Welcome to the latest edition of the SVBS newsletter.

This week we're focusing on the first of our virtual networking events with the Networking In... team that takes place at 10.30am on Wednesday 10 November. Below, you'll find event details, and a message from the group's founder Peter Mols.

We're also highlighting the latest Government "Help to Grow" programme that helps SME's to develop digital and management skills. More on this in our opportunities section.

Moving ahead with the new format of our newsletter, we hope to focus on local opportunities and would love your help to crowdsource more local information! If you have business, news, an event, or opportunity or you would like us to feature, please get in touch.

- Team SVBS
A note from Peter Mols, Founder of Outside Ideas and host of our Networking in... events
As a business owner, I find it so easy to get pulled into the urgent things that crop up on a day to day basis. Emails, phone calls and general fire fighting have been known to consume all my time when I allow it. As a business coach, I know that I'll never reach my full potential if I continually fire-fight without making time for strategy.

In his book, 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People', Steven Covey says:

'The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.'

I'm delighted to be coming to you today on the eve of our first ever Networking In... & SVBS Networking event, safe in the knowledge that I got this opportunity because I
spent time focussing on strategy and strategic partnerships. If you feel like you're constantly busy putting out fires and working harder than your income suggests, allow me to impart one piece of advice that may help: commit to three hours of strategic planning per week. Doing so will help you focus on the important things that will push you forward and help you grow.

If you've joined Networking in... before, you'll find us different from the rest. We're fun, friendly and fast paced.

I do hope you can join us.

- Peter
Join us for our first SVBS and Networking In... event on Wednesday 10 November from
10:30 - 12:00 as we welcome Mike Lawton, Co-Founder and Director of Oxford Dynamics, to talk about 'Working the media'. Mike is a former Vale4Business Award winner and serial entrepreneur. Having previously worked at the BBC, Mike will kindly be sharing some tips using real life examples on how you can work the media without having any budget.

The first 40 businesses to register for this event can claim a half-price ticket for just £5, using the code 'SVBS'.

Check out the Government's new Help to Grow programme

Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of our economy. The new Help to Grow programme will help SMEs to develop the skills they need to innovate, grow and help drive our recovery from COVID-19.

The programme is split into two schemes - Management and Digital:

Help to Grow: Management course

Sign up to the 12-week Help to Grow: Management course and get 1:1 support from a business mentor and access to an alumni network. Delivered in partnership with Small Business Charter, courses are running at leading business schools across the UK.​ The programme is 90% funded by the government, so you only pay £750.

Register for a course on the Small Business Charter website.
Help to Grow: Digital

You’ll be able to access free, impartial online support about how digital technology can boost your business’ performance. From December 2021, if your business is eligible, you can also get a discount of up to 50% towards the costs of buying approved software, worth up to £5,000.

Register your interest for the Digital course here.
Enterprise Nation's Next Gen Fest

Friday 12 November    |   10:00 - 16:00

If you're a budding entrepreneur aged 16-30, we recommend checking out Next Gen Fest. Running virtually for 2021, the event will be filled with with talks from inspiring speakers who will share their stories and insights into the world of running your own business as a young founder.

Whether you're already a business owner or are just interested in the idea of becoming your own boss, come along for advice from expert panels, opportunities to network with like-minded doers and the chance to pitch your own business (or business idea) to a panel of experts.

Register for the event on the Enterprise Nation website.
Download our new 'Greening the web' guide for businesses

Following on from our 'Greening the web: how your business can help' workshop, we've put together a free guide for businesses on how you can reduce your Digital Carbon Footprint.

Created in partnership with Sustainable Results Lab, the guide outlines the easy-to-implement changes your business can make to green the web, while increasing the impact of your website, marketing and communications.

Topics included are:

  • Find out how your website is impacting the planet
  • Using a green hosting provider
  • Simplifying your user experience
  • Maximising the value of content
  • Images and video
  • Colour
  • Typography
  • Email usage
  • Devices
Further details can be found on our website.

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