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New Leicestershire entrepreneurs advised to “Find your reason”

13 March 2024

An audience of new businesses and those thinking about taking the plunge came together yesterday at the Business Boost Start-Up event, organised by the LLEP Business Gateway Growth Hub.

The event held at Leicester Racecourse, aimed to provide information and signposting for new entrepreneurs and covered topics such as business planning, social media and finding the right finance.

Highlights included a talk from Barry Taylor, founder of Laugh Therapy who encouraged the audience to think about their reason for being, or what the Japanese call your Ikigai. Barry talked about how happiness, play and laughter are all key ingredients to success, for your life and business.

Another highlight was the life and business story of Sandra Wiggins, owner of Authentically Balanced® and Women on Boards®. In her own straight-talking style Sandra took the 60-strong audience on her rollercoaster journey from starting her career in the typing pool at British Rail Engineering, working in shipping (logistics), owning a pub, building a successful display print business and exiting last year.

Sandra also provided lessons she has learnt including reading the small print; knowing your worth; mindset is everything; surrounding yourself with the right people; it’s never too late to try something new and you can’t put a price on health and happiness.

Raj Raithatha of NBV Enterprise Solutions provided a comprehensive and informative session on business planning – why you need one and what it should include. There was also an enlightening talk from Gau Naik of Leicestershire Business Advice Service (LBAS) who ran through the different types of start-ups and what kind of finance or funding they might expect.

Sue Tilley, Head of Business, Innovation and Partnerships at the LLEP provided an update on the Business Gateway. She said: “It was wonderful to see people come in and start networking straight away. Setting up a business can be a hard process, but with the right connections you can often save alot of time and expense. I’d like to thank everyone who came and made the event such a success, including all our local support providers.

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Images copyright Beth Walsh Photography/LLEP Business Gateway Growth Hub. View all images.

Top right: Speakers at Business Boost l-r Barry Taylor, Laugh Therapy, Gau Naik, Leicestershire Business Advice Service, Sandra Wiggins, Authentically Balanced/ Women on Boards and Raj Raithatha of NBV Enterprise Solutions.


Sue Tilley welcomes the audience of new business owners.

woman in green shirt presenting

Barry Taylor, founder of Laugh Therapy takes the audience through a quick laughter exercise

man with beard with arms wide talking

Audience participation in laughter therapy exercise.

audience at an event standing up laughing