SME

Published: October 21, 2019 | Updated: October 21, 2019

Star-studded entrepreneur summit hailed as South Coast’s biggest declared a great success

(left to right) Sunny Bird, Rowena Bird, Alex Chisnall, Camilla Ainsworth and Hannah Anderson at the Entrepreneurs Summit held at Bournemouth’s Hilton Hotel.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A star-studded summit for entrepreneurs and business owners in Bournemouth has been declared as a great success.

More than 120 people attended the one-day event at the Hilton Hotel which organisers described as the biggest of its kind on the South Coast.

Hosted by Bournemouth based PR agency Sunny Bird PR and business podcaster Alex Chisnall, the summit was designed to help budding entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level by learning from industry leaders.

Attendees heard from an all-star line-up of speakers including Dragons’ Den star Piers Linney, The Apprentice finalist Camilla Ainsworth, Lush Co-founder Rowena Bird, Grenade Founders Alan and Juliet Barratt, Social Chain’s Hannah Anderson and Cemal Ezel, Founder of the social enterprise Change Please.

Rowena Bird, Co-Founder of Lush, was among the speakers.

The entrepreneurs shared their inside knowledge and advice on everything from financing and operations to the importance of building a brand personality and developing a social media strategy.

Camilla Ainsworth, who is also Founder of MYLK PLUS, said: “It was my absolute honour to share my journey alongside such powerhouse business people.”

Piers Linney added: “It was great to be a part of Bournemouth’s first Entrepreneur Summit and see such an entrepreneurial spirit among the community.

“I spend a lot of time working with start-ups and SMEs, helping them to navigate the challenges of business so I hope I was able to share some of that advice with the many businesses I met at the summit.”

Social Chain’s Founder Hannah Anderson said: “I was honoured to be invited to the Entrepreneur Summit to tell my story and preach my message of a human-first approach to marketing.

“In this day and age, social media is the number one way to connect with your audience and if you put your audience first by providing value, as an entrepreneur, you’re going to win.”

In addition to learning about how to scale their businesses, guests also had the opportunity to ask a panel of media experts about how to introduce their brand to a wide audience through the power of print and digital media, broadcast and social media.

Media experts included Andy Martin, Associate Editor of the Bournemouth Daily Echo; Rick Simmonds, Director of Wessex FM; Joel Lacey, Director of Dorset Life; Stephanie Clarkson, a national journalist; influencer Rhiannon Duffin, and Lisa Curtiss, Editor of Entrepreneur and Investor Magazine.

Andy Martin, Associate Editor, Bournemouth Daily Echo, who was on a panel of media experts.

Organiser Sunny Bird said: “As a PR agency we know how important it is for brands to work with the media in order to grow their businesses.

“It was great to be able to bring both these aspects of business planning and developing together at the Entrepreneur Summit.”

Fellow organiser Alex Chisnall said: “It is so rewarding to put on an event that I believe had something for everyone at every stage of business growth.

“My biggest takeaway was the people. All of the information for starting, growing and scaling a business is already out there, you can listen to a podcast, watch a YouTube video or read a blog. But nothing beats meeting those who have been where you want to get to, are still having the same challenges as you are, asking them your questions and finding out they’re exactly the same as you and I.”

  • To listen to recordings of Rowena and Cemal’s stories from the summit subscribe to the Screw It, Just Do It podcast with Alex Chisnall.