“Being listed in the SFEDI Directory is a badge of honour, a credibility requirement that lets us show we’re up to speed with what’s going on, we know how to do it and we do it well.”
The SFEDI Directory, as you probably know by now, is a national register of SFEDI accredited business and enterprise support professionals. It exists to enable businesses to check the credentials of support professionals whose services they’re thinking of accessing. For some years, the SFEDI Directory was in a dormant state, but now it’s back, bigger and better than ever before. We caught up with one user who told us why this can only be good news for the country’s entrepreneurial communities.
Since the recent relaunch of the SFEDI Directory, we’ve been receiving excellent feedback on the revived catalogue of professionals. People providing valuable business and enterprise support services are expressing their appreciation that they can once again set themselves apart from non-accredited providers and bring their quality offering to a wider clientele.
Adrian Shaw is Business Services Manager of Economic Development at East Riding of Yorkshire Council. In essence, he heads up an enterprise agency governed by a local authority structure, which is why where it trades it must be accredited to those industry structures that are usually more akin to enterprise agencies.
We asked Adrian why it’s important that both services he and his team provide and those they signpost clients to should be accredited by SFEDI and appear in the SFEDI Directory. He said:
“Day to day we give business support to new business but most people wouldn’t go to the local authority for business advice. That’s why it’s so important that we can say we are accredited business advisors; that we know what we’re doing and in addition to having business experience, we’re affiliated with SFEDI, an external body that proves we know what we’re taking about and we can properly structure our delivery. Being listed in the SFEDI Directory is a badge of honour, a credibility requirement that lets us show we’re up to speed with what’s going on, we know how to operate and we do it well.”
The SFEDI Directory is packed with business support providers covering everything from training and coaching to mentoring and consulting services. Adrian’s service has a broader remit, both in terms of the businesses it works with and the services it delivers to them, as he explains:
“The business support we provide can cover almost anything. Because we’re a local authority, we work with every business, from hairdressers through to multi-nationals arriving in our area. We have a very wide spectrum of activity.
A large proportion of our work is concerned with business start-ups, new companies growing and taking people on and offering apprenticeships. We can provide support as specific as a company requires us to.”
Despite the temporary lull in the SFEDI Directory’s presence, Adrian and his team didn’t let their connection to the organisation break, recognising that the SFEDI brand has been, and always will be, synonymous with high quality business support:
“We’ve always maintained our SFEDI membership and we’re happy to see the SFEDI Directory coming back in its online form, as something to meet the needs of the modern world of business and enterprise support.”
Ultimately, the SFEDI Directory exists for entrepreneurs; for those business people who need to know they’re accessing the very best support, advice and expertise available. If you would like to find out more about becoming SFEDI accredited and having your service(s) listed on the SFEDI Directory, or you’d like to become a SFEDI Directory user, visit www.sfedi.org.uk