On Saturday 7th 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, established names and business support organisations such as the FSB and East Midlands Chamber. All of whom united to highlight and celebrate the success of small businesses in Derby and the surrounding area.
The Small Business Saturday UK event was officially opened by Julie Stone, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor External Affairs at the University of Derby. It was supported by Derby Hub, Nelsons Law, The University of Derby, Derby City Council and one of the UK’s ‘Small Business Heroes’; Yvonne Gorman from Essential Print Services. Their combined support enabled, exhibiting, attendance and car parking 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 Martin Jinks, Partner of Nelsons Solicitors.
Included in the packed agenda, Yvonne Gorman presented Bev Crighton, External Engagement Lead from The University of Derby’s External Affairs Team, with the Outstanding Contribution Award for her extensive work to promote Derby’s business community.
Three guest speakers spoke about the highs and lows of running a small business. All of whom are this year’s SmallBiz100; Owen Conti from IT Firm Code 56, Maria Hanson MBE founder of me & dee charity and Sarah Gatford who works with small businesses to improve accessibility for Deaf people.
“It was heart-warming to witness so many fellow small business owners willing to help each other. The event was truly inspiring and the feedback I have received from exhibitors and delegates is positive with some potentially life-changing connections made during the day,” commented Yvonne Gorman, who has co-hosted the event for the fifth year running.
The talks were followed by a lively panel Q&A session and then 45-second pitches from several companies, randomly selected to be Golden Ticket holders and to have the opportunity to present their businesses to a packed conference room. One of which was James Armishaw from Smith of Derby Clockmakers who also played the role of ‘Time Lord’ ensuring the commercials remained within their time limit.
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”, follow @smallbizderby on Twitter or visit www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com.