A NETWORKING group in Corby celebrates its second birthday in March.
Corby Business Network was set up by Debi Noone of Outsourced Virtual Office and Emma Speirs of Ballyhoo PR in March 2017 and launched at an event at Priors Hall Golf Club that saw the then Mayor of Corby, Julie Riley, declare the group officially open and 50-plus local businesses attend.
The group was inspired and supported by the team at Kettering Business Network, which began in 2015, and has since led to the creation of similar groups in Northampton, Wellingborough, East Northants, Daventry, Market Harborough, Rugby and Northumberland.
The Corby Business Network was designed to bring together businesses located in the Corby borough - Corby, Weldon, Rockingham, Gretton, Cottingham, Middleton, East Carlton, Stanion, and Little Stanion. Each monthly meeting is held at a different location in the borough in a bid to bring businesses to them who may then go on to use the facilities for work or play at a later date.
The format is informal and friendly and has gained in popularity over the years. The events run from 9.30am to 11am on the last Thursday of every month and typically start with networking over tea and coffee as people arrive and feature a guest speaker who talks to the group for 10 minutes on a topic relevant to all businesses. Everyone then gets the chance to talk to the room for 60 seconds about who they are and what they do. Past speakers have included a Corby councillor, Northamptonshire Growth Hub, a confidence coach from the TV, and experts in social media, IT security and other business fields.
The group has also established a relationship with Sheila Smith Sales and Events, organisers of the Northamptonshire Business Expos, which take place twice a year at the Holiday Inn in Corby. Each expo now starts with a Corby Business Network meeting, which has proved really popular.
The Corby Business Network leadership team has grown since the launch two years ago with the addition of Katie Graves from Ballyhoo PR, Robyn Allen of Robyn Allen Solutions and Craig Barber of Focussed Publications all now on board and donating their time to help organise, promote and deliver the events.
"Corby Business Network is achieving just what we set out for it to two years ago," said Emma Speirs. "Businesses from Corby and the surrounding villages are talking to each other, working together and making introductions to each other that result in new business. Every meeting we see new faces too, which is just fantastic."
The next Corby Business Network meeting takes place on Thursday, 28 March from 9am to 11.30am at the Stewart & Lloyds Football Club. There is no annual membership fee but £4 is payable on the door to cover teas and coffees. For more information and to register your place, go to Eventbrite and search Corby Business Network.