My business is based in Burton-on-Trent, East Staffordshire and I am actively involved in the local business community and committed to helping local organisations survive and thrive.
I am one of three businesswomen who run the Burton-on-Trent networking group of the national not-for-profit organisation WiRE (Women in Rural Enterprise) on a voluntary basis. We organise a monthly meeting for working women. Our aims are to help women boost their confidence, give them new skills, help them develop useful new connections and develop their business or career. We also have a charity of the year that we support.
I am a founder member of the Burton Small Business group. We were inspired by the Small Business Saturday movement and we help to raise the profile of small businesses in and around Burton-on-Trent all year round. Events we have organised included a flash mob-style small business conga through Burton town centre on Small Business Saturday 2015.
In the same year, I was one of the #SmallBiz100, 100 small businesses chosen to represent the UK's five million small businesses in the run-up to Small Business Saturday on December 5, 2015. This opportunity led to me meeting Chancellor George Osborne at a Small Business Saturday event at the Treasury. Since then, I have been a Small Business Saturday champion, helping to promote the campaign and encourage others to apply for the annual #SmallBiz100.
Along with my Burton Small Business partners, I organised a free-to-attend small business conference in October 2016 at Burton's Pirelli Stadium and in October 2017 at the DE14 Visitor's centre thanks to the support of Marston's Brewery.
We have lots of plans for future events and regularly communicate with local businesses in Burton to find out what gaps there are in local support and networking. To subscribe to our monthly Burton Small Business email newsletter go to http://bit.ly/BSBsubscribe
I was honoured to be named the winner of the Business to Business (Business of the Year) category of the 2016 Business Networking Awards and runner-up in the same category in 2017.
Her written work is a joy to read because she knows – and can pass on – the skills required to make each word count.
Patrick Astill, journalist
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