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Loughborough start-ups given top tips at networking event

20 October 2023

New and early-stage business owners in Loughborough were introduced to a host of organisations and support available, to help them grow in a free networking event yesterday. The Kick Off in Business event was held at the Careers and Enterprise Hub and organised by Jane Hunt MP for Loughborough.

A large variety of speakers covered topics including business structure, funding and finance, well-being and business planning.

Jane welcomed guests saying she was so enthusiastic about supporting small businesses and how it was important they thrived so everyone had the opportunities to thrive.

LLEP Business Gateway Growth Hub was represented by Sue Tilley, Head of Business, Innovation and Partnerships at the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

Sue talked about the free signposting service offered by the Business Gateway and briefly covered her own personal story in the textiles industry which she started at home, and over 17 years built to a £2.5m turnover.

She told the audience:

“There’s a range of support out there. We are the ‘know who’ and can make sense of what can be quite a complicated landscape for you. She added: “Little tiny things can grow into something really big and great, so it’s fantastic you are here.

“Don’t get disheartened, it’s hard but there is advice out there, and I wish there had been a Growth Hub when I was starting out.”

Other speakers included: Martin Hageman of Sir Thomas White Loan Charity who covered their interest-free loans for those aged 18 to 45. Lamide Johnson, Startup Operator at Loughborough University talked about action planning and the Business Model Canvas while Nick Wardle of fitness business, the Body Transformation Centre stressed the importance of health and wellbeing. Emma Sparks of Prince’s Trust shared her journey from being unemployed for three years to how a Prince’s Trust enterprise workshop changed her life. She was so impressed by the work of the Trust she later volunteered with them. Today she manages enterprise support provided by the Trust across the whole of Eastern England.

The session was hosted by Rajinder Bhuhi, Innovation and Acceleration Associate at Loughborough University.

If you need some guidance on what support might be relevant to your business complete an enquiry form today.

Images top right: Sue Tilley, LLEP

Bottom:  Speakers Nick Wardle, Lamide Johnson and Lewis Stringer.