TV Dragon and Retail Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis will be hosting the annual free #SBS Small Business Sunday event at the Birmingham ICC in February. The event is the annual highlight for many small businesses in the UK, and is an opportunity to hear from industry experts and partners of the #SBS Community. This is the 11th free event that Theo Paphitis has hosted for his network of winners, since its launch in 2013.
On supporting small business, Theo commented: “I am delighted that the #SBS voice is recognised as a free initiative that packs a punch for UK’s small businesses. To have industry-leading backing, through a fantastic and exclusive list of innovative and expert partners, will open doors of opportunity for the 4,000-strong network.
“In these tough times SMEs need our support more than ever and the value of being part of the #SBS community is immeasurable in upskilling, supporting and motivating some of the brightest startups and small businesses in the UK.
“Our partners lead by example – sharing their unrivalled expertise and leading the way for SMEs to thrive. Great for them and great for the UK’s bottom line!”
For this year’s annual event #SBSEvent2024, #SBS has joined forces with titans of industry as supporting partners including NatWest Business, Ryman, Robert Dyas, Sum Up, DHL HP, Spring & Autumn Fair and first-time partners FreeAgent and the Department of Business and Trade’s UK Export Academy. All are experts in their field, who are supporting the #SBS Small Business Sunday network and are committed to helping the UK’s SMEs grow.
Special guest appearing in the ‘Fireside Chat’ with Theo will be TV icon, entrepreneur and small business investor, Stacey Solomon.
With over 1,000 SMEs expected to be in attendance, this year’s annual event will be a day like no other, filled to the brim with must-have advice, workshops and many other opportunities – all for free. The line up of speakers and sessions will be announced in the coming weeks.
Debbie Lewis, Regional EcoSystem Manager at NatWest, said: “We understand the value of small businesses to the UK economy and the positive impact they make in our towns and communities. We’re committed to removing barriers to enterprise and providing more opportunities for companies to grow and thrive.”
Laura Jenkins, Director of Small Business Marketing FreeAgent said: “FreeAgent shares the same commitment and passion for helping entrepreneurs and small business owners pursue their dreams and fulfil their potential.”
Sarah Singleton, Marketing Director at Ryman: “Small Business Sunday is an invaluable opportunity for Ryman to connect with a growing and thriving community of small businesses in the UK. The annual #SBSEvent is not just about business transactions; it’s about building relationships, fostering growth, and ultimately, contributing to their success. We get to understand the heartbeat of small businesses; engage with these passionate entrepreneurs, listen to their challenges and successes, and ultimately offer guidance and solutions that can truly make a difference in their journeys.”
Sue Beverley – Deputy Head of Events, UK Export Academy: “The UK Export Academy is a free online training programme provided by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), designed to give businesses of all sizes across the UK the confidence and know-how to grow their international sales.”
Mary-Jane Rose, PR & Partnership Manager for Robert Dyas: “We’re immensely proud to be partnered with #SBS Small Business Sunday 2024. As one of the leading small business networks in the UK for over a decade, the annual #SBS Event allows Robert Dyas the unique opportunity to connect with and celebrate the achievements of hundreds of small businesses as part of a growing community.”
Duncan Heron, VP DHL Express UK said: “We are committed to supporting small businesses with their international trade growth, and our long-standing partnership with #SBS helps us to deliver this.”
Nick Davison, Portfolio Director, Spring Fair said, “During our incredibly rewarding 5-year partnership with #SBS, we’ve supported over 50 start-up businesses. We love seeing the next generation of businesses come through and are really looking forward to attending the 2024 event.”
The #SBSEvent2024 will take place in Birmingham on 23 February 2024, at the ICC in Birmingham. It is the 11th event since Theo Paphitis’ #SBS Small Business Sunday launched in 2010, and will be packed full of speakers, #SBS winners, networking and opportunities for the network.
Find out more: #SBSEvent2024
Business Connect chatted with Zubee Kibria, founder of ‘Access my Events’, created in 2018: “I have worked and volunteered for several public, private and voluntary organisations in various roles. Unfortunately like many disabled people, I found it hard to find a job in the events industry, so I decided to take the leap and start my own business. Access My Events is an award-winning consultancy service that advises businesses on how to make their events accessible to deaf and disabled people.
“Business is something I have wanted to pursue for a long time, and as a disabled person new to business, I found there was a lack of support when I first started. Thinking back to the organisations I had approached, I found it hard to get the right guidance and support from them to get it off the ground.
“It has been difficult to get businesses to believe in my idea and what I’m trying to do. There have been many times I have felt like giving up, but I have since connected with some amazing people who have been supporting me on my business start-up journey. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to keep pursuing my goal of having my own business.
“In July 2023, I entered the #SBS competition, after seeing a post about it on LinkedIn. I didn’t expect to win. However, when it was announced that Access My Events was chosen as a winner of #SBS, I couldn’t believe it. This is one of the UK’s leading business networks founded by Dragon’s Den star, Theo Paphitis.
“To have support from Theo really motivated and inspired me to keep pushing my business goals. I’m really look forward to attending my first #SBS event in February and meeting with Theo, while having the opportunity to network with other business owners.
“In addition to this, I have been nominated as a finalist for the British Asian Women’s Awards 2023. I also co-host a podcast called My Voice, which gives disabled people from ethnic minority backgrounds a voice, which often goes unheard. To top it all off, I made history in 2023 as the first disabled person to model at Europe’s largest Asian Wedding Show, raising awareness in the fashion industry and challenging perceptions of disability.
“If you are looking to start a business, I think it’s helpful to get a mentor on board from the beginning to help guide and support you. Try and find someone who has experience of running a business in your area and therefore knowledge of the industry. It’s also beneficial to do your own research before taking a mentor on board.
“Finally, always surround yourself with like-minded individuals who can help you grow to reach your full potential and get you through challenges by sharing their experiences with you. If you are a business looking to make your events accessible to deaf and disabled people, I would love to hear from you.”
For more information, please contact Zubee by email on Zubee@accessmyevents.co.uk or phone 07305 244993.
The more businesses that come on board, the bigger the difference we can make together.
You can follow Access My Events on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.