How to grow business in Health sector?


Simon Bond

Category: Assisted Living Action Network, Events, SETsquared

Exciting NHS Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) Health Innovation and Enterprise programmes have now been successfully run three times for the West of England, Wessex and South West AHSN’s during this April and June 2015.


The theme of these new entrepreneurship programmes has been to give budding clinicians and innovators from the Health Service and associated communities ‘an experience’, over an extended 3 day period, of how to ‘own’ an idea and then to present a concept in a 5-minute pitch to a dragon’s den of potential investors; around 50 business ideas and businesses attended these three programmes including many leading clinicians from the NHS.


This collaborative NHS AHSN/SETsquared programme was led by Malcolm Lewis and Dr Lorna Collins with expert support from Alex Pidgley and involved the following stepping stones:-

 – Looking at both the personal and concept ‘blind spots’ for evolving a business idea,

 – Challenging the market, customer and consumer needs along with the pain/gain points of the customer for such a product or service,

 – Considering the appropriate corporate organisational vehicle to nurture the concept (i.e. Company, Community Interest Company (CIC), Charity or partnership)

 – Discovering and developing an appropriate business model that is a sustainable solution for the concept,

 – Projecting the business and financial success KPI’s including any possible funding required,

 – Distilling the whole business concept into an energised one page Strategic Business Plan,

 – Delivering a clear and passionate 5-minute presentation to a dragon’s den.

The standard of pitches and one-page plans delivered at the end of these programmes was excellent and showed that there was lots of potential being developed in the NHS, which when in collaboration with SETsquared, helped to sharpen those ideas into potentially commercial propositions.


Important advice for budding entrepreneurs wanting to develop their own and/or institutions ideas is for them to experience emotionally, and not just intellectually, the roller coaster journey of having a concepts taken apart and challenged along with being supported and repackaged into an energised and viable business model. Too often people believe their own hype and product/service story and regularly fail to really take account of the customers pain or gain points let along find an appropriate guide/NED to robustly and positively challenge the underlying assumptions and mind sets.

Written by Malcolm Lewis, Associate, SETsquared.