The Norfolk Chambers of Commerce
The Norfolk Chambers of Commerce is a not-for-profit business membership organisation which facilitates networking opportunities and the sharing of knowledge, offers business services and advice, and also signposts to business opportunities. Between April and September 2021, the Hub Internship Team participated in three separate projects with the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce.
Phase one required the Internship Team to complete a research project in order to gain insight into the Chambers’ membership base and the degree of membership engagement. Specifically, the research pertained to who their members are, what industries they belong to, where in the area they are based, in which sectors membership growth should be focussed and to what degree current members are engaging with the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce’s services.
Following analysis of the data, the internship team produced a report to summarise their findings. This summary provided a statistical and visual breakdown of membership distribution throughout the region, a statistical breakdown of the sectors represented by the membership base and a statistical breakdown of engagement by region/sector. The report also consisted of recommendations to increase both membership growth and membership engagement.
Being able to be a part of a big organisation and see how it operates from the inside was fascinating. I wasn’t aware Norfolk had such a diverse family of businesses and companies so the project enabled me to educate myself on this and gain great insight on the economic situation in the region.”
- Eva Leharova, Gateway to Growth Intern
Phase two required the interns to help create and edit a series of podcasts. These podcasts will feature on “Norfolk’s Voice”- the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce’s own digital platform which hosts videos, podcasts and articles enabling sharing and enrichment of the business community with vital knowledge, news and stories.
In total, a series of eight podcasts were edited by the team. The collection of podcasts featured conversations between Norfolk Chambers of Commerce employees and members of the Norfolk business community. A variety of topics were covered during the series including sustainability and recruitment. The interns themselves appeared in one podcast episode to discuss their experiences as recent graduates and to promote the Gateway to Growth programme.
We edited interviews to process into episodes for the podcast. It was a really great way to work on skills doing something I don’t usually do. I really enjoyed not only the therapeutic process of editing the sound recordings but also getting to hear all of the insights from the podcast’s guests.”
- Alfie Botelho, Gateway to Growth Intern
Phase 3 required the interns to conduct a second research project, this time with the Chambers of Commerce’s International Department. The purpose of this research was to identify the large and medium-scale manufacturers, importers and exporters in Norfolk. This will inform the Chambers’ outreach strategy when promoting services to current and potential clients in the area.
The team produced a database of over 300 manufacturing businesses in the area and included information pertaining to the organisations’ areas of expertise, location, contact details and degree of engagement. The database also shed light on the types of services used in the past and data on import/export activity where possible.
David was a fantastic mentor for this project, making sure that we had all the resources we needed and making us feel valued. It was also a really great opportunity to put my research and analytical skills to good use and create something that would genuinely be of value to someone else!”
- Sophie Bitten, Gateway to Growth Intern
We are always looking to innovate and give our members the loudest voice. When we decided to create our own Norfolk Chambers Podcast, we were starting from scratch with no experience of editing or recording.
From the very first meeting with our UEA interns, we immediately felt that our new venture was in excellent hands. Zara and Alfie were professional, enthusiastic and eager to get the project going.
They enabled us to create our podcast series with expert editing and in the process, they switched roles and taught us how to use the software.”
- Haze Carver, Digital Account Manager, Norfolk Chambers of Commerce
Norfolk Chambers needed to clearly understand the international trade marketplace in Norfolk. We turned to the UEA Internship team to help us define the demand from the Norfolk business community. The UEA team helped us to identify the large and medium scale manufacturers, importers, and exporters in Norfolk, which helped us to define and target our international trade outreach strategy.”
- David Cowan, International Declarations Manager, Norfolk Chambers of Commerce