Breakfast Banter – 25th April (Whitstable Castle)

SMB/GMB are delighted to invite you to the first Breakfast Banter Networking event of 2019 sponsored by Certax Accounting (East Kent).

This will be a light and informal networking event with 2 guest speakers and the agenda is below:

  • 7.30am – Registration followed by Networking
  • 8am – Short presentation by Sheila Caulfield (Brogdale Boutique)
  • 8.15am – Networking over light breakfast (Breakfast rolls will be provided along with tea & coffee)
  • 8.45am – Short presentation by Ishtiaq Ahmed (Certax Accounting)
  • 9am – 9.30am – Networking

Attendance is FREE, all we ask is that you pre register your intention to come along. In addition please feel free to forward this invite to other business professionals who you feel may wish to attend. Registration is simple, the below link will guide you to the event page on our website where you can book your place.

Book Now


Local volunteer aims to increase support & awareness of dementia in Herne Bay

A campaign to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding around dementia has got the support of a Herne Bay volunteer whose aim is to make Herne Bay a Dementia Friendly community.

Alzheimer’s Society trained Dementia Friend Champion, Charlotte Parsons, a Paralegal at Girlings Solicitors, is running a free “Dementia Friends” Information Session on 24 May 2018 at 12.45pm. The session will take between 45 – 60 minutes and will take place at Beach Creative, Beach House, Beach Street, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 5PT.

Charlotte is encouraging local people to come along and find out how they can become part of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme, the biggest ever initiative aimed at  transforming the way the nation thinks, talks and acts about the condition.

Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.

Having volunteered to be a Dementia Friends Champion, Charlotte has delivered training sessions at Girlings Solicitors which is now recognised as an organisation working to become Dementia Friendly and  is now delivering Dementia Friends Sessions to people in Herne Bay. She said:

“I signed up to be a Dementia Friends Champion because it is a subject close to my heart having had relatives living with dementia. I am also a Paralegal in the Private Client team at Herne Bay and regularly meet clients whose lives have been affected by Dementia. I attended a Dementia Friend Champion training course run by the Alzheimer’s Society, receive ongoing support and I’m now proud to be part of a growing network of people creating dementia friendly communities together.

There are currently 850,000 people living with the condition in England. In an Alzheimer’s Society Report: Dementia 2012, 61% of people with dementia said that they felt lonely, 44% said that they lose friends after diagnosis and 67% do not feel part of their communities. I would like to create a dementia friendly community within Herne Bay to enable people to live well with Dementia.”

Christine Sherringham, Dementia Friends Officer for South East at Alzheimer’s Society said:

“Dementia touches the lives of millions of people across the country. Dementia Friends was launched to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding that means many people with the condition experience loneliness and social exclusion. It’s all about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From getting in touch with someone you know living with dementia to wearing your badge with pride, every action counts.”

If you are interested in attending the Dementia Friends Session please contact Charlotte Parsons on 01227 367355 or by email at

Dementia Friends

The Kings Summit Business Conference

There is a Law of Success. It’s NOT a secret. It’s a proven formula that has been handed down through the ages from the wisest people to have ever lived from the wisest source of all. Many of the world’s most successful people know this Law – it has thirteen interdependent principles – when applied it guarantees wealth in all its forms. There is no greater evidence of this Law than in the world of business, where past and modern day entrepreneurs share in its success. One of the thirteen principles is to work together with a Mastermind group, sharing your thoughts, skills and resources for mutual benefit.

Masterminds are an essential ingredient to success – it’s why we all attend networking events. But at a networking event – are you applying the right parts of the Law of Success? Do you know the formula? The Kings Summit is a unique business conference that will teach ambitious business owners all thirteen principles. At the conference you will:

  • Be the FIRST in the UK to see key extracts of Think and Grow Rich – The Movie
  • Create your own action plan based on the “13 Principles”
  • Hear directly from millionaire speakers on how they apply the formula
  • Learn How to Master the 13 Principles
  • NETWORK with other like-minded entrepreneurs

The Kings Summit Business Conference will link ambitious entrepreneurs to each other through the art and science of Think and Grow Rich to help you to know the defined Law to Success. You will gain a new understanding of the power of thought and how you can implement the 13 step proven formula to success, used by Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Peter Jones and virtually every successful entrepreneur you can think of.

Tickets are selling fast – get yours today at

Celebrating the success of great local businesses

Thursday 29th March saw more than 180 business people attend the Canterbury Business Awards at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence. The awards reward and celebrate businesses in a number of different award categories and are run by Best Business Events with their partners the IoD, fsb, Canterbury Index Magazine and Heart with the support of platinum headline sponsors Agilis Mobile and gold sponsors Dynamix.

AGILIS Mobile Customer Services Director, Tina George, who judged the Creative/Digital Category, commented;

“We are proud to offer our continued support for Kent businesses through our platinum sponsorship of the Canterbury Business Awards.  As a local business ourselves, we understand how important it is for companies to achieve recognition for their accomplishments.  

As such, we are delighted to be a part of these awards, which encourages businesses of all sizes.  Having been invited to be part of the judging panel for the second time, I have witnessed first-hand the positive effect that being nominated can have on both the company and its employees”

Congratulations go to the following businesses that won but also to all the shortlisted businesses.

  • Start up – Citi Nests Ltd
  • Small Business – Sunstone IP Systems Ltd
  • Creative/Digital – Sweet Sol
  • Customer Service – Seniors Helping Seniors (UK) Ltd
  • Innovation – Sunstone IP Systems Ltd
  • Hospitality/Food and Drink – Secret Spices
  • Business Woman of the year – Gillian Monk

Chris Welch, Founder of Sweet Sol, the winner of the Creative/Digital category Sweet Sol said;

“Applying for the Canterbury Business Awards was a unique experience for us, little did we know then that the outcome would be one of much joy for us here at Sweet Sol. Having been told about the Canterbury Business Awards, we decided to apply, going for 3 different awards, Start Up, Innovation and the Creative/Digital Awards (the latter of which we won). It was a friendly process and that was made better when we heard the news that we got through to the finals. It was great meeting the judges and sponsors throughout the process, as we got to see them experience what it is we do and to share in those truly special moments we create at the shop and through our brand.

The night of the Awards had an amazing atmosphere, we truly felt honoured to be seated with many great businesses and business owners. The dinner turned into a fun opportunity to meet the other finalists and to connect with them. Having heard all the testimonials from every business in their respective categories it really felt like this could have been anyone’s game.

We are proud to say we won the final award of the night with an amazing speech from Tina George from Agilis Mobile and then a mention from the Lord Mayor of Canterbury, who officially opened Sweet Sol back in 2016, which was her first duty as Mayor. 

We’ve really noticed the difference since winning the Award gaining new customers in Sweet Sol and a growth in our followers, to whom we have reached out too as we launch our new online shop and expand Sweet Sol. It’s been wonderful to be recognised for something that we created from such a special moment, that gives people so much happiness.

Entries for the Maidstone Business Awards are now open and applications are welcomed from businesses in Maidstone, Kings Hill, West Malling and East Malling. The deadline for completed applications is 25th May with the shortlisted being notified by 4th June. Winners will be announced at the awards dinner on Tuesday 26 June at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel in Maidstone.

It is quick and easy to enter.  To find out more about the awards and how to enter your business please call 01732 758530, or email or


Why face to face networking is still vital to your businesses

Whilst the rise of social media has made the possibilities of making new contacts far easier and more direct, many professionals agree that there is still an inherent requirement to meet face to face. Statistics have shown that more sales get closed, more ideas are generated and that most people agree face to face networking is essential to long term business relationships.  But in todays’ ever busier working world people are struggling to carve out the time in their working week to attend lots of different networking meetings.

Meet, speak and network  

Step forward the Canterbury Business Show – a free conference and exhibition at the Spitfire Ground St Lawrence on 29 March. The day begins with a free networking breakfast plus a free ‘Lunch and Learn’ which will deal with the hot topic of the moment GDPR and how to keep your email lists compliant as well as networking opportunities over a bite to eat.

The show is partnering with 4Networking again to offer our brilliant, speed networking sessions where you can meet more new contacts in a few minutes than you would normally in a month. Add to this our Café which is running throughout the day with facilitated networking with Mark Goldfinch. There really are many opportunities to make new contacts, feed your sales pipeline, find new suppliers who may offer better, more cost-effective solutions to your business.

Relevant business content and interesting exhibitors

Alongside the networking we have over 50 exciting exhibitors showcasing their products and services and offering some great on the day special offers. Gary Turner, founder of Xero will be looking at how robots might improve business and sales expert Julie Holmes will be offering insight into how to get more sales, more innovation, more confidence, more positivity and more fun.

With engaging workshops on LinkedIn and cyber-crime there will also be a fascinating panel session on “Collaborative working, bringing Kent business together”. Plus, Google is attending again with a masterclass on getting to grips with your Google Analytics.

The Canterbury Business show offers advice, knowledge and real tips for you to implement in your business, plus tonnes of networking opportunities for you to make those new contacts today.

Find out more at and book your free place now.

For further information contact Carole Black on 01732 758530 or

Rift Accounting at Unconference 2018

What makes business owners and managers network and why are they always looking for something new, inspirational and importantly different!

For the above reasons the unconventional business event known locally as UNCONFERENCE is delighted to be returning on 15 March 2018 and for all those looking for something different, this is the place to be!

Taking place at Westgate Hall, Canterbury (CT1 2BT), starting at 09.30, there is a new format, new speakers and new opportunities to meet people – those who have been before and think they know how this will work, may have to think again!

So why should you come to Unconference?

The Workshops – each time the variety of workshops is a surprise and the interesting thing is that the people attending are usually telling us what they want to learn about, to this day the most attended workshop was run by Amy McManus (AM Marketing) on ‘marketing on a shoestring’ which Amy put together on the day and due to demand was run twice on that day! Other popular workshops have been on BIG DATA as well as social media, sign language and building a successful business plan – we will have to wait and see what this year brings!

The Business Stories – who doesn’t love a good story, and some of the amazing speakers we have had in the past have been truly inspirational and very honest about how they have achieved the success they have. The confirmed ‘story tellers’ this year are Paul Cook  and Graham Razey, both stories are very different and tell different stories of success….

The Connections – the feedback that has been received previously speaks for itself – attendees have met the right person to build their new website, do their social media, become their business coach, join the board of directors, the list goes on, but the cornerstone to all this and the feedback confirms it is the ‘different’ people that are in the room!

So what will happen at this UnConference?

Well, it will again be unconventional, there will be some things that are back by popular demand – such as the 2 minute pitch, but mostly it will be a case of finding out on the day, it is after all an UnConference!

Book now at

Looking forward to seeing you at UnConference 2018!

Meet Graham Razey, a keynote speaker at the Unconference

As Group Principal and Chief Executive, Graham leads the EKC Group at a strategic level. Acting as the senior leader in the organisation, Graham is accountable for all elements of the Group’s performance and services across East Kent.

He took on the role following the successful merger between Canterbury College and East Kent College which resulted in the creation of the EKC Group. In his previous role as Principal shared between the two colleges, he managed to deliver significantly enhanced efficiency while improving outcomes. His work saw Canterbury College achieve an Ofsted ‘Good’ grading for the first time in more than a decade, while at the same time maintaining East Kent College’s Ofsted ‘Good’ with a number of Outstanding features.

He has recently been appointed to the Department for Education’s Principals’ Reference Group, as well as becoming a National Leader for Further Education. These prestigious leadership roles have been created by government to help inform national policy around further education, and help colleges which are struggling.

He began his career in further education when he joined South Kent College as its Sports and Recreation Manager after graduating with a degree in Mathematics and Accounting from the University of Kent in 1993. Progressing rapidly, Graham took his first leadership role as the Head of Mathematics at the College successfully leading it from an unsatisfactory OfSTED grade. This led to him being appointed to the Head of Academic Studies role in 2000 where the College achieved a 100% A level pass rate and were placed 2nd in England for value added on A level programmes.

In 2002 Graham Razey was appointed to the role of Director of Business, Creative and Sixth Form Studies and then as Assistant Principal in 2004. A successful OfSTED inspection in that year marked a successful recovery for the College.

In April 2006 Graham joined East Surrey College and held the post of Vice Principal Finance and Resources for sixteen months. His work ensured the College swiftly recovered from a deficit position, achieved Action for Business Colleges accreditation and submitted an Application in Principle for a new campus in Redhill.

In August 2007 he joined Hastings College and undertook the role of Deputy Principal Curriculum until April 2010. During this time, he established Academy 6, a new energy centre and was part of the team who oversaw the development of two new campuses at Station Plaza and Ore Valley.

In April 2010 Graham was appointed as Principal and Chief Executive of the former Thanet College. He led the College’s rebrand to East Kent College, growing its prominence throughout the county and developing its performance. He has also served on the education board of the Institute of Financial Services as the Further Education representative and as a school governor, and he currently chairs the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Advisory Group.

He lives in Maidstone with his wife, Shireen and his son Charlie. A keen sportsman, Graham plays cricket in the Kent League for Offham CC and recently completed the London Marathon to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust after the loss of one of his students to the illness.

Register to attend Unconference


Unconference 2018

Do you want to find out the secrets of running a successful business and the best strategies to grow your existing business? If you do, then come along to Unconference on Thursday 15th March, Westgate Hall, Canterbury.

How Will Unconference Benefit Your Business?

  • Get inspired by our dynamic speakers
  • Learn new business startup and growth strategies at our Pop-up Business Workshops
  • Pitch your own business and find out about your competitors, potential clients and partners in our 2 minute Business Pitches
Meet other entrepreneurs or promote your business with an Exhibition Stand
Excellent business to business networking opportunities
  • Business set-up and development discussions, Q&As and advice.

Who is Unconference For?

This conference is following our previous successful Unconference events and is for Entrepreneurs, Established businesses and anyone thinking of starting or growing their business.

Delegates are free

Exhibition Stands – We have a limited number of business stands available from £50

Be a Sponsor – 

You can also become a sponsor of Unconference with one of our sponsorship packages. Be part of this exciting conference! Contact: for more information.
 For this event tickets are limited so book today to secure your place and avoid disappointment!

Register Now


Notice of business event charges

For over a decade Canterbury City Council’s Business Development team has organised and funded free to attend business support workshops, seminars, masterclasses and networking events for businesses in the Canterbury district. Changes in Central Government and the rise in the need for local councils to be more responsible for their own budget management has led us to operate in line with a stronger commercial focus. With this in mind we are introducing a new online events booking system and charges for our business events. We believe with the right pricing policy our events will continue to give value for money.

We are mindful that after a decade of free events this might come as a surprise but with changing times we ourselves need to be as cost neutral as possible with our event management.

Details of our current and future planned events can be found here, we would like to thank those of you who have attended events in the past and very much look forward to seeing you in the future.

SEO Masterclass for small businesses

Canterbury City Council’s Start My Biz / Grow My Biz in conjunction with Bottle Green Websites are delivering a two part small business SEO masterclass.

Bottle Green’s Small Business SEO Masterclass will equip businesses with the essential skills to improve their website and get found online. Group presentations with 1-2-1 mentoring give an ideal balance between theory and practise. Handouts will be provided at the end of each session.

What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to activity that attempts to improve search engine rankings. SEO gives businesses a competitive edge by ensuring that their site appears as close to the top of the search engine results page as possible. Essential SEO skills that we will be sharing include:

  • keywords – finding the best keywords to use, and how to use them in website content
  • Localised search accounts
  • Link building

Part one held on the 14th November 2017 at Clover House, Whitstable. ( starting at 10am – 1pm. The session will cover the following:

– Google Account Set Up

– Keyword Research

– Localised Search Optimisation

– Google Authorship and Google+ account optimisation

Part two held on the 21st November 2017 at Clover House, Whitstable. ( starting at 10am – 1pm. The session will cover the following:

– Meta Data Management

– On Page Optimisation

– Content Management

– Social Media Account Optimisation

– Link Building

To book your place at the masterclass visit our online booking system –

Each session is priced at £24 per person.