One of the advantages of attending Business Gateway workshops is the opportunity to meet people who are facing the same problems as you. Allowing you to engage in invaluable discussions and build your network. As your business grows and develops, that network of contacts that you have nurtured will be a source of ideas, support and solutions to the issues you face.
Sandy Kennedy, CEO of Entrepreneurial Scotland says “Do not underestimate the power of networks. An important early lesson is that you simply cannot know everything. It’s vital you remain curious about how others work and that you keep learning. Being innovative means that you will have to learn from others and be able to adapt, identifying those able to share their skills and knowledge. The people you know who keep coming up with new ideas, efficiencies and solutions. This collective learning is extremely powerful and there is a growing body of research that suggests it is found in dynamic organisations like Entrepreneurial Scotland which connect inspiring and innovative people.”
Entrepreneurial Scotland exists to inspire, develop and connect individuals with the ambition, passion and energy to become successful business leaders. Being part of Entrepreneurial Scotland puts you at the centre of a community of people that share your ambition and drive, that have experienced the risks and overcome the challenges. Entrepreneurial Scotland is one network that offers three tiers of membership – Leading, Growing and Emerging – giving you the right membership experience at every stage in your business journey.
Belinda Roberts who created WeDO Scotland, another active and respected business network, adds “I’ve always been a big advocate of networking since I started my career. It has been of huge benefit to me over the years and having had my own businesses for many years, I recognised that, regardless of the size of your team, being a business owner can sometimes be lonely. I wanted to create a membership organisation which would enable peer-to-peer learning and the sharing of knowledge, ideas & experiences. Since I’m allergic to egos, we decided to make it membership by invitation or referral to ensure that all of the members are like-minded & striving towards the same goals.”
Pete Higgins, Founder and CEO of UWI Technology is a member of both ES and WeDO Scotland and reiterates this sentiment. “Being an entrepreneur can feel very lonely at times, especially at the beginning. Meeting other like-minded individuals at the Business Gateway workshops made me realise that I was not alone. While our business ideas may have been very different, the actual day to day issues we were experiencing, were very similar, which gave me the confidence to keep going. In order for networking to work at its best, you have to realise it is a two-way process. While you may need help from someone, whether this be advice or an introduction today, you must be willing to do the same when approached by others tomorrow. I have found there is nothing more powerful than being introduced to a third party through a mutual connection.”
Keen to find out more? Business Gateway will be holding a free networking event on Monday the 23rd January from 18:30 to 21:00 in the COSLA offices in Edinburgh where you will be able to hear first-hand on the power of networks and, importantly, have a chance to network.