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Helping Henshaws support people living with sight loss and other disabilities

A case study with Nick Marr, Chief Executive at Henshaws – one of our clients for the Full-time MBA Not-for-Profit Consultancy Project. Henshaws is a charity that supports people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities.

“I’d had experiences of working with universities in the past with mixed results, but I’ve been thoroughly pleased with the work that students at Alliance Manchester Business School have done for us over the past four years”, says Nick Marr, chief executive at Henshaws.

The charity, which supports people with visual impairments through specialist further education, arts and crafts and community programmes, has provided a series of challenging briefs for Alliance MBS MBA students to tackle.

“Our aim is to set the bar high. Each brief that we put together demands a clear result which addresses a specific need for the charity. Over the years, we’ve worked with Alliance MBS to develop the briefs and make sure that they’re challenging, stimulating, relevant and achievable.”

Henshaws’ briefs have posed questions of students on both an academic and business level, with clear expectations laid out for the students. In previous years, the students have delivered in-depth research with specific outcomes, calculating return on investment for charity activities, quantifying opportunities in the digital online space, and developing internal tools which help to communicate projects to different stakeholders at the charity. 

“The last two consultancies have been very successful for Henshaws, and we’ve directly used results in fundraising presentations and when providing business cases to our stakeholders. One aspect we’re really keen on is that the students work as a team and show enthusiasm for the project. Each year, we could quite easily provide two or three scalable projects, and we’re confident that the students at Alliance MBS would be able to help us on them.”

Nick sees future possibilities to grow their involvement further with the Not-for-profit Consultancy Project, too.

“There is an opportunity to tap into the global reach and nature of the Alliance MBS MBA programme, to understand challenges, trends and markets from a global perspective. The consultancy helps to raise our understanding of our issues, opportunities and possible solutions.” 

He sums up the Henshaws experience of the consultancy thus far: “We expect the students to provide expertise and enthusiasm of the highest level, and to provide work that, in a professional capacity, we’d be prepared to pay for. So far, they’ve been ticking all those boxes.”

Do you work for a third sector organisation that could benefit from free-of-charge consultancy from high-calibre MBAs? Find out more here >>