An SK Pioneers competition to find the district’s top new entrepreneur has attracted 12 entries, with the winner to be announced by the end of March.
Entries closed on Friday to mark the end of South Kesteven District Council’s Enterprise Week, with keen competition for a council-funded £1,000 first prize for the best business idea and £250 to the runner-up, courtesy of the Federation of Small Businesses.
Social media headlined in a busy week, with sessions on blogging for business, improving a LinkedIn profile, and the knack of getting a business tweet over in 140 characters.
SKDC’s business showcase drew around 400 people to sessions on business development and entrepreneurial spirit, stimulating business growth and helping create new business with workshops, talks and networking events across Grantham, Stamford and Market Deeping.
Twitter expert Louise Hudson used her ‘To Tweet or not to Tweet’ sessions in both Stamford and Grantham to help delegates get started, create content and build followers.
Michelle Board showed how a business blog is a brilliant, and free, way to get the attention and trust of hundreds or even thousands of fans, and why it’s worth all the effort, explaining: “The last five or six years have really seen business hooking into social media as a way of making a customer contact.”
Paul Parkinson, SKDC business advice specialist, took his audience from business concept to having an online business in a very short space of time.
Specialist consultancy Kerching Retail helped plan a digital marketing campaign, advising retailers whether they should be using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Snapchat, a website, blog or doing email marketing with Mailchimp.
A packed employment skills day in Grantham led Dale Dudley, business development director for Grantham JobCentre to say: “People are coming into one place meeting employers and talking to employers. Many haven’t got that far before. It’s all here under one roof.”
Speaking at a successful Total Networking evening featuring multi medal winning Paralympian Jade Etherington as keynote speaker, Steve Ingram,
SKDC corporate director development and growth summed up the week by saying: “Economic development and growing our economy is a key corporate aim and it’s really important as central Government support for small business has fallen away that we support our local businesses in difficult times.”
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