Cumbrian businesses are being given the chance to learn from established firms as part of a Family Business Placement Scheme.

Run by Cumbria Business Growth Hub, the aim of the scheme is to allow the firms to share their knowledge so it can be practically applied to a variety of business scenarios.

Lisa Smith, owner of Ginger Bakers based at Plumgarths, Kendal, signed up to the scheme earlier this year.

The first business Lisa worked with was The Chocolate Cottage, Grasmere, an artisan confectionary business owned Richard and Angela Barker.

They were paired up with Lisa by the Growth Hub because they specifically wanted to learn from a food business.

In particular, they wanted to learn how Lisa succeeded in scaling up her business, taking it from her home kitchen to a purpose built production facility.

Lisa also worked with Caroline Neil from RPS Partnership, based in Cockermouth, a specialist risk management and security consultancy that delivers training to businesses which operate in complex, remote and hostile environments.

They spent time comparing notes on business growth, development and cross sector opportunities; including contingency planning, risk mitigation, training and crisis management.

Lisa said: "It’s not easy for anyone wanting to turn a passion into a business.

"It may be the ultimate dream, but that dream doesn’t come easily.

"You have to work at it and inevitably there will be challenges along the way.

"Fortunately, in Cumbria small and medium sized businesses don’t have to go it alone.

"The Family Business Placement Scheme increases their chance of success with access to the business knowledge and guidance of experienced professionals, who like me have been through this cycle.’’

Caroline said: "The Family Business Placement Scheme is an unmissable chance to share issues and ideas, gain valuable insights, broaden skills, experience and understanding and develop ideas to help your business grow and be more competitive."

Other businesses sharing their knowledge as part of the scheme include Out of Eden, Thomas Graham, Playdale Playgrounds, Lakeland Retreats and Armstrong Watson.