It’s been a fabulous few months for FSB, writes Deborah Turner (pictured below), FSB Kent Area Leader.
We celebrated small businesses at our National Awards in May, thrilled that comedian John Culshaw could host.
Locally, we were delighted to be headline sponsors at Kent Vision Live. Many exhibitors and delegates commented that this year’s event was the best one yet - new contacts and deals were made, the quality of guest speakers and topics was wide and interesting and the general atmosphere was one of strength and positivity. It is always a fabulous event at which everyone benefits from sharing information, making new contacts and catching up with old ones.
FSB will also be hosting two Skills 30:30 sessions this June. These events are a practical way in which businesses can build a bridge with the education sector. We invite 30 businesses into a local school where they hear from the local authority or a relevant group such as the Careers and Enterprise Company. Meanwhile, 30 students are in another room having a workshop about the world of work. This may be, for instance, why Linked In is good for your career, or how to handle a work interview. We then all get together in the school hall or lecture theatre for speed networking. The events give students the chance to meet a wide range of business owners face to face. It is a very fun event, and I would urge you to get involved if you have the chance!
This July, I look forward to hosting a women in business Big Brunch at Buckmore Park on 3 July. We are lucky enough to have two excellent guest speakers – Jo Wimble-Groves and Fran Boorman, both of whom illustrate the quality and capability of women entrepreneurs.
It’s not all rosy though. Exhibitions and brunches aside, I am seeing a real struggle on the high street as big businesses close or move out, and smaller independents are left looking after a half empty street. FSB will continue to lobby nationally to help small businesses. Locally we will be talking to councils and would welcome your comments or experiences on this topic.
Do join in via Twitter @FSBKent and check our website for the full listing of FSB business events across the South East.