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 have organised an annual small business conference each year since 2016.
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 am a member of the Federation of Small Businesses and a volunteer activist in its Staffordshire and West Midlands region with a special interest in women and enterprise.
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.
In 2019 I am a finalist in the networking category of the Woman Who Achieves awards.
Elaine's guidance on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter was invaluable and has given me much to do and increased my knowledge and understanding.
Karen Kirby, HR specialist
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