Run by Newcastle University Business School, the scheme will see large organisations help small companies grow and develop their business.
The Captured scheme has received the backing of some of the region’s largest companies including tech specialist sage, engineering giant Siemens and automotive component supplier Calsonic Kansei.
GSK is the latest heavyweight to sign up and three of its most experienced staff are assisting a host of North East small firms.
Quality director Simon Forsyth is currently supporting Elizabeth Scott, the owner manager of Durham-based counselling and life coaching specialist Rainbows End Coaching.
As well as receiving regular, ongoing advice from Simon, Elizabeth has also been on site at GSK to learn about the company’s processes and discover how they could be applied to her coaching.
Wear Valley Recruitment is also working with GSK, benefitting from the advice of HR business lead Polly Lerner.
Finally, technical director of GSK Brendan Fish is working with Barnard Castle-based Jo Long Consulting, helping to refine its business strategy and offer time management advice.
Polly Lerner said: “The programme has given us the chance to get out of the daily routine and think and reflect, both on the efficacy of GSK’s business processes and on the skills and experience gained through working in a different environment.
“There are significant advantages in learning how small businesses work and behave and then seeing how these traits can be applied back in our workplace.”
Captured gives small firms the opportunity to spend time developing their business with hands-on support from experienced managers from larger private sector organisations.
It was launched after Newcastle University Business School secured funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to pilot the project in the North East.
Dr Fiona Whitehurst, Captured project lead at Newcastle University Business School, said: “Captured acts as a catalyst for small business owners to develop their leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
“The idea behind the programme is to give small firms the tools and confidence to develop new, profitable ways of growing their business. This will enable them to create jobs and wealth for the local economy."