This year we have worked with The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, the Chambers of Commerce for Shropshire and Herefordshire & Worcestershire and Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire local authorities to help to develop and deliver two business-focused events. ‘The Business Event 2017’ debuted at the International Centre in Telford on May 11, then ran again at Hereford Racecourse on June 13.
The Telford event kicked off with a well-attended express networking breakfast, hosted jointly by ourselves and Shropshire Chamber of Commerce. Two hours of intense networking was followed by speakers who were all home-grown entrepreneurs. Businesswoman Deborah Mitchell explained how she expanded her £33m turnover business by exporting to growing markets in Japan, China and Dubai. Attendees also heard from beauty guru and innovator Deborah Mitchell of Heaven Skincare, plus social media expert and author Teresa Heath-Wareing and digital media entrepreneur Tim Luft.
Similarly, the Herefordshire event featured an impressive line-up of local business talent. They included John Jones, a partner in the long established and family owned Hereford department store Philip Morris & Sons. Nick van der Walle, founder and managing director of Astute Graphics, explained how he built his Herefordshire-based company by working with global brands.
The events attracted hundreds of visitors and a broad range of exhibitors from local business support organisations – including FSB. They provided opportunities to engage with local contacts – existing and new – and to promote the benefits of our new membership categories and member services.
Ray Hickinbottom, FSB Shropshire and Regional Chairman, summed up the events by saying: “We were delighted to work closely with the LEP and the Chambers to help to develop and deliver these events. The tremendous feedback we received during and after each one, suggests that we achieved our joint aim of delivering two, high quality events that benefitted local businesses from every sector, no matter what their size.