29 May

Have you locked your keys in the car?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday.
Good reason to own a cell phone:
If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call
someone at home on their mobile phone from your cell phone.

Hold your cell phone about a foot from
your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock
button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end.
Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive
your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be thousands of miles away,
and if you can reach someone who has the other ‘remote’ for your car, you can
unlock the doors (or the trunk).



18 Apr

New Director of The Centre, Roger Gabriel, just having left Kent County Council will be representing The Centre at the 2020 show Detling showground Kent on 19th April and CEO Roger House will be at the Destination Basingstoke business show as an inspirational speaker on the same day.

Roger Gabriel has a background encompassing education, hotel ownership and as part of the Kent Economic Board management team. We are delighted to have him with us as one of our latest members drawn from the public sector who include Robert Hardy last with Kent County Council and John Parsonage last with the SE Regional Development Agency as Director for Education and Skills, now in private enterprise.

Watch this blog as we feature our entrepreneur team and their activities.


17 Apr

Monday 14th May:

Entrepreneurs and Finance: 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM REGISTRATION OPENING SOON

(ICAEW, Chartered Accountants’ Hall, Moorgate Place, London, EC2R 6EA)

The morning’s event will be delivered by The Supper Club – A group of the country’s most innovative, fast growth entrepreneurs who share knowledge, experience and contacts in the spirit of give and take. The session will feature a panel of successful entrepreneurs talking about their challenges and experiences of sourcing finance and sharing finance tools they have used throughout their careers.


Finance Tools for Small Businesses with ICAEW and UK200Group: 12:00 PM to 15:00 PM BOOK MY SEAT


rtered Accountants’ Hall, Moorgate Place, London, EC2R 6EA)

Whether we like it or not the financial health of business is the rock on which it will thrive or perish. Good planning and management is crucial to both sustaining and growing your business. This interactive session covers different aspects of this, looking at:

  • Corporate finance structures that are relevant to the small business start up and growth scenarios, and
  • Taxes, which if managed carefully and efficiently can make available further funding to develop your business.


Access to Finance: Crowdfunding Platforms & Venture Capital Firms: 08:45 AM to 12:30 PM BOOK MY SEAT

(Burson Marsteller, Central St Giles, 1 St Giles High St, London, WC2H 8AG)

Two exciting sessions for early stage companies to attend and hear about ‘Access to Finance’. The day will cover both:

1)    Non-Traditional Early Stage access to finance through a panel that explores the different types and models for crowdfunding platforms

Panelists include:

  • Jeff Lynn, Co-Founder and CEO of Seedrs
  • Luke Lang, Co-Founder of Crowdcube
  • Amanda Boyle, Founder & CEO of Bloom VC
  • Paul Higgins, StartUp Networks Program at Grow VC
  • Simon Dixon, Co-Founder of BankToTheFuture.com

2)     Traditional Early Stage access to finance through a panel conversation with a number of leading Venture Capital firms

Panelists include:

  • Joe Steer, The BVCA Director of Research
  • Alliott Cole, Principal in the ventures division of Octopus
  • Daniel Waterhouse, General Partner of Wellington Partners
  • David J Bagley, Chairman of Venture Hothouse Limited


Financial Fitness seminar with Intuit & How to accept payments in minutes and help your business grow with PayPal:12:00 PM to 15:00 PM BOOK MY SEAT

(Burson Marsteller, Central St Giles, 1 St Giles High St, London, WC2H 8AG)

Financial Fitness Seminar: Understand the finance heartbeat of your business and you will maximise its potential. We promise not to scare you with financial jargon but will equip you with practical advice and guidance on how to become financially agile and set up for long term success.

How to accept payments in minutes and help your business grow: Beverley Bergin, the Senior Business Development Manager at PayPal will be delivering this session.

Wednesday 16th May:

Access to Finance: Corporate Venturing & Business Incubators: 1.30 PM to 17:00 PM BOOK MY SEAT

(Burson Marsteller, Central St Giles, 1 St Giles High St, London, WC2H 8AG)

The 1st panel session will introduce companies to another source of finance for great business ideas in support through investment from Corporations that have an interest in investing in certain technologies or business ideas that may compliment their strategic goals. We will also have a University Venturing representative present to showcase Universities as another attractive venue for finance and support while trying to get businesses off the ground and growing. This panel will be chaired by James Mawson from Global Corporate Venturing.

Panelists include:

  • Luke Johnson, Associate in the Virgin Group’s Investment Team
  • John Telling, Group Corporate Affairs Director at MITIE Millions
  • Timothy Barnes, Executive Director of UCL Advances
  • Jan Harley, Investment Director at Unilever Venturing

The 2nd panel session will serve as a platform for attendees to learn about the support through funding and other value added services that can be provided by incubators and seed competitions. We will also look to discuss the role of accelerators in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide participants with the ability to interact and understand the advantages of going down this route. This panel will be chaired by John Spindler from Capital Enterprise.

Panelists include:

  • Ian Merricks, Managing Partner at White Horse Capital
  • Thomas Jones, Board Member and Invester of Seedcamp
  • Jon Bradford, Co-Founder of Springboard
  • Alex Perry, creator of the Burson-Marsteller Brand Academy

Thursday 17th May:

Exporting for Growth: 13:00 PM to 16:00 PM BOOK MY SEAT

(Hub Westminster, London, SW1Y 4TE)

This panel will be addressing the large opportunity that exports may present for UK companies. The UK India Business Council together with experts and entrepreneurs will look to share insights and experiences with attendees.

Panelists include:

  • Neal Gandhi, CEO of Quickstart Global
  • Anil Stocker, Co-Founder of Market Invoice
  • Omleen Ajimal, Head of Taylor Wessing India Group

Friday 18th May:

Tools for Optimising Working Capital: 08:45 AM to 10:30 AM BOOK MY SEAT

(Hub Westminster, London, SW1Y 4TE)

This panel will be addressing the opportunity for startups and growth companies to leverage next generation tools to help optimise their working capital positions. With the emergence of an online invoice sale market, the ability to tap the crowd through debt instruments to raise capital and next generation collections solutions, there is a lot that can help lower costs and as such add value to startups and growth companies.

Panelists include:

  • Samir Desai, Co-Founder and CEO of Funding Circle
  • Anil Stocker, Co-Founder of Market Invoice
  • Samantha Heard, Marketing Director of ComparetheDCA
  • Rupert Lee-Browne, Chief Executive Officer of Caxton FX
  • Christoph Rieche, Co-Founder of iwoca


Microfinance and Entrepreneurship: 10:00 AM to 12:45 PM BOOK MY SEAT

(Hub Westminster, London, SW1Y 4TE)

This panel session will explore the various organisations that have been providing micro loans to those looking to start or supporting a fledgling business to grow. Panelists include representatives from the Princes Trust, Enterprise Nation and Shell Livewire.

Panelists include:

  • Emma Jones, Co-Founder of StartUp Britain and Founder of Enterprise Nation
  • Ginny Lunn, Head of Policy and Strategy at The Prince’s Trust
  • Stu Anderson, Project Director at Shell LiveWIRE



Bank mis-selling

16 Apr

The Federation of Small Businesses has been inundated with complaints about banks mis-selling small businesses complex interest swap agreements. Watch FSB member Paul Adcock talk to Robert Peston on the BBC about the issue http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17587580.

Another member is collating stories for a website on the issue and so if you have been affected email the FSB with your story.


16 Apr

The Red Tape Challenge website gives businesses the opportunity to highlight regulations which they find to be particularly burdensome. You can use the website to draw attention to any general regulations but each month there is also a specific focus on certain areas of regulation. At the moment the focus is sports and recreation.




11 Apr

Mike Southon, the nationally known “Beermat” Entrepreneur has agreed to work with The Centre and has met with Roger House the CEO to talk through the progress and aspirations of the Centre. He fully supports the objectives and everything that we have assembled and sees the project as a nationally scaleable one. In that he joins a growing number of influential people keeping an eye on our progress.

Mike is one of the world’s top business speakers, a Fellow of The Professional Speakers Association.
He is a very experienced conference facilitator and moderator, having interviewed over 100 top business people, now featured every Saturday in his Financial Times column, ‘My Business’. Mike is co-author of several best-selling business books, including The Beermat Entrepreneur and Sales on a Beermat. He also supports the Federation of Small Business campaign – The Real Life Entrepreneur.





23 Mar

Problems continually occur where the public and private sector interface, especially where there is a rule book to follow.

Predominantly those in planning in particular have little or no experience of business especially in the areas of risk taking, financial controls, cashflows and the reality of delivering a profit that will employ people.

We have to establish a realistic approach, the UK already has a reputation for “gold-plating” regulation, that is following the rules to the letter rather than as a sensible guide.

There is inflexibility and non-conformity between locations i.e. local councils and then between the individuals enforcing the regulation. Too often it has degenerated to an enforcement officer’s personal opinion.

There is also poor communication between the various bodies where and when one or more regulatory bodies have to contribute to decisions eg: highways and building regs.

The problems highlighted with planning are a demonstration of a generic symptom. An environment founded on punishment rather than encouragement. A process of penalties rather than guidance.

However life is not that simple as there are always people attempting to bend the rules so much is based upon dealing with the lowest common denominator.

It needs to have flexibility and reality as its base line.