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See in the autumn with colour and inspiration

This autumn sees women from all over the area coming together for two “inspiring” events.

First on the agenda is the Inspired Women BIG Conversation on September 26.

Inspired Youth has been running various Inspired Women projects in schools across Norfolk and Suffolk, involving hundreds of young women and local businesswomen.

This will be the second Inspired Women BIG Conversation and the chance to hear from some of those who have been involved with Inspired Women in schools and in the world of work.

The events is free and gives women the chance to share their thoughts on subjects including what makes a person inspiring and how they can help young women, how self-esteem and self-confidence impacts on life choices and the next step for the organisation.

The events will run from 8.30am to noon at The Space, Roundtree Way, Norwich. For more information see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/inspired-women-big-conversation-2017-26-sept-tickets-31061388449.

On October 12, the venue switches to Sprowston Manor Hotel and the emphasis is on colours for the Inspired Women charity event Girls Night Out 2017.

The theme is I’m Every Colour to celebrate all the different colours that represent women. Marketing manager Jenna Rich said: “We’d love everyone who comes along to dress in your favourite colour to help us make the event as colourful as each of you.”

It’s the third year for Girls Night Out, which aims to give local young women the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of an audience, to be pampered and entertained.

The funds raised on the night will be used to support the Inspired Women mentoring programme for young women across Norfolk, as well as raising money for partner charity BREAK.

The evening will include a fashion show, pampering stands, shopping stands, goody bags for the first 50 through the door, a raffle plus more.

Earlybird tickets are available for £8until September 27, after which the full ticket price will apply of £9. Group discount bookings are also available.

See more and book at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/girls-night-out-2017-sprowston-manor-12-october-2017-tickets-33660168470

Jenna Rich is ready with a smile

Traders meeting to discuss future of seaside towns

Sheringham and Cromer chambers of trade are meeting this month to discuss the future prosperity of the local economy.

The two groups have got together the personalities who shape the future of the two towns to hear what they have to say and give businesses the opportunity to express concerns and hopes.

The meeting is being seen as a “one-off opportunity to have your say to those that matter” and will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 6-8pm, at Sheringham Golf Club.

A top table of invited guest has been assembled of North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, Nigel Best, who is the growth hub manager for New Anglia, Rob Young, head of economic and community development at North Norfolk District Council, and town mayors David Gooch and John Frosdick. The meeting will be chaired by the leader of the district council, Tom FitzPatrick.

The panellists will give a brief presentation of their views on the outlook for the areas from their perspective to be followed by a question and answer session from the audience

Anyone wishing to attend is being asked to confirm by September 24 to Economic.growth@north-norfolk.gov.uk or telephone 01263 516009. Any topics you specifically would like to be discussed must be submitted by September 19.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

Aylsham students boost their business experience

Story and pictures by Ella Hawes and Caitlin Stursberg

Aylsham High School played host the future Alan Sugars of the world as they took on a series of challenges with one aim, to win over as many investors as possible.

The business BOOST (Building On Our Skills Together) day on July 12 saw each team being given a different trademark brand and an unexpected target audience. There was Lush for men, Primark for the rich and PlayStation for girls.

The event was organised by AHS Young Chamber and involved a collection of business enthusiasts, all students at Aylsham High School. The day is held annually for Year 7 students who have shown excellent participation and interest in business and enterprise, to work together and engage in a marketing task supported by older students, with people from local businesses acting as mentors.

Each team had to create a campaign using different media platforms to attract their target audience, and then pitch their ideas to the investors. There was a 15-minute window to address their pitches to the investors, all businessmen/women from the local community.

Chaos reigned as all the teams tried to get the investors’ attention. Standing in the middle of it all, the students came up with a variety of ideas to attract the investors and their target audiences; there were teams who made branded T-shirts, there were loads of people holding up posters for their campaign and one team created their own app.

They were all desperately trying to get the investors to listen to their pitch and give them the coveted investors’ cards they need to win. At the end of the day the team with the most investment cards would win. The winners were the Baby Dragons with their budget range of Nike sportswear.

One investor, Sabina Rospedzihowska, said it was great to be able “to mentor the kids and watch their ideas grow”. And the students certainly had lots of ideas and things to say when we went round to speak to them.

On the PlayStation team Sophie Baker said how she was “experiencing what it’s like to work with others”. They had to pitch PlayStation to girls and had come up with an idea called PlayStation Light that involved apps on phones, educational gains, parental conscriptions and many other things. This team had also designed two posters to go with their campaign.

The Primark team were pitching for the top end of the market and had made T-shirts, bags, purses and accessories all made out of top-quality material. Naomi Ives said: “This will be good for our future.”

But Emma Lucy Auber, head of business studies at the school said the day was also about having fun and “bringing business to life”.

The students had to tackle problems which occurred within their campaigns, and how solving one problems often led to another making it hard to pitch the perfect campaign.

The team of older students, though, were on hand to encourage the younger students and help them to develop their ideas.

Employers encouraged to shape next generation in North Norfolk

Employers will be given the opportunity to help youngsters increase their understanding of the world of work via a series of events organised by North Norfolk District Council.

Held in partnership with the New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network, they will crteate an opportunity for employers to meet staff from the district’s schools and colleges.

The events – which are free – will explain to businesses how to become an Enterprise Adviser, promote and highlight the benefits for businesses that work with young people, and build on the skills and enthusiasm of North Norfolk’s young people.

Businesses that want to find out how to prepare and shape the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs can book a place and then head along to The Atrium in North Walsham tomorrow (April 25), Cromer Academy on Wednesday (April 26) or Fakenham Academy on Thursday (April 27). All three events are at 4.30pm-6pm, and refreshments will be provided.

There will be the opportunity to network with businesses that are already working with schools in North Norfolk, and learn about the activities that businesses can deliver. These range from work experience and workplace visits – which will suit larger businesses – to mock interviews, mentoring and talks, which any business can offer, including small businesses and the self-employed.

Enterprise Advisers are volunteers who use their strategic knowledge and experience to help senior staff in schools draw up a careers delivery plan for students aged 11-18.

To find out more or to book a place, please contact the Economic Growth Team at economic.growth@north-norfolk.gov.uk or on 01263 5166009.

Six months in and they still mean business

Norfolk business support organisation, Genix will celebrate six months of hosting its monthly business networking event, Coffee Means Business, in March.

Held at various locations across North Norfolk the event was established in September 2016 and was commissioned by North Norfolk District Council. It attracts more than 30 businesses who network informally over coffee.

The next Coffee Means Business will take place on Friday, March 24,  on the first floor of The Prince of Wales Stand, Fakenham Racecourse, 9.30am-11.30am and the speakers will include Gin Wilson-North (pictured) of Walk and Glamp providing stress-free walking and glamping holidays around the whole coast of Norfolk.

Gary Parker, who hosts Coffee Means Business said, “We’re extremely pleased to be celebrating six months of Coffee Means Business, Norfolk.  The feedback we’ve had from attendees has been extremely positive, businesses appreciate meeting different people every month, and they enjoy the informality, friendliness and low cost which we’ve maintained at just £2 per person, with no membership or joining fees.”

Nigel Dixon, from North Norfolk District Council, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have commissioned Coffee Means Business as a way to support freelancers, self-employed, business owners and companies alike. It’s a great format to meet new business people, build professional relationships and expand your client base.”

Genix is a not-for-profit organisation which has been supporting businesses for more than 20 years with business skills masterclasses, advice and events.

For more details of Coffee Means Business go to www.genix.org.uk or phone 0800 096 3013.

Coffee Means Business in Cromer

Coffee Means Business is in Cromer this week for networking, hosted by Genix the business support agency for Norfolk’s business community.

January’s Coffee Means Business attracted more then 35 business people from a wide area who made new contacts over tea and coffee in the conservatory at Scarborough Hill Country Inn, North Walsham.

The speakers included Paul Brittain, who has recently established his company, Norfolk360. He’s a trusted Google supplier of 360 degree videos for Google Streetview. Paul showed how easy it is to increase footfall and sales by improving your online presence with internal and external tours of business premises. He showcased two companies who he has recently with worked onsite, Deer’s Glade Camping and Caravan Park and at Heydon Village Tea Shop, to bring both businesses to life, online.

Andrew Winship of Andrew David Photography, a new Genix patron, shared examples of both still life photography and videos to show how the most mundane products and business services can be improved and enhanced with great photography for print, social media and websites to encourage potential customers to buy. Short videos are becoming a must for business websites and Andrew showed different ways they can be used to get a business message across.

North Norfolk District Council commissioned Genix to organise and host Coffee Means Business in the North Norfolk area as they could see there was a need for a regular networking opportunity for businesses which didn’t involve expensive membership fees.

Genix were chosen because it is a not for profit organisation which, for more than 20 years, has been supporting businesses. In Norfolk, the organisation provides free business advice sessions for established businesses and start-ups, subsidised business skills courses and events for ambitious small businesses and self-employed people.

Nigel Dixon, cabinet member for business and economic development said: “It was a good informal session and a chance to hear directly from companies in our region. I’d encourage other businesses to come along to the next Coffee Means Business on Friday (February 17) at 9.30am at the Red Lion in Cromer.”

For more details regarding Genix and its subsidised services go to www.genix.org.uk or call 0800 096 3013.

Paul Brittain of Norfok360 at Coffee Means Business

Ruth Lowe of Ruth Elizabethevents.co.uk at CMB North Walsham

New business gets a Twitter boost from Theo Paphitis

A Norfolk firm has received a business boost from retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis.

Victoria Lawrence, social media manager at Brundall-based Agent Shave, tweeted Theo about the business during Small Business Sunday and was one of six weekly winners to gain a retweet by Theo to his 500,000 Twitter followers. The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, now has 1700 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.

Business and retail entrepreneur and self-confessed shopkeeper, Theo re‐tweeted Agent Shave’s message to his almost 500,000 followers and as a result, @agent_shave has 300 more followers and extra orders for its wet shaving and beard products.  They are also profiled on the #SBS website that is exclusive to all Small Business Sunday winners.

Victoria said: “The retweet from Theo couldn’t have come at a better time. We launched our retail online store only in November after a year of trialing the very best in artisan shaving brands.  Agent Shave started as a personal passion for the directors, this dream is now turning into a reality.”

Theo said: “We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK.  My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings. The website and shop #SBS will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Agent Shave every success.”

Anyone looking for a re‐tweet from Theo should tweet him about their business on Sunday 5-7.30pm and include the hashtag #SBS. Six lucky businesses are re‐tweeted every Monday at 8pm and then invited to enter their profile on the new website, attend the annual #SBS networking event and take advantage of the networking opportunities.

www.agentshave.co.uk

 

Chance to join North Walsham mentor scheme

Business people and employers are being urged to volunteer to take part in a hugely successful mentoring scheme aimed at helping high school students gain the confidence and employability skills they will need in later life.

North Walsham High School will launch the fourth year of its acclaimed Mentoring Scheme in February – an initiative which has been emulated by high schools as far away as Truro.

Mentors take on between two and five Year 9 student mentees, and meet regularly with them over a two and a half year period, as well as being available via email and telephone, to offer support and advice on qualifications, skills needed to progress towards their ambitions, and to help motivate and inspire them.

Currently more than 280 students at the school are benefitting from having a mentor, with around 70 mentors taking part.

Students who have taken part in the scheme have spoken about how the experience helped build their confidence and self-esteem, as well as guiding them in their choices for the future.  Mentors have also reported that taking part has been a rewarding experience, helping their own personal development, as well as ensuring that tomorrow’s workforce has the skills needed to be useful employees.

“Our mentoring programme is designed to provide role models for our students,” said Paul Leaver, who is leading the initiative.  “We want them to be inspired, motivated, confident, and full of self-belief.

“We need to develop their ‘soft skills’ to improve their long-term employment prospects, because the latest research shows that this has huge benefits for both students and employers in the medium and long term.  Employers have highlighted that employability skills are lacking in young people, so our aim is to build on these to enable them to progress in the world of work.”

“We believe that all of our students benefit from mentoring, and it should be an entitlement for all.  Limited aspirations, low confidence, a weak sense of personal urgency and a limited understanding of career opportunities are shared across all ability levels.”

Employers and business people who are interested in taking part in the NWHS Mentoring Scheme are being invited to a business breakfast at the school to find out more.  The event takes place on 24th January from 7am-8.30am.  Those interested in attending can reserve a place by contacting Kate Lawn Monday to Wednesday on 01692 402581 or by email on lawnk@nwhs.uk.

The 2017 scheme will be launched at a ‘Speed Networking’ event at the school on February 8.  Mentors receive training, and are required to complete a DBS check.

Case Study

Mentor Carla Daniels has been mentoring three current Year 11 students for two years, and meets with them regularly.  The accountant with local firm Lovewell Blake says that the experience has been positive for both her mentees and herself.

“I have enjoyed being a mentor a great deal,” she says.  “As business people we have a responsibility if we want young people to become well-rounded individuals who are ready for work.

“I have enjoyed every session I have had with my mentees, and I will definitely be re-joining the scheme with a fresh set of Year 9 students.

“ I have a daughter myself who had nothing like this at school – as an employer I can really see the value of the scheme, and I have also learnt a lot myself from taking part.”

Mentor Carla Daniels from Lovewell Blake (left) with NWHS student mentees (from left) Carly Meizner, Harleigh Byers and Marcia Pegg (Picture: Andy Newman)