its field, and highly regarded for its ability to bring together senior decision makers for the benefit of local commerce and the regional economy. It is independent, non-political, and provides a collective voice.

Enterprise First

Enterprise First was established over 30 years ago to support those considering starting a business or growing a small business. It has delivered a number local start-up and networking programmes primarily in Hampshire and Surrey. It is also part of a national consortium delivering large start-up and business growth contracts for central government across the south-east. It provides access to finance via Virgin Start-Up and has strong relationships with banks and other funders.

It has won numerous awards for its delivery, and many clients have started and grown successful businesses. Currently we receive enquiries from approx. 1,000 potential clients pa.

Enterprise Centres

We manage four Enterprise Centres offering “easy-in easy-out” licence terms to a wide range of new and small businesses. These are located in Fareham, Liss, Portsmouth, and Southampton. The smallest has 12 units, the largest 96. Each Centre is operated through a separate limited company as most have a profit sharing arrangement with its landlords. Mentoring is available on-site to occupiers.


The organisation is almost unique in its breadth of business engagement, and the potential for future development. Whilst each of the three group activities are distinct, it is our intention to co-ordinate the group’s activities under the Business South brand. The new Chief Executive will be responsible for all the group’s activities, but will be expected to prioritise the growth and development of Business South.

Key Responsibilities

Develop a strategy and business plan with the Chairman and the Board

Successful delivery of an agreed business plan

Leading and supporting the management team

Explore and develop new business opportunities

Ensuring external contract delivery meets or exceeds targets

Build and maintain strong relationships with external stakeholders

Lead and represent the company at internal and external events

Regular reporting to the Board on all aspects of the business

Key Competencies

1) Strategic Thinking

Strong understanding of a changing environment and market needs

Anticipates new opportunities before they become obvious

Sets the future direction of the business with a clear vision

2) Achieving Commercial Outcomes

Has an Entrepreneurial attitude and mindset

Proactively seeks new and innovative business models to optimise revenue

Ability to link up different group services and customer groups to maximize added value

Demonstrates sound and prudent financial control and budgeting

3) Communicating with Others

Effective public speaking

Comfortable interacting with people of all backgrounds

Shows clear and effective written and spoken communication

4) Collaborating and Partnering

Able to build and maintain a high personal public profile

Effectively builds relationships with all stakeholders

Collaborates with partners to mutual benefit

5) Leading and Developing

Actively manages own personal development

Effectively supports all aspects of management team

Able to motivate, and engage staff in decision making

Promotes a learning culture across the organisation

Helps others adapt to change and innovate

6) Making Effective Decisions and Delivery at Pace

Prepared to make decisions within appropriate timescales

Able to balance speed and accuracy and learns from mistakes

Sets the culture for quick and effective responses in the organisation and leads by own example

7) Planning and Organising

Effective with own use of time and prioritises appropriately

Effective business and project planning

Seeks new ways of working and actively promotes them (eg Digital)


A sound understanding of the needs of business and how to effectively engage with them
Collaboration with a wide range of business facing organisations
Good knowledge of the regional economy
Evidence of initiating and developing new business facing ventures
Leadership and development of a small management team
Excellent digital and communication skills
Budgeting and financial management responsibilities

To Apply

Please forward CV with a covering letter to:

[email protected]

The closing date for applications is 30 January 2019

A final selection interview will be held on 13 February 2019 in Winchester.

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