Getting started with the right mentor


    Starting your new business can feel lonely; but help is out there.

    Help in finding a mentor is one of the most common queries we get at the Business & IP Centre, but how can you optimise your time with a mentor? How would you make sure you’re asking the right questions? And how do you know who you can trust?

    In this session, advisors from the National Business Support Helpline will outline some of the funded schemes and initiatives which could give you the help you need right now and ensure you’re getting the right mentorship for you.


    This session will help you:

  • determine exactly what knowledge and advice you need from a mentor
  • learn tips and techniques for how to succinctly convey your questions and get the most from your mentor.


We’ll also hear from founder of fashion brand The Cambridge Satchel Company, Julie Deane OBE, about the times she’s sought out help and how as a result, it’s changed the direction of her business.

At the end of this session, following both Julie’s and National Business Support Helpline’s advice, you’ll feel confident in knowing how to use external advisors to move your start-up forward.

Speakers

Paul Kirtley

Business Advisor

Julie Deane CBE

Founder & CEO Cambridge Satchel Company and Entrepreneur in Residence British Library

More Events

Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Fashion Retail Reimagined


Online retail sales for textiles, clothing and footwear reached an unprecedented peak of 31% in 2020, as reported by UKFT, and in the UK alone the fashion and textile sector boasts a staggering 34,045 businesses. Now in 2023, the industry of fashion retail is witnessing the emergence of several exciting trends that are revolutionizing the shopping experience.

TikTok's live shopping experience, the growth of omni-channel retail, the increasing importance of second-hand fashion, supply chain innovations, and the rise of diversity and inclusivity are reshaping the fashion retail landscape. With these emerging trends, traditional brick-and-mortar shops have been reimagined, giving way to a new era of shopping experiences that seamlessly blend the physical and digital realms.

Our panel of five inspiring fashion experts and entrepreneurs will explore how these changes are influencing the industry and share valuable insights on leveraging these shifts to your advantage – leaving you inspired, informed, and ready to conquer the future of fashion retail.

Quotes: https://www.ukft.org/business-advice/industry-reports-and-stats. and Top Fashion Retail Trends of 2023: Innovations Shaping the Industry — Femestella.

On the day, expect to:

Discover the intersection of high-end fashion and sustainability that is reshaping the market through consumer-to-consumer shared economy modelsExplore the latest business models in fashion retail, from traditional high street to cutting-edge online platformsLearn about the world of pop-up shops, offering not only unique shopping experiences but also sales opportunities for start-upsDive into the thriving market of live shopping, from social media live videos to online shop ecommerce platformsUnderstand how small businesses are establishing successful retail and ecommerce identities to grow their brandLearn how the power of innovative concepts, combined with community support, can revolutionise shopping in key locations.

For those joining us in person, the event will be followed by a networking reception with drinks, canapés, meeting with other attendees, as well as the speakers. For those joining us online, the panel and talk will run from 18.30 – 20.30

This event is tailored to those who are just thinking about starting a business, are already a business owner who wants to learn more, or perhaps simply wish to establish a stronger network. Attendees will leave this event feeling inspired and engaged.

How to build an engaging website

London libraries are transforming the way ideas grow into successful businesses. By partnering with ten London boroughs, we are developing a community of new and existing business owners, which is free to join and open to everyone. Whether you are just setting out, need advice on protecting your intellectual property, or simply have a brilliant idea you want to discuss, we're here to guide you. Since April 2020, we have offered all of our Start-ups in London Libraries' services online, including our core workshops and virtual one-to-ones with our borough Business Champions, many of whom will be hosting sessions during Start-up Day. To find out more about Start-ups in London Libraries and how to join our thriving business community, visit bl.uk/SiLL.

A website is a fundamental part of starting your business. And in this increasingly digital world, your website is more and more your store front, it has to reflect your brand.

This event is for individuals who would like to learn how to build a website for their business using a well-known website builder. You will learn where to start when building a website, how to plan your customer journey and how to fulfil the accessibility requirements. As well as creating a sleekly-functioning website, we will also share tips on how to make it look good.

Afterwards, there will be a discussion and Q&A led by Loretta Awuah (Greenwich Start-ups in London Libraries’ SME Champion) and Mark Berbeck (Lewisham Start-ups in London Libraries’ SME Champion) around other ways to build your business’ online presence, such as social media platforms, SEO, e-mail marketing, influencer marketing etc.

Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Building the Black Economy


Join our panel of experts to learn how Black entrepreneurs are building empires online by using their influence and creativity.

You will hear from six inspiring entrepreneurs at various stages in their careers and across a range of industries, as our panel come together to discuss the considerations they took into account when building their businesses and the insights they have learnt along the way.

Whether you are just thinking about starting a business, a business owner who wants to learn more, or perhaps you wish to establish a stronger network, you’ll leave this event feeling inspired and engaged.

On the day, you can expect to:

Learn how the Black Lives Matter movement prompted the rise in Black enterprises and powered increased support for themUnderstand the financial reality of starting a business in today’s changing marketExplore Black-owned businesses in theatre and the arts and the importance of representation on the stageRecognise the power of the Black pound and how to convert this knowledge into assets for the Black economyLearn about the importance of social media for building Black businesses.
Following this will be an engaging and thought-provoking Fireside Chat – a discussion on community building with Black Pound Day founder and So Solid Crew member, Swiss.

About our panel

Rachael Twumasi-Corson, CEO and founder of Afrocenchix Ltd. At 19 Rachael co-founded Afrocenchix, an award-winning ethical start-up that creates safe, effective, vegan certified products for Afro & curly hair.Emmanuel Asuquo, founder of The Eman Effect UK, is a renowned, financial adviser, media personality, wealth building entrepreneur and international speaker.TJ Atkinson is a Property Investor, who specialises in transforming homes into beautiful, creative masterpieces. Alongside growing his portfolio, TJ supports people in his community with getting started in property.Indie Gordon is Head of Program at Foundervine and founder of Halo safety app. She aims to empower today's and tomorrow's companies, ensuring they’re tech-enabled and can weather the storm of any social, economic or environmental change.The panel will be moderated by Khai Shaw, co-founder of the theatre company Nuu Theatre. Khai has collaborated with the English Touring Theatre Company and the Bush Theatre.

Fireside Chat

Swiss is the founder of Black Pound Day, the UK's biggest economic movement that supports Black-owned businesses. He is a cultural influencer, business leader, author, and highly acclaimed musician and member of So Solid Crew. Alongside his passion for music, Swiss founded the Black Pound Day movement to support awareness and growth of the Black businesses and economy in the UK and global diasporic communities. Recently, Swiss opened the first permanent retail store at Westfield London, Europe's biggest shopping centre, and continues to actively support hundreds of businesses across the country.The chat will be moderated by Jacqueline Brown, BIPC Business Support Programming Manager, serial entrepreneur and founder of businesses Africa Fashion Guide, Wax and Wraps and M.O.R.Empire. Since 2011, Jacqueline has helped start-ups to build and launch sustainable fashion businesses from scratch with coaching, digital tools, community and connections.

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