The Exciting Vision for SMEs in Norfolk was produced in response to the workshop A Charter for Norfolk Enterprise hosted at NEF 2018. It gives Norfolk’s entrepreneurial community a voice to challenge key decision makers in the SME sector, including all Norfolk MP’s, a government minister and council leaders.
This 3-year Norfolk-specific vision was created by a group of the county’s most inspiring business leaders led by Mark Fisher (Vistage Group) and offers up three aims to combat key issues associated with Norfolk’s isolation:
- Enhance sharing: the SME community proactively communicating, collaborating & sharing knowledge & ideas to support each other
- Supportive Eco-system: an ecosystem which invests time & money into resources to help ambitious SMEs prosper whilst protecting our natural resources
- Happiness First: where SME success is evidenced by financial growth, reduced unemployment, reduced isolation & enhanced wellbeing
Naturally the Norfolk Enterprise Festival 2019 Programme is inspired by these aims and encourages attendees from business and enterprise to aid in delivering this vision. The day long festival programme will stimulate and provoke conversion and connections by exploring the broad ethos ‘sustainability’ (business, environment, social and personal) and platform how Norfolk’s innovators and enterprises are addressing associated issues by ‘doing different’. Key sessions of the programme will be released at the launch.
The festival programme includes 5 key zones – Norfolk Futures, Norfolk Sparks, Energise, Accelerator (Hethel Innovation) and the Market Place. These will feature:
Interactive workshops | Debate | Curated expert panels | Angel’s Den | Networking (Norfolk’s investment angels and peers) | One-to-one business advice surgery | Homegrown arts, culture and entertainment | Creative activity (for ALL ages) | Market Place (produce) | Makers Fair (products) | Local food and drink stalls | Hands-on STEM and enterprise activities for kids of all ages | ‘Networking Hour’ | Our very own NEF App | …..and much, much more!
The Angel’s Den will form a key focus for the festival. With the support of sponsors Anglia Capital Group, Mills & Reeve and Grant Thornton we are planning a fantastic arc of instrumental support. This includes inspiring and informing those questioning the feasibility of their idea; the offer of advice and training for shortlisted applicants to pitch their ideas; and of course, the year-long bespoke package of business support to set the winner up in the next phase of their enterprise journey.
For younger audiences we’re delighted to host Hethel Innovation who will provide inspiring and informative hands-on STEM and enterprise activities for kids of all ages, as well as guidance for budding entrepreneurs (young and old). In the lead-up to NEF they will also set science and tech challenges to local schools through their Trailblazer initiative. On the day of the festival participating students will be invited to showcase their outcomes and also participate in Kids Dragon’s Den to win Game Changer session for their schools.
Confirmed Speakers include: Culture Awesome Podcasters Rebecca Lewis Smith (MD Fountain) & Emily Groves (MD Indigo Swan), Tea.Agency, Nigel Cushion (Action Stations & Nelson’s Spirit), Cassandra Andrews and Brian Bush (Engaging Norfolk), Julianna Meyer (Supapass, last year’s Angel’s Den winner), Loui Blake (Erpingham House), James Groves, Dan Harris (Norwich Notes, Bee Saviour Behavior etc), Curious Directive (Jack Lowe), StartEast Panel x 6 (TBC), Angels (TBC), VIP (TBC), Access Creative (TBC), James Boyd (Musician), Sean Cannon (Cannon & Cannon), Linn Clabburn (Norwich Cambridge Tech Corridor), Robert Ashton (Barefoot Entrepreneur)
More being confirmed all the time…
NEF BIG IDEA: Sustainability
The programme’s ethos will discuss and address issues surrounding sustainability.
- Sustainability within our business: what tools and processes do we need to create long-lasting well-functioning, viable enterprises here in Norfolk?
- Sustainability within our community, places and the environment: what small steps we can take to create a more socially and ecologically conscious organizations, and what can we be doing to contribute to ensuring environmental quality?
- Human sustainability: how, as leaders, can we sustain ourselves personally to ensure we are adaptable and resilient, on the journey to ‘Happiness First’ and enjoying the best quality of life/work/play that Norfolk can offer?
New Anglia LEP are continuing as principal supporter and advisor. Other supporters include Mills and Reeve, Grant Thornton and Hethel Innovation. Since NEF is about growing a community, we are in constant discussions with other Friends of NEF (old and new) to galvanise our dispersed networks and initiatives. Other supporters include, Norfolk Network, Tea.Agency, Indigo Swan, Fountain Partnership, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors, Curious Directive and more…