Start-ups meet up to share success

A group of Staffordshire start-up businesses met up recently to network and share their experiences of their fledgling businesses.

The gathering was the idea of Aly Davidson, start-up advisor with Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.

Aly said: “I have been in this role for around two years and during that time I have helped over 160 budding entrepreneurs get their new businesses off the ground.

“2021 has been a strange year but a very exciting one for me and the people I have worked with to turn their dreams into reality. I am a naturally positive person and I like to deal with similar minded people. Positivity is infectious and it’s also a vital ingredient in success whatever path you take in life.

“I tend to take people under my wing and give them the tools they need to make a success of their business. I call them ‘Aly’s tribe’ and I like to get them together, online or in person to introduce them to like-minded peers who may go on to become friends and associates as their respective ventures grow.

“Unfortunately, I was only able to accommodate a small proportion of my ‘tribe’ at this gathering with businesses ranging from a bookkeeper to a mobile fish and chip business. I’m hoping to find a bigger venue for St Patrick’s day next year. I’m a Belfast girl so I thought I would teach them how we celebrate success Irish style.”

Deb Butcher, owner of couture start-up Ranfire Design said: “It was an absolute joy to see so many wonderful go-getters. Such an inspiring yet diverse bunch. It lifted my spirits and I left feeling really positive about my own business, which is sometimes hard as a sole trader.”

Psychotherapist and counsellor Harriet Summerfield added: “It was a really great event. Aly is an inspiration, and the networking was invaluable.”

Everyone who attended was asked to provide a little-known fact about themselves. Facts were collated and made into a bingo card. As an icebreaker the group then worked the room to find out which fact belonged to which person. Strange facts included drying Judy Dench’s trousers, crashing a hang glider, accidentally shooting an Olympian, speaking backwards fluently, and loving chickpeas!

If you are thinking of starting a business and would like to discuss your plans, contact start@staffordshirechambers.co.uk or call 01782 202222.

Photo: Aly Davidson (centre) with her ‘tribe’