The 24th Wythenshawe Business Gateway (WBG) networking event held at Manchester United Football Club in January, kicked off the 2019 BW3 calendar. With more than 100 attending, these networking events are proving an important resource for Manchester businesses and organisations.

This was the second ‘on tour’ event away from Wythenshawe and a great venue with professional and attentive staff. Host John Shiels, chief executive of the Manchester United Foundation, introduced the guest speakers and spoke about the work the MU Foundation are doing at the Manchester Enterprise Academy in Wythenshawe.

Compère Tyler Lappage of Nabarro Poole stressed the importance of business owners coming to the events to strengthen their networks and not to come trying to hard sell. A great outcome for attendees is to book in a coffee with another member at a later date to learn about what they do and how your businesses can support each other.

Speakers John Shiels and Manchester Enterprise Academy principal, Dave Bell, spoke about the new Enterprise & Entrepreneurship BTEC course which will introduce students to entrepreneurship and starting a business venture. This will be offered to be students in 2019/20.

To make this a success they need businesses to support the course by offering for example, mentoring, work experience and placement opportunities, student visits to work environments, or perhaps guest lectures and workshops on topics such as marketing, finance, and social enterprise.

Businesses can also assist with mock applications leading to interviews, leadership opportunities, by sponsoring a project, providing a live task requiring a business solution, or providing opportunities to plan and run a short social enterprise activity.

Speaker Mark Cottam from Laing O’Rourke gave an update on MAN-TP – the Manchester Airport Transformation Plan and how they want to leave a lasting legacy for the area. So far, they have spent over £200 million, supported over 1,000 people in the local region and have taken on 95 apprentices.

Keynote speaker Hilary Centeleghe from the Business Growth Hub talked about the key essentials to start and run a great business. Using examples of successful businesses she gave an insight into what’s involved in growing your own company.  Hilary also outlined the support available to enable future growth.

NEXT WYTHENSHAWE BUSINESS GATEWAY – 28 March 2019, at Wythenshawe Hospital Education and Research Centre – Keynote Speaker Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester.

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