On Friday, November 18th, we held our annual Global Entrepreneurship Week event, pulling together service users, tenants of our business centre Weatherill House, and many other local business people who joined us to network to help to grow their own businesses.
The event was a mammoth four-hour session in total, but it seems Friday afternoon is a popular time to network as we were sold out two weeks before the event.
We kicked off the afternoon with a mini-trade fair, bringing together some of our current Incubator Programme delegates and some of our BOXPARK competition applicants to help them gain exposure and get feedback on their new products.
One of our exhibitors, London South Bank University, was also the sponsor for the afternoon event. They are supporting us to enable further economic growth here in Croydon.
Carrie Rutherford, Principle LSBU Business School, talked about a key service provided by LSBU, their student-led Business Solutions Centre, which is a free service for local businesses and entrepreneurs. If you can identify an area of your business that you need support with or a particular problem that you want to be able to solve, or perhaps an opportunity that you want to evaluate, there are several ways the Business Solutions Centre can help you.
Our afternoon event took place in one of our larger meeting rooms upstairs and was in full support of International Men’s Day with a particular focus on men’s mental health.
As a fierce supporter of International Women’s Day and a feminist myself, I felt in a strong position to be able to deliver this event to celebrate Men and to speak openly about mental health and how adversity can lead to success.
Collectively, the speakers represented our diverse community. Individually, they have each overcome personal challenges and adversity that fuelled their drive and passion that led to their current success.
Our speakers were:
The speakers shared deeply personal stories that resonated with many of the people in the room, and were a powerful reminder of the life-changing challenges some people face. They talked openly about the strategies they now implement to help them support their own mental health as a way of looking after themselves, enabling them to lead normal and successful lives.
The main takeaways were:
- Balance: Maintain a balance in life. Don’t overwork or overplay. Look at your week and plan time for you.
- Acceptance: Accept your circumstances and process things which are out of your control.
- Mindset: Have a growth mindset. You can only control your response to situations, not the situation itself.
- Impact: Work out how you can help to make a difference. If something you care about doesn’t work, speak up and ask for help to make change happen.
The session ended on a high, focusing on the positive impact of talking about problems and asking for help can have on everyone’s lives, especially men, as they are more inclined to keep problems to themselves.
The day concluded with a fabulous free-flow networking session, where delegates had the opportunity to build relationships and meet new and old contacts.
Feedback from the day’s events included:
“Thanks so much for the event yesterday! I think it was very good. A lot of events just bank on people mingling, but there was a real purpose and community spirit, and I love all the further help you provide to the Croydon community.”
“Thanks again for Friday. As always, it was a really good event, and we’re already looking forward to the next one.”
“Yesterday at the fair I took the opportunity to do market research, feedback proved that customers loved the bag and were prepared to pay the extra money.”