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Photographer Tim Stubbings Sponsors StartMyBiz & GrowMyBiz

We are delighted to announce that respected Canterbury photographer Tim Stubbings is sponsoring the StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz projects to support local entrepreneurs and show his appreciation for the area that has given him so much inspiration for his work.

Tim told Canterbury City Council that what he loves most about photographing the local area is that, “combined with my natural curiosity, we live in a place that’s rich in material – from the arts, to heritage and of course retail. Despite living here for 20 years, the streets and towns that I think I know well always bring up something new.” This passion for the District shines through Tim’s work and makes him one of its most interesting and relevant Commercial photographers.

Tim was keen to sponsor StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz because as he observes “It’s common for new graduates and aspiring entrepreneurs to not have the confidence to take early risks and instead move straight into mainstream employment. By providing access to local knowledge and resources the GrowMyBiz and StartMyBiz projects could make all the difference turning an idea into something that sells.”

If you’re a local entrepreneur and would like to find out more about the benefits of sponsoring StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz, then please email Natalia Sukhram Economic Development Officer MIED on or call  01227 862 053.

You can see Tim Stubbing’s stunning images spanning Editorial and PR, Brochures and Publications, Corporate Portraits, School Prospectuses, and Real Estate and Architecture on his website.



Breakfast Banter – Business Networking Events

Business Banter is an opportunity for local businesses to meet and network in a relaxed informal setting four times a year. The Banters are held from 8am which allows businesses to catch up over a breakfast roll before the work day begins. There is usually a guest speaker who talks for approximately 15 minutes on any range of business related subjects from employing apprentices to the budget. These events have proved a great success over the years and the people who attend tell us they get a lot out of them. We welcome any local business to attend these free sessions.


Canterbury tech event – Digibury Weekender – seeks partnerships with local businesses

WHAT: Digibury Weekender conference
WHEN: 17 October 2015
FROM: 10:00am – 4:30pm
WHERE: The Gulbenkian Theatre on the campus of the University of Kent, Canterbury

Hot on the heels of the brilliant Digibury Weekender/2014, Canterbury-headquartered digital agency Deeson again sponsors this conference that considers technology issues of interest to people in the arts, business, government, the third sector, and education. The over-arching theme of the day is “Has technology made the world a better place? Have we lost the human in the rush?”. The Arts Council is a co-sponsor this year and The Kentish Gazette, Kent Online, and KMFM of the Kent Messenger Group are our Regional Media Partners.

Tickets are priced at £25 and available for purchase online at

Robin Ince – comedian, writer and co-host of BBC R4’s Infinite Monkey Cage – returns as the host for the day.

This event is not-for-profit and we are looking to partner with local businesses which provide support services to the digital and creative industries to enable us to continue to keep the event as inclusive as possible. The Digibury Weekender audience is a highly engaged and eclectic mix of entrepreneurs, creatives, technologists and marketeers. Partnering with Digibury Weekender offers a unique opportunity for a local business to position itself at the leading edge of digital change and set themselves apart as thought-leaders and innovators.

Throughout the day, we’ll be exploring how digital has made people, communities and nations more inclusive – as well as challenging this notion by looking at where new barriers are emerging through technology. Topics include the impact of Artificial Intelligence on our lives; the need for businesses to develop ‘tech ethics’; how crowdfunding has changed options for artists and executives; what activity tracking and the “quanitifed self” really teach us about ourselves and what the future really does – might – hold for us all…

We anticipate a large turnout because this is an extension of the Digibury programme, a monthly meet-up for Kent’s digital and creative minds.

Tim Deeson, Managing Director of sponsor Deeson, said: ‘We’re really excited to be able to co-host this event for a second year and continue to foster a strong digital community in Kent by bringing national thought leaders to Canterbury. It’s great to have The Arts Council supporting our community and giving us the opportunity to create a vibrant discussion”

To discuss partnership opportunities please email or call 0118 901 4226

Additional information, including the biographies of confirmed speakers, can be found on


CATS Canterbury – Business Opportunity to Engage with Local Students.

We are very pleased to be returning to deliver this very successful programme on the 23rd and 24th September 2015 to the new intake of students from CATS College Canterbury .

We will be running two programmes on each day, during the morning and afternoon, which will enable us to give every student the opportunity to take part.

Many of the students attending will be international and English will not be their first language. We hope to offer every student the opportunity to have a short personal interview with a local business partner with a view to developing their communication and presentation skills. The interview itself will be a personal interview to encourage the students to open up about their strengths, interests and future aspirations. The sessions leading up to the interview will be designed to prepare the students for this, in preparation for either a University Interview in the future or the work place in due course. The programme has proved highly successful in developing the students confidence and communication skills and has greatly supported their transition into higher education.

The interview sessions will run at approx 10.15am and 2.15pm on each day and the programmes will be delivered at Kent County Cricket Ground, Old Dover Road, Canterbury CT1 3NZ. All our business guests will be invited to attend a buffet lunch provided by the College and share some feedback following the interview sessions with the students.

Full guidance including suggested interview questions will be provided on the day

Please do not hesitate to contact me by email if you require any further information or are able to support on one of the dates mentioned.

Catharine – Espression Arts – GrowMyBiz

1. Tell me about your business.
Espression Arts is a family run creative arts shop in Canterbury specialising in ceramic painting, mosaics and glass painting. We run clubs and activity groups for all the community for example, Saturday morning arts clubs for 5 – 12 year olds and ‘crafty kids’ our toddler and messy play groups. We also deliver fun filled birthday parties and focus lots of our work on creating memories and personalised gifts for others. Our service is both at our shop base and also out in the community on our mobile service! Customers can also come in just to sit in our walled garden drinking coffee taking in the creative atmosphere!

Catherine and Espression Arts can be found on their:

2. What inspired you to start up your own business?
My partner and I were working in Youth Work in London. I was working with an Environmental NGO as a youth work manager, organising creative participation projects for young people in harder to reach areas. The role grew and developed into something I found more and more stressful when I saw Espression for sale and I felt that this would be a great platform for myself and my partner to move communities and apply our skills to a different challenge.

3. How are things going at the moment? Is there anything you would need help with?
Currently work is picking up and our trade is getting better all the time. In the past we have had help with marketing, through intern support to design posters and fliers. This was a great help and one we would like to use again, marketing our up and coming summer programme is an area we could do with some help with. I would also like some help to input data into ‘Mail Chimp’ to develop regular mail outs to our contacts, this is a big job which I don’t have time to get on top of but which I feel would benefit our return business.

4. What is the hardest part of being in business?
Balancing my family (I have an 8 month old and a 4 year old) and having enough regular business to commit to having part time staff. I always feel that my partner and I will be able to work the shifts ourselves instead of paying others but this then has an impact on my children who spend lots of messy creative time in the shop.

5. What is the hardest part of operating in your area?
Getting more and more people to come in and book our service. A big part of our previous business has been schools and community/youth groups, this has declined with funding cuts and lack of resources in this area.

6. Is there anything you wish you knew more about before starting up your business?
Not really, we knew starting a business would be hard so we prepared well.

7. Do you offer placements etc..?
We offer work placements to work experience school students, university students and participants of Skill Net. We have been giving consideration to an apprenticeship placement.

8. How did you first hear about the SMB/GMB projects?
We heard about them through their pages on Facebook

9. How has the programme helped you and your business?
The main help our business received help and time from a university intern who designed me some posters, fliers and material which has made our business more professional looking. Meeting with a business mentor helped me to set some targets and helped me to keep to the goals set.

10. What would you have done without this help?
We would have had less professional publicity which wouldn’t have been as attractive to others, we wouldn’t have achieved as much without structure and without someone who was helping me to be more focused.

11. What connections have you made since being involved with this programme?
We have made other links to businesses also linked to the scheme.
12. What opportunities have presented themselves to you since becoming a beneficiary of SMB/GMB?
The main opportunity has been mentoring and intern time and help around Marketing.

13. Is there anything you would recommend to anyone wanting to start up or expand their business?
I would recommend that people starting up in business should ensure they find time to structure the business plan and keep a live document to be stuck to and followed, without focus you can really lead yourself astray. If you can find a mentor like we had through the business scheme it really helps!

14. What types of communication do you think are most effective between you and the help you received?
Facebook, email, sometimes twitter but less often, but face to face meetings too are always best.

15. Would you be prepared to act as an ambassador for SMB at some point if we were to pursue this?

Jonny – Change Feels Good – GrowMyBiz

1. Tell me about your business.
I am a stress and confidence coach. I help people and organisations to create useful and powerful beliefs, mind-sets and working environments to achieve a variety of different aims. Particularly in getting beyond the stresses and worries that so deeply affect people in high pressure creative industries. The resulting beliefs and mind-sets include high self-value, inspiration, clarity of purpose, determination, focus and contentment. I’m sure you can imagine the differences you can create in your work and life using these resources.

Jonny and his services can be found at and on Social media:

2. What inspired you to start up your own business?
Once I realised that this stuff actually works, that it’s quite simple, a hell of a lot of fun for all involved and that I seem to have a talent for it, it was a complete no-brainer!


3. How are things going at the moment? Is there anything you would need help with?
My business is pretty straight forward and self-contained really. The only thing at the moment that I would like help with is reaching more people. A large proportion of the population of the world have never heard of Change Feels Good and don’t know how I can help them and I think it’s important that that changes. Websites, social media and advertising are great, but I think people need to have an experience to really get it. In my mind the most effective way to have an experience is for me to bring it to people in the form of inspiring workshops and talks.


4. What is the hardest part of operating in your area?
There are not so many of the sort of large creative companies who regularly take advantage of the kinds of services I offer.


5. Is there anything you wish you knew more about before starting up your business?
Marketing, although I have picked up quite a lot after practicing for over 10 years.

6. How has the GMB programme helped you and your business?
I have received some good advice and encouragement, but mainly through meeting and connecting with people

7. What connections have you made since being involved with this programme?
I have only been to one event so far, but I made connections and exchanged ideas with everyone there and that created an opportunity to attend another networking event where I made lots more connections and exchanged lots more ideas. Nothing concrete has occurred as a result yet, but the web continues to grow.


8. Is there anything you would recommend to anyone wanting to start up or expand their business?

“Just go for it, find a way, any way of making your dream come alive.”

Employability Skills for Higher Education Students

A common theme across HE policy and funding throughout the UK is the need to ensure that graduates are prepared for, and able to contribute to, the economy and society. The development of graduates with relevant attributes, skills and knowledge has placed graduate employability at the centre of the HE agenda.

There are a number of employabilty skills which have been suggested by the Higher Education Staff and Students at Canterbury College as important when looking for employment.

Please could you take two minutes to rate the five most important skills to your business.


Click here to access the short survey



This article has been taken from this website.

Use content-rich websites to make your brand stand out (and drive sales)


Small businesses are creating sites filled with beautiful photography and inspiring videos in order to harness a loyal following, and in turn boost sales. Online jewellery and accessories marketplace Boticca features beautifully-shot and engaging rich content, from the story of how a customer from California discovered a London-based jewellery designer to create a bespoke engagement ring for his fiancée, to the inspiration behind Birgit Marie Schmidt and Sofus Graae’s horse hoop earrings.

Boticca, which sells curated designer accessories from around the globe, spends up to £4,000 a month on showcasing this level of content. The result is an editorial treasure trove, going far beyond a standard e-commerce site, with stories and videos of its featured designers in locations such as Istanbul and Florence.

The cost and effort may seem high, but Boticca chief executive and co-founder Kiyan Foroughi says the strategy provides a strong return on investment, with 10% of sales now driven by the editorial pages on its website. This is revealed through analytics tools that disclose the pages users visit before they make a purchase.

London-based Boticca’s focus on editorial only came about in September last year, when it revamped the site and put a new content strategy in place.

“We decided to completely rebrand the site to improve the user experience,” says Foroughi. “Previously we used editorial that was very commercial – trying to push products too much. Our brand is about purchasing products that are well made, with a story about the person who made it, so we decided to bring in content that would reflect that. We’ve gone with in-depth human-interest journalism, showing why the designers do what they do, products being made and taking a look at studio visits. The goal is to bring the story to life.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Boots On, Start Up & Grow at Global Entrepreneurship Week

ENTREPRENEURS the world over are preparing for an exciting Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and those in Canterbury are not going to be disappointed, as business support initiatives StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz, have created an inspirational line up of workshops and seminars for their annual Boot Camp.

One of the highlights of Boot Camp this year has got to be Get Growing: Great British Business Road Show. The half day workshop will address one of the toughest questions for entrepreneurs who are ready to expand their business, “When I’m already working full time in my business, how do I make the time to grow it?” Penelope, the clever app and telephone service that makes your small business look bigger, will kick off the day’s proceedings. Then speakers from Elance, FreeAgent and Constant Contact will be giving top tips on time saving through outsourcing, business finance and digital marketing. In addition to their talk on why businesses fail, Advantage Business Partnerships are providing a free business growth assessment worth £199.00 for every attendee. It’s set to be a high octane, interactive event topped off with an exciting prize draw to win £500 and a networking lunch where entrepreneurs can find prospective business partners.

Clare Smith and Joanna Jones from Dover Arts Development will be demonstrating the far reaching benefits of creative mind mapping, guaranteed to help both creative and more practical, problem-solving minds implement a successful business strategy. As joint Directors of DAD the duo have some impressive projects under their belts including Nautical Threads exploring Dover’s history, DAD4DADs examining the family role of the father and Six ways to Wellbeing aimed at improving mental wellbeing of young people. Their approach to running their own business is thoughtful, collaborative and emotionally intelligent and these are the skills that they will be passing on to entrepreneurs at Boot Camp.

StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz have yet to reveal many other quality business events that will help you start up and grow, so watch this space in the run up to GEW for more information on how your business can benefit from Boot Camp!

StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz are supported by Canterbury City Council, Canterbury 4 Business, University of Kent, Canterbury College, Kent County Council, Canterbury City Partnership and Canterbury Christ Church University. RIFT Group, Canterbury HR, Tony Avery from Creative Corporate Solutions, Phil Auden from Pinchpoint Coaching Alison Young from Aly Young Law and the team at the lovely Abode Hotel Canterbury have all provided invaluable support for what promises to be another brilliant Boot Camp.

Boot Camp runs from 17-23rd November 2014. You can register for all events via the StartMyBiz website here: or by contacting Chris West on 01227 862 532 and (07786) 852 061

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Pitman Training Canterbury

Pitman Training in Canterbury is the perfect place for you; we are part of the Pitman Training family, one of the most highly respected and recognised training organisations within the UK.

Situated in the heart of the historic town centre of Canterbury, our location is an ideal venue for individuals and businesses seeking high quality training in the local area, close to all transport links and local amenities. Although Canterbury is a place steeped in tradition it is also a modern and vibrant city.

Call us now on 01227 389686 for a free friendly, one-to-one chat with one of our team to see how we can help you achieve what you want out of life!

Find us at:

1 Beer Cart Lane, Canterbury, CT1 2NY.

For more information visit: