This blog has been written for us by a great new member of our team; Sam Millne, who is joining us this week for work experience…
           On 13thJuly, 2016, here at 54 St. James Street, we held an Enterprise Hub Business Start-up Conference. There were many pastries and drinks laid out for the guests as we welcomed them in to the conference room. Many of them were very impressed with 54 St James Street and it’s views with comments such as ‘you’ve got some views here!’ and ‘I’m really impressed by the building’ were being dropped. 

At the beginning of the conference, the attendees were given 20 minutes to network and get to know each other. One guest said’ it’s great to be able to network so easily’. Our sponsor’s representative, Nick Bell from Start Up Direct, came and told us about Start Up Direct’s loan scheme for businesses. Start Up Direct is a delivery partner of the Governments Start Up Loans Scheme that provides up to £25,000 in start-up funding for entrepreneurs wanting to start a business.
Next we heard from Tom Rogers who left his secure teaching role-as a history teacher-uncertain of his future, to set up his own business. He’s set up Rogers History, a business which uses the internet to tutor teachers and students. He has his own website and is currently supply teaching as well. Tom gave an interesting, animated speech in which he was greatly informative to all of our guests as to what he had experienced in setting up his business and how he wants to take his business forwards. Shortly after the conclusion of Tom’s speech the conference took a fifteen minute break to socialize and enjoy the wonderful sights of the city, from our fourth floor terraces.

Once the conference had reconvened we heard from another business owner, Jenn Appleton. Jenn is the owner and an instructor at Kumon Woolton, which is part of a franchise that provides study programmes for maths and English, in order to build children’s confidence and inspire a passion for learning. Jenn went on to tell us how life changing experiences forced her to take action and remember how life’s too short so she must seize the opportunity to do something she loves. A guest said that it was good‘hearing the experiences of other business start ups’.
Once Jenn’s inspiring talk had concluded, all the guests introduced themselves to the group, showing bravery, which is needed to be self-employed. There was a range of different backgrounds, but there was an underlying theme of an education background showing through, perhaps highlighting the stress that the teaching industry is undertaking and the urge many teachers feel to have more freedom and get out of teaching.
Soon after, the guest came up with a list of pros and cons of being self-employed. Some examples of cons were that you need to be self-disciplined and flexible. However on the other side of the argument there were ideas mentioned such as having higher aspirations and more freedom to experiment with ideas. There were positives thoughts on the pros and cons exercise with one attendee saying ‘it was a good exercise to make more aware of what you’re buying into’.

In conclusion, the conference was a success and it opened many people’s eyes to the world of starting your own business. The guests gave their thoughts and said ‘it was very informative’, ‘inspiring’ and ‘useful for someone looking for a starting point’. Many of the attendees are going to continue to pursue their dream of owning their own successful business. 

If you have an idea for a business then contact Enterprise Hub to find out about the free advice and support available on 0151 706 8113 or

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