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The value of attending conferences and networking

22nd December, 2015 No Comments


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The end of November brought us the National Enterprise Network conference and awards, the enterprise support event of the year – an opportunity for all those involved in delivering support to people thinking about starting or already running a business to come together, to learn about the landscape in which they’re working, to share best practise and to network with others doing the same work.

This put me in mind of the importance of continuous professional development and networking – not something that many people starting up perhaps give that much consideration to – but something which is really vital if you want your businesses to do well.

If you’re in a trade or profession that requires specific qualifications or ongoing learning and development then you’ll be used to going along to conferences and other training opportunities in order to keep yourself up to date and perhaps to ensure you maintain your accreditation – but what about the rest of us?

It’s perhaps easy to think it’s not that important, doing the work brings in the money so that’s what we concentrate on; that there isn’t the time to fit it in as well as doing all the other things the business needs; or that the costs involved (not just the fees to attend, but the fact you won’t be earning anything that day either) make it prohibitive!

So that’s all the negatives out of the way, what about the positives?

There is no doubt that when you take yourself out of the business even for just a short time, you will get a different perspective on things and this can be incredibly important for you and for the business.  Running your own business can become all-encompassing and sometimes it can be incredibly beneficial to take a bit of time out just to see the wood for the trees.

Attending training where you’re going to learn something about how you might run your business better can’t possibly harm you or your business either, you might be very eager to go to training that is more about the technical aspects of the work you do – but what about the skills relating to making you and your business a success – it really is worth getting a handle on those too!

But, one of the most beneficial elements of attending any sort of conference or training is the other people there, in all likelihood they’ll be people like you, working really hard to develop themselves and their businesses, all with similar challenges to you, with similar opportunities to you – sharing your experiences with them and listening to how they do things can be one of the greatest learning opportunities there is – running a business can sometimes also be a lonely game, but knowing that there are people going through exactly the same pain and pleasure as you can be enormously rewarding and uplifting – not to mention an opportunity to build your network of contacts, potential business partners, suppliers and/or customers.

And then there’s networking…….

Written by Dawn Whiteley, CEO, National Enterprise Network


In 2016 Cavendish Enterprise will bring to you Start & Grow Business of the Day.  We will be promoting a new start up from the Start & Grow programme every day across social media.  Celebrate their successes with us and find out more about the businesses by following #ideatoreality #SGBOTD

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Cavendish partners feature highly in this week’s National Enterprise Network Conference and Awards 2015

24th November, 2015 No Comments

This year’s National Enterprise Network Conference, sponsored by NatWest and taking place at RBS’s conference centre takes place on Friday 27th November and looks set to feature insightful and thought provoking discussions around the theme of ‘Synergy and Success’.  The conference celebrates encouraging enterprise support with strengthened partnerships, delivering locally.

L NEN RGB_OnlineUse (June 2011)

The conference will kick off with an interactive debate between key sector contributors, discussing the outlook for the economy and the impact it has on small businesses. There will also be a closer look at the self-employed and identify the trends and predictions that could impact in the future.

Simon Devonshire will be around after the networking lunch to share his view on the importance of scaling-up, why it matters and how to do it.  Simon is himself an entrepreneur, co-founder, investor, and business blogger and will lead a Q&A session after his presentation.

There will also be time to look at the programmes and partnerships that are making waves within the enterprise support sector. and an in depth look at ‘Enterprise impact – the growth of a start up business’ with an interview with Paul Ogglesby, founder of Riverlite.  Paul has come from a one man start up business in 2008 to having a multi million pound turnover today.

The 2015 Conference will be rounded off with a celebration of achievements in enterprise support.  The NEN Awards recognise ‘excellence in the delivery of enterprise support; encouraging the exchange of good practice and the development of improved services and organisations’, and the categories are designed to match to enterprise support activity – no matter what an agency’s size or specialism.

Cavendish Enterprise is delighted and very proud to see 3 of its partners short-listed for a few of the Awards and we wish them all the very best of luck for Friday.


Local Enterprise Agency of the Year:

* Britain’s Energy Coast * Colbea * Enterprise First * Menta * Northumberland Business Services Ltd * Nwes * Rotherham Investment & Development Office * Stanta * Yorkshire Coast Enterprise

Future of Enterprise Support Award:

* Britain’s Energy Coast * Business West * Enterprise First * Rotherham Investment & Development Office * South Durham Enterprise Agency * Yorkshire Coast Enterprise

Client Engagement Award:

* CENTA Business Services * Nwes * WSX Enterprise

Enterprise Communicator of the Year:

* Economic Solutions * North East BIC * North Somerset Enterprise Agency * Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce

Enterprise Team of the Year:

* BEC * Business Sheffield * Business West * Staffs Chamber

Enterprise Coach/Mentor of the Year:

* Hammie Tappenden – Enterprise First * Joe Barrell – Nwes * Martyn Benson – Rotherham Investment & Development Office

Unsung Hero of the Year:

* Alyson Eyval – Business West * Emma Milroy – Ignite Business Enterprise * Jenn Crowther – Yorkshire Coast Enterprise * Martyn Cooper – Birmingham Chamber of Commerce

… and good luck to all the other nominees too!

We look forward to bringing you the Winners next week together with a roundup of the main issues discussed and raised at the Conference.

Click here for more Conference information.


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