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Enterprise First / Growth Vouchers

Contact: STipton
Address: 11 Wellington Street, , Aldershot, Surrey, GU11 1DX
T: 07799 140380 | M: 07799 140380
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Enterprise First are a not for profit organisation and the delivery partner for the Government's Start & Grow Initiative along with a Virgin Start Up Loan…

Listed in: Business Advisor

Are you REDy?

It's that time of year again when you can wear whatever red clothing you have and raise money and awareness for the British Heart Foundation.

Join us tomorrow February 7th - attend one of your network meeting with as much red as you dare to wear and raise money for the charity.

Find out more here -



Christmas breakfast meeting

Take a look at our Christmas joint breakfast meeting held at the Beachcroft Hotel in Bognor Regis. Great venue, great atmosphere, great people... and great networking!

Thank you to Matthew Riley of ChichesterTube who shot the video.

Why dont you join us one morning soon at Bognor or Chichester... it's that Friday feeling!

First Friday celebrates a decade of networking

When local designer Steve Wilson moved his business from London to Sussex ten years ago, he decided to get to know his local business community by launching a brand new networking group called The First Friday Network. “Getting out and about to meet new business people each and every week just isn’t possible when you’re busy running your own business, so I decided to get local businesses to come and meet me!” In 2003 the very first group opened in Chichester and today, a decade later, the First Friday Network has spread nationwide, operating in over 20 locations and communicating with more than 1500 members online.

The way First Friday differs from other networking groups is that it is free and the atmosphere is relaxed and informal. “My vision is to give small businesses like mine something for nothing – there is no membership fee and no meeting fee; the only ‘cost’ is your time and effort,” says Steve. “It is this kind of informal, fun atmosphere that naturally leads to business being done,” he says. “ I think it’s the key to our success and makes us different from other networks – there is no forced referral generation, no forced ‘60 seconds’ and no lock-outs. I believe if you want to do business you will anyway, without the hard-sell factor! Anyone is welcome to attend; all you have to do is to bring your business cards and any marketing material you want to share.”

Because the First Friday atmosphere is fun and informal, members are encouraged to make their contacts at their own pace and on their own terms. It’s a regular opportunity for them to exchange ideas, share solutions to mutual business problems, promote their businesses and help promote others. New alliances are formed, personal recommendations are made and newcomers can meet regulars and vice versa. Steve believes: “Networking is about making new bonds and nurturing existing relationships, and this has never applied more than now in the current challenging economic climate.”

Since the early days of the network in Chichester, First Friday has spread across the country with meetings held every month in East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and South Wales. All the groups are aligned to one another, but are run by local business people with local business knowledge. The website is very active with a members blog and business directory.

Recently Steve has applied this winning format to breakfast meetings where the same relaxed approach is attracting more and more members. Currently the breakfast groups operate in Chichester, Bognor Regis (West Sussex) and Neath Port Talbot (South Wales) with plans to open a meeting in Lambeth (South London) shortly. The long term goal is to grow the First Friday network further into a national organisation.

“At the heart of every good business, large or small, are people, which is why, especially in this age of online engagement and social media, meeting face-to-face and personal contact is vital,” says Steve.

See you at a meeting near you soon... or if there isn't one get in touch and we'll help you set one up!

Photographs © Graham Sapsford

Ten years graphic

Steve Wilson and Kenrick Garaway

View more images

Nigel Botterill’s Entrepreneurs Circle Offer

Nigel has seen what we do at First Friday to encourage our members to work together and do business and is very supportive of what we have achieved, so he has made us an incredible offer... 2 months trial FREE plus over £1000 worth of goodies... see the screengrab below.

I recently joined the EC and have been amazed at the wealth of practical information available that you can easily understand and instantly apply to your own business. It's not just "American evangelical business psycho babble" - he's from Leeds and he's taken out all of the bo****** that a lot of "business gurus" often talk!

To get your hands on this pack worth £1080 for just £19.95 all you have to do is sign up for 2 months free trial membership - there is no tie in, no minimum number of months, no "you must buy this as well" - just join and if you don't think it's for you after your 2 month trial you can cancel or start your payments, it is only £69 +vat per month, and you only pay a month at a time, it's that simple.

So you would be a fool not to at least give it a try. Just click the link and fill in your details and then you can start growing your business!

YES - I am interested in growing my business and get all that stuff for just £19.95  - click here

YES - I would like to see the videos for free - click here

Get the video here

Entrepreneurs Circle offer

First Friday works for you!

I asked on LinkedIn and Facebook for some testimonials of how the network is having a positive effect on your business and here are the first couple of responses. Do you have a story to tell us?

"First Friday (Lewes) has been the biggest source of new clients from face-to-face networking! This is why I was happy to take over organisation of the group. And then of course I went to take on organisation of Third Friday Brighton and have got work from there. Cannot see me stopping any time soon. And now I've launched a new business (see I hope to get even more work in the coming months and years."
Ashley Price, Bannana Office

"After one visit to an 'Open' First Friday Network meeting in Bognor Regis with the amazing Kay Phillips I have got myself a new Accountant from Finch Lynton for Heels of Arundel, purchased myself a new smart phone from Chris at O2 in Bognor, and Paul Inskip Photography is now supporting my charity Chestnut Tree House Children's Hospice. Not bad eh! I would highly recommend adding a First Friday Network meeting to your diary."
Caroline Roberts-Quigley, Heels of Arundel

Also, everyone seems to be very happy with the membership pack that you get when you join the breakfast network! Thank you Paul Service ( for the Tweet!