Published: July 28, 2020 | Updated: July 28, 2020

Biz People in the News: Kelly and James West, Jade Morgan, Anna Burton and Leanne Smith

James and Kelly West, Co-Founders, ONLE Networking.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Husband and wife team nominated for top entrepreneurial award

A couple behind the highly successful ONLE Networking business have been named finalists in the Entrepreneurial Spirit category of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards (South West).

Kelly and James West co-founded ONLE Networking in January 2018.

The business operates across the South, from Poole to Basingstoke, and has grown to more than 200 members.

Earlier this year it acquired Dorset’s peer-to-peer business owner community, The Boardroom.

ONLE holds regular events at luxurious locations but has moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s their fast response to building a popular and effective online networking group, and their rapid growth to be one of the most recognisable networking groups in the South, which has led to the award nomination.

The awards celebrate, champion, and support enterprising business minds in Great Britain.

Kelly said: “When Covid-19 hit, we knew immediately it would have a huge impact on our face-to-face networking.

“We were forced to act quickly.

“Having already launched ONLE ONLinE, we were already equipped for online networking.

“We moved our whole operation, lock stock and barrel, to our online platform.

“We thrive on challenge, so when this issue arose – we were prepared.”

ONLE now use Zoom conference calls as a replacement for face-to-face meetings, keeping the standard format of networking that members expect from the meetings.

James said: “We are driven by a real lust for life and seizing every opportunity – whether that’s in our personal life or business life.

“We’re always working – it’s not a job, it’s just what we do.

“The last few months have been challenging but by showing real leadership, we’ve turned a difficult situation into a positive experience for us and our members.”

ONLE Networking is currently running all face-to-face meetings online.

Online replacement meetings include Neo Restaurant, Bournemouth, and Hotel du Vin, Poole.


Jade joins growing energy consultancy business U4L

Jade Morgan has joined the growing team at U4L, the Bournemouth-based energy consultancy, as B4B Account Manager for Dorset.

She has many years working in hospitality as Hotel Reservations Agent for Oceana Hotels.

Jade said: “I’m excited to be working for an energy consultancy company that is so different and so passionate about the environment,

“I am particularly happy that the core part of the business is to help clients reduce their businesses energy usage as well as plan a route to Net-Zero.

“I’m looking forward to learning about all of the equipment and products we have in our box of tricks and discussing them with my new clients.”

U4L, headed by CEO Nick Till, has the ambitious aim to support all businesses in Dorset to switch to 100 per cent renewable energy.

All U4L’s renewable energy comes from British sources.


Coles Miller strengthens Family Law department

Increasing demand for divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships has prompted Coles Miller to strengthen its family law team.

The law firm has recruited solicitor Anna Burton and legal secretary Leanne Smith.

Anna is based at Coles Miller’s Bournemouth office.

She is experienced in dealing with all types of family matters and also regularly conducts advocacy in the Family Court.

She has dealt with a number of complex children matters including cases with an international aspect such as children being abducted and taken across an international border by a parent.

Anna is a member of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers committed to following a non-confrontational and constructive approach to resolving family issues.

Leanne previously worked for a law firm in South Africa where – aside from her legal secretarial/personal assistant role – she was also responsible for social media, building client relationships and sourcing new business.

Before that, Leanne ran her own company conducting forensic, private and trademark investigations.

She was also involved in the property market and the conveyancing side of law for many years.