On Saturday 1st December, the Derby business community united to celebrate Small Business Saturday UK at the University of Derby’s Enterprise Centre.
Over 100 local independent companies attended the event with those exhibiting ranging from new start-ups to established names in the local business community; all uniting to highlight and celebrate the success of small businesses in Derby and the surrounding area.
This came following a momentous week for one of the champions of small business in Derby. Yvonne Gorman (Managing Director of Essential Print Services, Small Business Saturday UK Champion and also a founding member of Derby Hub), plays a key role in organising the Small Business Saturday UK events in Derby and was invited to Downing Street on Wednesday 28th November in recognition of her work for the cause.
Yvonne commented: “It’s been quite the week for small business in Derby! It was an absolute honour to represent the city and the companies within it when I was invited to Downing Street. This was the fifth Small Business Saturday UK to be held in Derby and it was our biggest and best yet! It was great to see so many people from the local business community celebrating each other’s successes and championing the great things that we can achieve by working together.”
The Small Business Saturday UK event was opened by The Mayor of the City of Derby, Councillor Mike Carr, who was joined by Pauline Latham OBE MP, and Margaret Beckett DBE MP. It was supported by Derby Hub and The University of Derby, which enabled attendance to be completely free.
Delegates had the opportunity to network and showcase their businesses before attending a series of talks, presentations and discussions which began with a welcome from Julie Stone, Head of the University of Derby Online Learning and Martin Jinks, Partner of Nelsons Solicitors.
Martin commented “it was the most productive four hours of support being given to small businesses and celebration of their work in Derby I have ever witnessed. Nelsons were proud to have been involved and join in the sponsorship of the event. It has re-energised us in our continuing support for local businesses.”
The University of Derby is pleased to support Small Business Saturday UK. It was fabulous to see so many businesses at our Enterprise Centre on Saturday. Many of those businesses are run and staffed by our alumni, for example, Ask The Chameleon one of this year’s top 100. This makes us extremely proud. Our students also volunteered on the day, including students from the marketing society that covered all the social media on the day. We are committed to supporting business across the city, county and region and are looking forward to working with Yvonne and the Small Business Saturday team over the next year,” said Bev Crighton, External Engagement Lead at the University of Derby.
“As a director and member of the Derby Hub, I’m proud that we were able to put on a Small Business Saturday event that resulted in standing room only at the University of Derby’s prestigious Enterprise Centre. Every year the Small Business Saturday event in Derby gets bigger & louder. The atmosphere at this year’s event was inspiring. I know the members of Derby Hub are keen to keep the momentum moving and to be involved with Small Business Saturday for the foreseeable future,” said Owen Conti, Managing Director of Code 56 and Director of Derby Hub Ltd.
Guest speaker, Rachel Hayward from Ask The Chameleon, then spoke about her experiences as a small business and her recent success as being selected as one of this year’s Small Biz Sat 100. This was followed by a lively panel Q&A session and then 45-second pitches from ten companies, which were randomly selected to be Golden Ticket holders and to have the opportunity to present their businesses to all visitors.
Support for the campaign came from 90% of local councils including Derby City Council who offered free car parking at the city’s Chapel Street Car Park on the day.
Small Business Saturday UK is a government-backed initiative. It is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and to support businesses in their communities.
To find out more about the event and to see photos, join the local Small Business Saturday UK team on the Facebook group; search ‘Small Business Derby” or follow @smallbizderby on Twitter.
ABOUT SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY UK
Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which celebrates small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and to support businesses in their communities.
In its sixth year, Small Business Saturday is the UK’s most successful small business campaign, which this year saw an estimated £812m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday UK, 8% more than last year.
The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but with an impact that lasts all year round.
Both #SmallBizSatUK and #SmallBusinessSaturday were in the UK’s top five Twitter trends throughout the day. More than 250 small business organisations supported the nationwide initiative, including the Federation of Small Businesses. Politicians including the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Mayor of London all publicly supported Small Business Saturday. Support for the campaign came from 90% of local councils – a three per cent increase on 2017 – calling for the nation to shop local and support the 5.6 million small businesses across the country.
The official countdown to Small Business Saturday UK, included a daily celebration of the ‘Small Biz 100’ through social media. The Small Biz 100 are a selection of some of the best small businesses in the UK, and have been chosen to help spotlight the success of such companies to raise awareness about the positive impact they can have.
Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. American Express remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.