A Blast Is Back!

a-blast-is-back-business-networking-kent-rectangle-662Face to face networking is still a favourite marketing tool amongst businesses. Creating a business community, expanding your social network and finding the all important contacts. Kent Foundation holds an annual event to promote the importance of this, offering young entrepreneurs free exhibition space and the chance for businesses across Kent to develop that link in the business chain.

With over 150 young people and businesses in attendance the evening went off to a flying start. The room soon filled up, and with all those like minded people in one place their was a certain buzz about the room. Don’t forget the amazingJosh Woodcock providing magic to add that extra sparkle to the evening!


This was when the serious networking really began. A fun and interactive approach to speed networking – Blast Off! was introduced by Paul Barron – Director of Kent Foundation. Do you ever find it difficult to pinpoint those who might of interest to your own business? A unique approach was implemented, questioning the audience in order to identify those from various business sectors. Hands were raised as the questions were asked. Eyes scanned across the room, with businesses taking a mental note of who their were going to approach. Blast Off! businesses had five minutes to swap cards, information and gain that all important face to face contact. Now just to follow up those leads!


A message was delivered that entrepreneurship needs to be promoted as a realistic career choice. It is important to recognise that young people are starting businesses now and having support enables them to have an increased chance of success. Talking about success takes us on to the next part of the evening:

KAYE Success Session (Kent Association of Young Entrepreneurs) – Jonnie Jensen committee member of KAYE presented interviews with previous winners of the KEiBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. We found out why they started a business, the struggles of a start up, the rewards of owning your business and the the fun parts too. Video coming soon…

Luke Quilter of Sleeping Giant Media – Winner 2011

Craig Harrison of Aquaread  – Winner 2012

The Entrepreneur Profiling Tool – presented by Alex Kofinas introduced and questioned who would become an entrepreneur? Is it in our genes, personality, background, networks or learning patterns. The Profiling Tool is being designed to answer some of these questions and discover the traits of an entrepreneur. The benefit of such a tool is that it will help identify areas where young entrepreneurs are lacking support, this can then be tailored to suit their needs and increase their chances of business success.

Time To Celebrate!

With a fantastic turnout of young entrepreneurs showcasing their businesses there was an added bonus of winning a Peer Award. Young entrepreneurs voted amongst themselves for who they thought was the best networker/exhibitor. The votes were in and the award was presented to:

Elle Skinner – Elle’s Cupcakery

Another fantastic prize – Daniel Warren – Mint Fresh Services was presented with a year’s free membership kindly donated by Federation of Small Business and Roger House. It means so much to an up and coming business. The business concentrates on providing honest and reliable cleaning services to both commercial and domestic markets.  A absolutely superb prize, opening so many channels of support and business growth to a young entrepreneur.

Supporters of Enterprise

Kent Foundation relies heavily on in kind support and donationsto keep our services up and running. We would like to send our thanks to:

Trevor Sturgess – Editor of Kent Messenger Group – Business Editor 

Alex Kofinas – Working in partnership with University of Greenwich to develop the Entrepreneur Profiling Tool

David Ing – For his ongoing support and recognition of the need to support young entrepreneurs and business across Kent

Roger HouseFederation of Small Business – Donating a year’s free membership and business support.

Dick Fedorcio – Providing marketing support and networking on the evening.

Miles and Smiles

It was a chilly October morning and people had risen early from the warmth of their beds. Their destination? Penshurst Place, the starting point for fundraising bike ride, Miles and Smiles. The place was buzzing with over 100 cyclists all ready and raring to go. There was only one way to get them started a big wave of the flag from The Viscountess De L’Isle. Not only is she the home owner of Penshurst Place but also plays the part of being the Patron of Kent Foundation.

The chilly morning turned in to a spectacular warm Autumn day, and it wasn’t long until we saw some cyclists pedalling their way to the finish line. Amongst them was a few sporting particpants in fancy dress.

We would like to thank all the cyclists for their sporting efforts. The volunteers for their organisation, marshalling and promotion of the event. Not forgetting our sponsors for their contribution to the goody bags and equipment for the day. That is not all British Cycling played a great part in supporting the event with an Event Officer in attendance for the day.

Strengthening our Business Mentoring Service

mentors-for-young-entrepreneurs-rectangle-706Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs has amplified its flagship Business Mentoring service.
After recent training 17 Kent business owners and professionals have joined the ever growing team of Business Mentors who volunteer their time to support young entrepreneurs.
Business and entrepreneurship are hot topics at the moment and becoming an entrepreneur is an increasingly popular career choice amongst young people – you could almost say it is becoming fashionable. It is critical that there is a response to this rise in young entrepreneurs with the delivery of appropriate business support.
With over 60 trained Business Mentors and such a broad spectrum of knowledge between them, Kent Foundation is well placed to deliver truly tailored business support. Since 2010 the service has gone from strength to strength and has accelerated in popularity between young people and the voluntary support offered by the business community of Kent. Young entrepreneurs are matched to a business mentor that meets their specific business needs. They meet for one hour per month and receive expert business guidance which, in turn, increases the chance of business success.
Paul Barron – Director of Kent Foundation was overwhelmed with the expressions of interest for the latest Business Mentor training course and had this to say about it:
business-mentors-in-kent-rectangle-705“Time is precious because it is something that can never be returned. That is why I am ecstatic at the sheer number of people we had in attendance at our latest Business Mentor training course. The time, expertise and skills they offer to young entrepreneurs is without a doubt a valuable resource to Kent Foundation.”

I would like to become a Business Mentor

I would like to apply for a Business Mentor

Wealden Business Group supports Kent’s Young Entrepreneurs

david-meredith-chairman-of-wealden-business-group-rectangle-690The Wealden Business Group (WBG), the Tenterden-based professional networking organisation, has adopted Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs as its Charity of the Year.

WBG meets weekly to help members maximise their business opportunities and exchange information, sales leads and referrals, and has an active social calendar including charity fundraising events. In the past two years, it has raised almost £10,000 for local good causes.

Explains WBG chairman David Meredith: “We believe that we can be of real help to young people starting their careers, and wanted to offer practical support to those who will own and manage the Kent businesses of tomorrow.”
The Kent Foundation was founded in 1985, and provides tailored support through Business Mentoring, specialist enterprise training and access to finance through the Start Up Loans initiative. It strives to offer a personal service and match the enthusiasm of the young person.

Kent Foundation director Paul Barron was delighted by the news: “Having attended WBG I was inspired by their appetite for business and their enthusiasm to support the local economy. There is synergy between WBG and Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs, this opportunity will help us reach out to more young people with potential to be innovative and contribute to their business success”