You’re Hired Kent – Apprenticeship campaign

The purpose of this campaign is to challenge both local business and young people within Kent to pledge to take on an apprenticeship. The campaign will target 500 employers to pledge, 500 young people, 12 District/Boroughs in 3 months.

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and Kent County Council (the lead partners) are going to work with colleges, training providers and the 12 District and Borough Councils within the County to run a promotional campaign to increase Apprenticeship numbers in line with Government aspirations.

NAS and Kent County Council is expected to lead and co-ordinate the campaign, bringing public and private business leaders, local training providers, the National Apprenticeship Service and local media to deliver a sustained campaign with the aim to influence the business community to contribute to driving up the number of apprenticeship opportunities.


  • Apprenticeships provide an injection of skills training into the future workforce and aid economic recovery
  • Apprenticeships give young people a recognised framework of qualifications and a basis for sustainable employment.
  • Apprenticeships help address skills shortages in key sector areas within the locality.
  • The ‘You’re Hired’ campaign will promote positive messages and high interest in apprenticeships to the local business community and provide employment opportunities to young people.
  • The campaign will positively promote the social / corporate responsibility of Kent County Council and partners involved.
  • The campaign will support businesses to grow their workforce and increase productivity.


The launch of this initiative will be on the 11th May at the Kent 2020 Live event, with supporting launch events to take place during the next three months. A closing event to take place in July 2016.

Click HERE for more information

UNconference Feed Forward

UNconference The Idea

Festive Breakfast Banter

Come and enjoy a festive networking event hosted by Canterbury City Council’s Business Development team.  Breakfast Banter is an informal event designed to allow businesses to network in a relaxed environment, enjoy light breakfast refreshments and an opportunity to catch up with colleagues and associates.

Our event on the 1st December is our last for 2015 and like last year we are aiming to add a touch of magic to the occasion. Our event will be hosted in the beautiful Canterbury Cathedral Lodge (The Precincts, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2EH) and will run from 8am – 10am.

We very much hope that you will be able to join us and look forward to meeting you in due course.

Inspirational Stories at Kent UNconference

As you can see from the Press Release on our blog, we have some great speakers lined up for Kent UNconference. The other really exciting aspect of the UNconference is that all the delegates are invited to pitch to talk on the day too!

We are going to create an informal and relaxed atmosphere for you to share your stories. All you need to do is come prepared to make a 1 minute pitch about your topic and, if you want to, have a few slides on a memory stick so you’re ready to talk if you are voted in by the other delegates.
The topic needs to be something you think everyone can benefit from, so have a look through our suggestions below for inspiration. Each session will be 30 minutes in length, which will allow time for lots of Q& A and conversation. So for example, you may choose to speak for 15 minutes and then take questions for 15 minutes. We will also be sharing all the speakers’ topics online after the event so this is a great opportunity for you to get lots of exposure for your business after the UNconference, as well as raising your profile and making some great connections on the day.

10 Talk Ideas to Get You Thinking
Which one rings true for you? If there is one that you think would be valuable to share – please pitch it on the day.

1. Taking the plunge! When you started up things weren’t easy – you were working crazy hours, not making any money and things went wrong. How did you cope?
2. Testing your idea – you had a great idea but needed to know it was “solving a problem” for your customers before you got going. How did you go about testing it?
3. Surviving the first 2 years – your customer didn’t pay when they said you would and your suppliers hounded you for payment. How did you manage your cashflow?
4. Getting the right people – as a great entrepreneur you have recognised you can’t do everything and need to seek out the help of others. How did you do this?
5. Being adaptable – you wrote a great business plan but once you got going your market and customers changed. How did you adapt and respond in order to keep up with the competition?
6. What was the biggest risk you took – and did it pay off?
7. Knowing your figures – you started out with a passion for your product/service but no idea how to manage your accounts and know you were on track. How did you set targets and know where your revenues were going to come from?
8. Getting funds in place – you started out with a few of your own prized pennies but quickly realised you needed some external investment. How did you do this? Do you surf the crowd, borrow from family or friends or talk to the bank?
9. Finding new customers – which channels worked for you and how did you navigate the complex world of social media to your advantage?
10. Keeping your customers! What have you learnt about what great service really means and growing customer loyalty? When did you get it wrong and what did you do?

Join the Conversation on Social Media
Please follow @StartMy_Biz or @GrowMyBiz and retweet as much as possible to raise your business profile and those of the other delegates.
Any queries please do contact Paul Spree at paul.spree@canterbury.gov.uk

We’re so looking forward to hearing your pitches and your talks at the UNconference and to sharing expert advice and business tips and networking with some great people! See you on 19th November.

The Kent UNconference Team!

A Knight, a Prize & The Apprentice at the Kent Unconference

THE KENT UNCONFERENCE for Global Entrepreneurship Week is less than a week away and Kent entrepreneurs are busy preparing dynamic pitches and inspirational presentations for the event.

The organisers RIFT Accounting, Paul Andrews from Business Bunker Radio and Canterbury City Council’s StaryMyBiz and GrowMyBiz Projects, have released the names of yet more notable thought leaders and speakers who will be attending the UNconference. Here’s the skinny so you have some insider knowledge before you network with them!

A Prize from Warren Knight
Award winning business growth specialist Warren Knight will be calling on his 20 years of marketing experience to share his top tips on how to create a digital strategy that will successfully expand your business.

Warren found entrepreneurial success very early on when, at 22, he received a grant from the Prince’s Trust and created a European music and clothing distribution company. His sales figures speak for themselves as he then went on to become director of a global stationery company working with Disney and Nickelodeon where he grew the business from a $5 million to $30 million company in a 5-year period, selling to over 30 countries and achieving $1 million sales in one month.

Warren is now an international speaker, author, trainer and coach, and through his online training and face to face sessions he has helped thousands of start-ups and SMEs build their digital footprint, upskill and increase their sales by up to 500% using social media, digital marketing and ecommerce.

On the subject of overcoming business challenges he says “Your passion doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes focus, hard work and the strength to pick yourself up when you fall down.”

Warren has also very kindly donated a brilliant prize for the most inspirational presentation given by a delegate at the UNconference. The Lucky winner will receive Warren’s Social Media for Business Bootcamp online training package designed to teach you to define your online target audience, drive targeted traffic from Social Media that converts in to sales and have a unique launch plan checklist in just 6 weeks. You can follow Warren on Twitter here: @WarrenKnight.

HR Blunders on The Apprentice
Chloe Harrold is an employment lawyer at UK law firm Doyle Clayton. She writes an informative and rather fun column for theHRDIRECTOR magazine outlining the HR and employment law blunders that occur on each episode of Lord Alan Sugar’s hugely popular TV show, The Apprentice. You’ll get the opportunity to meet Chloe at the UNconference, so make sure that you read her column and catch up with her on Twitter beforehand: @CH_ApprenticeHR.

Intelligent Business Insights
Business Intelligence expert Paul Cook says he is looking forward to the UNconference and to giving a 1 minute pitch to see if other delegates will vote for him to speak on the day. He is likely to be a popular choice with his business credentials!

Paul is the former Head of Insight at Just Eat, where he initiated BI across 13 markets, recruited and led a team of insight specialists and supported the research and data requirements for the $64m series C investment round and recent £1.4bn IPO flotation. He has since founded Noetika a data, analytics and research solutions business working with SMEs and larger enterprises such as GrubClub, Camelot, Drinki, Toothpick, Vitamin and Yoyo Wallet. Noetika’s work includes Research for Investment rounds, Sales Opportunity Visualisation, Customer Insight and Business Intelligence Roadmaps. No doubt he will have some very interesting stories to tell about business challenges that he has overcome in his entrepreneurial journey.

The Kent UNconference is being organised by RIFT Accounting and Canterbury County Council’s StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz projects and sponsored by Advantage Business Partners. It will take place on 19th November at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge. If you have a query call Jane Ollis at RIFT Accounting on 01233 653006. Follow @StartMy_Biz or @GrowMyBiz on Twitter and for tips and advice check out the blog and event pages on http://www.startmybiz-canterbury.com and http://growmybiz-canterbury.com.

To register for your free place at the UNconference copy and paste this link into your browser: http://ow.ly/UzbSj

The Luminaries Lighting Up the Kent UNconference

ENTREPRENEURS will be intrigued to hear that a diverse group of successful business leaders and local luminaries are attending the Kent UNconference, to share their own entrepreneurial journeys and encourage other delegates to do the same.

Inspirational Music
Award winning recording artist, Kris Searle, will open the UNconference with 2 of his hit songs, before giving the inside track on his incredible journey to success. Following his many triumphs in America, Kris returned to Herne Bay at the start of the year, bringing home his record label, Inspire U Records and his new coaching business. He has since built the world’s first and only recording studio on a pier! Kris has some fascinating stories and business advice to share from both sides of the pond and UNconference attendees will be sure to learn a great deal from his experiences, as well as thoroughly enjoying his live performance.
The UNconference Expert
Steve Schmidt is the thought leader behind the Boston UNconference, which attracts around 4,000 delegates. About the unusual format Steve says “It’s an UNconference, whoever comes along, they are the right people, and whatever happens, is the only thing that could have happened – so be prepared to be surprised!” Steve is also one of the founders of Quivum, who develop technology to give early warning signs to asthma sufferers and he has recently expanded his U.S. company into the UK market. He will be on hand on the day to give advice and share his story. His top tip is to follow the ‘Law of Two Feet’, “If at any time during the day you find yourself in a situation where you feel you are suddenly not learning or contributing, use your two feet and go to another part of the UNconference where you can do both.”
Merging Meaning & Sensuality
atmos is an award-winning, multidisciplinary art, architecture and design practice. Headed up by charismatic Director Alex Haw, atmos employs cutting edge digital fabrication and digital mapping to create stunningly imaginative, yet practical, sculptural designs for public installations and bespoke residential environments. As one of the winners of the recent Twitter #Pitch2Win competition, Alex will be speaking at the UNconference and you can catch a preview of his talk on Business Bunker radio, 1-3pm on Tuesday 10th November. About the UNconference he says, “It’s always a great idea for entrepreneurs to extract themselves from their businesses to compare, exchange and trade knowledge. The UNconference looks both inclusive and inspiring, inviting everyone to participate rather than just spectate.”
Your Extraordinary Life
Severine Hierso-Hagberg is founder of eXalt Lifestyle, which provides Personal & Business Concierges, Lifestyle Managers, Business Consultants and VIP experiences to its members. Severine says the idea to create eXalt came to her because “As a working mother with a busy social life and a love of travel, I wanted to create more time in my schedule to spend relaxing with my family, without compromising my successful career or the smooth running of my home. In short, I needed eXalt’s services myself!” As Severine was our other #Pitch2Win winner you can catch her on Business Bunker on Kent Business radio on Tuesday 7th November 1-3pm and discover her secrets to ‘having it all’ when you hear her talk at the UNconference.

With this great line-up of interesting luminaries the Kent UNconference is shaping up to be a highlight of Global Entrepreneurship week, so don’t miss out, register for your free place here: http://ow.ly/TILC6
The Kent UNconference is being organised by RIFT Accounting and Canterbury County Council’s StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz projects and sponsored by Advantage Business Partners. It will take place on 19th November at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge. If you have a query call Jane Ollis at RIFT Accounting on 01233 653006. Follow @StartMy_Biz or @GrowMyBiz on Twitter and for tips and advice check out the blog and event pages on http://www.startmybiz-canterbury.com and http://growmybiz-canterbury.com.

Grow Your Rural Business at Breakfast Banter

CANTERBUY CITY COUNCIL’S next Breakfast Banter Networking event on 11th November, will give local entrepreneurs the opportunity to discover how they can get support and funding for their rural business and community projects from the Kent Downs and Marshes Rural Leader Project.

Huw Jarvis, Leader Programme Manager, will be delivering a presentation about the project revealing the priorities for National and East Kent Leaders, what projects are eligible for funding and how you can apply for funding for your project. Following the presentation there will be a Q & A session so you can find out everything you need to know about how to apply to obtain funding under The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Leader Programme.

The previous RDPE in 2007-2013 provided a total investment value of £7.65 million to Kent, supporting 116 projects, 34 of which were in farming and 14 in forestry. This created a total of 83 new jobs, safeguarded 377 jobs and supported over 500 existing rural businesses and 14 Kent start-ups. The team behind the project are of course keen to emulate and exceed this success in the new funding period.

East Kent Leader covers the rural areas of Canterbury, Thanet and Dover and funding is available to rural businesses, farmers, foresters, growers and landowners, to develop projects that will assist, strengthen and develop their businesses and the local area.

Canterbury City Council’s Breakfast Banter event offers a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in which to discover if your business is eligible for this funding, discuss how you could use this money to grow, and network with a diverse group of likeminded local business people.

Breakfast Banter is supported by Canterbury City Council’s StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz initiatives, which provide events, mentoring and training to Kent entrepreneurs. The next Breakfast Banter event with the RDPE presentation, takes place on 11th November at Broome Park.

To register for your free place at the event please copy and paste this link into your browser: http://ow.ly/U88hH

More information is available on the events pages of both http://growmybiz-canterbury.com and http://www.startmybiz-canterbury.com/

If you have any queries about the event or East Kent Leader then please contact Natalia Sukhram on Natalia.Sukhram@canterbury.gov.uk

For updates about more great business events and business tips and advice you can follow @StartMy_Biz or @GrowMyBiz on Twitter and Facebook.

Entrepreneurs to Set Their Own Agenda at the Kent UNconference

GEWUK and the Kent UNconference
GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK is nearly here and this year’s theme is “Make it Happen”, so entrepreneurs will be delighted to know that accountancy firm RIFT has teamed up with Canterbury City Council’s StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz projects and Business Bunker at Kent Business Radio, to create the brilliant and unique Kent UNconference!
Bucking the usual trend for rather tame business conferences, the Kent UNconference offers an exciting alternative format by allowing attendees the opportunity to “pitch to speak” for up to 15 minutes on the day. Then all delegates vote for the best pitches, choosing speakers who can offer insight and solutions to the business challenges that are most relevant to everyone in the room. As Paul Andrews, presenter of Business Bunker and a former Entrepreneur of the Year explains, “We want to create an event that gives local business owners and thought leaders the opportunity to tell us and one another what they see as the current business Zeitgeist, the way forward and how they see their markets developing. In addition to delivering invaluable information to the attendees of the UNconference, this will give us a snapshot of current business thinking and challenges and help us create even more relevant and informative content for Business Bunker and future live events.”

2 Trailblazers to Appear on Business Bunker Radio!
If your journey as an entrepreneur has been interesting and eventful and you’ve always wanted to be on the radio, then you’ll be very happy to hear about the Kent UNconference “Pitch to Win” on Twitter which will see 2 lucky entrepreneurs appearing on Business Bunker Radio.
All you have to do to pitch to be on the radio show is hop on Twitter and send a tweet to either @StartMy_Biz or @GrowMy_Biz, using the hashtag #Pitch2Win, and briefly outline the biggest business challenge you have faced and overcome. The 2 tweets or “mini pitches” that get the most Retweets will be selected to appear on Business Bunker and will also automatically be given a speaker slot on the day of the UNconference. The Twitter #Pitch2Win closes at midday on 2nd November and you must be available to record your talk for the radio show on Friday 6th November from 3-7pm and to speak at the UNconference on 19th November. The full rules and Ts &Cs are available on the StartMyBiz Canterbury and GrowMyBiz Canterbury blogs.

All Entrepreneurs Are Experts
The Kent UNconference is sponsored by dynamic business growth experts Advantage Business Partnerships and promises to be a highlight in the 2015 business calendar, tackling the most important challenges for local businesses and opening up the lines of communication between entrepreneurs so they can support one another. As Jane Ollis, Managing Director at RIFT Accounting observes, you should “Come to the day prepared to contribute because if you are out there running a business, you have an important experience to share. You can either pitch to run a session or just join in the conversations. Either way you will be giving something, but taking away a lot more”.
The Kent UNconference will take place on 19th November at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge and we are most grateful to our Partners and the venue for helping to Make it Happen! To register for your free ticket for the Kent UNconference, go to: http://ow.ly/TILC6 or if you have a query call Jane Ollis at RIFT Accounting on 01233 653006.

To enter the Pitch2Win to appear on Business Bunker, send your tweets to @StartMy_Biz or @GrowMyBiz and for tips and advice check out the blog and event pages on http://www.startmybiz-canterbury.com and http://growmybiz-canterbury.com