KentBizFest 2021 – 12th October 2021

In Person Networking is Back and Greener than ever!

People. Planet. Profit.  The three pillars of sustainability, all of which were celebrated at the recent Kent Foundations showcase event KentBizFest! Over one hundred established business owners and young entrepreneurs descended on the Coachworks in Ashford on the 12th October for a night of inspiration, opportunity, and good old-fashioned face to face networking!

“…an insightful event offering inspiring advice and business opportunities for young entrepreneurs…”

The evening was compared by young entrepreneurs Carleigh-Ann Portelli and Claire Louise Portelli founders of Naked Frank Theatre and the main stage welcomed some of Kent Foundation’s inspirational young business owners and their mentors, as they shared how they got through the challenges of the last 18 months.  Frazer Thompson from Chapel Down closed the event by sharing his very own career journey and words of wisdom for business owners new and old, but not before teaching us all in the art of sabrage – look it up!

“…thanks for putting on a super cool event and allowing young entrepreneurs to access a wide range of opportunities…”

Working with Reward Events, every action was taken to make the event as sustainable as possible – the branding was made from recycled ocean plastic, the name badges were printed on seeded paper and hung on lanyards made from recycled plastic bottles and together with Coachworks, a zero single use and zero waste to landfill policy was implemented.

Not only that, but in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals the event also showcased the true diversity at the heart of the Kent Foundation with Tawanda Chikurunhe of Nice and Easy Cleaning Ltd, Sophie Shepherd of Devoted Homecare Ltd and their Kent Foundation mentor Annabelle Webster joining the entrepreneurs discussion panel as well as Yofi Yvorra of Yo! Street Zone sharing his personal business journey.  Gender equality was also honoured with an even male to female speaker ratio – something which is also further endorsed with 51% of the businesses supported by the Kent Foundation being female owned.

For many it was their first face to face live event since the pandemic and people were excited to meet new people and reconnect with old friends and colleagues in the marketplace, by the firepit – or at the bar where the KentBizFizz mocktails were flowing!

“Congratulations to the team who hosted a fantastic evening – my first in-person large scale event post-pandemic”

A fantastic evening celebrating young people in business in Kent – and all done sustainably!

“…it was great to see lots of new businesses and meet up with some familiar faces too…”

Want to know more about making your next event sustainable, or driving sustainability into your business?  Speak to Danielle at Reward Events – danielle@rewardevents.co.uk

Finally, Thank you to The Frank Brake Charitable Trust for your support in putting this event on, it simply wouldn’t of happened without you.

Please watch the full presentations below

The Kent Foundation Awards Evening 2021

Celebrating the successes of 2020

2020 was a challenging year for everyone, the way we delivered our service completely changed, as well as how businesses have had to adapt to the new world we find ourselves in with COVID-19. All of the businesses who received support through our mentoring program demonstrated a real innovation and resilience to make the best of what could be done, and we are very proud of theirs successes, and the commitment of our volunteer business mentors. This is why we wanted to publicly celebrate with them, and recognise their achievements.

The business community of Kent gathered online for the annual Kent Foundation Awards.  We were once again overwhelmed by the quality of nominations this year and delighted to make awards to such worthy individuals.  The virtual room was buzzing with conversation after the awards ceremony and a great sence of acheivement was felt concidering how difficult 2020 was for so many people and businesses.

If you wasnt able to join us, please watch it here…..Enjoy!

It was a pleasure for everyone there to see the recognition given to both Kent Foundation Members and Volunteers. So much has been achieved in 2020 by the businesses that were nominated, and, through the support and appreciation of their Kent Foundation Business Mentors.

The Awards went to

Spirit of The Kent Foundation – Nominations and Winner

Adrian Wenn

Julie Flower

Liz Jenkins

Mario Berti

John Newcombe 

Richard Larkman

Tunde Daczo

Stephen Wise – Winner

The Big Impact Award – Nominations and Winner

Stephen Wise

Rebecca Daniel – The Jigsaw Company

Adrian Wenn

Julie Flower

Aden Lane

Alex Cachia

Digital Beans- yourlocal.delivery 

Katie Hawkins – Winner

Innovation in Business Award – Nominations and Winner

Angie Everett-Penfold

Kimberley Hicks

Roxanne Thomas

Terri Wright

Amy Kolsteren – Winner

Acknowledgement of success

Dunk Cookies

Fond Company 

Lily Rose Macarons

Alex Cachia 

Cressida- The Real Bodies Coach

Bloomfield Sustainability

Ones to watch

Laura Hackett

Jade Scammels

Fabia Goff

Elena Smitherman


Local companies join force to ensure businesses across the county stay connected.

JK Online, Clockwork Moggy and Dragon Co-Working, all based in Medway, set up Together Self Isolated Business Networking on Facebook.

In just under three weeks, the community has gathered more than 1,000 followers.

One of those behind the network, Karl Cowell, set up his business JK Online, which offers digital marketing solutions, with best friend Joe Bennett two years ago….. Read more about what they have been doing HERE…..

Spotlight Business

TN Accountancy – Jack Sales

Let us introduce Jack, he recently shared with The Kent Foundation some really useful information for the Kent business community entitled Coronavirus – Where are we now? So we thought we would share a little more about him, and his business.

Hello, my name is Jack Sales, I am a Chartered Tax Adviser and I am the owner/director of TN Accountancy based in Tunbridge Wells. Outside of work, I am passionate about motorsport and used to race karts and Caterham 7 cars until the end of 2017. I set up TN Accountancy in September 2018, having previously worked at other accountancy firms (including a ‘Big 4’ accountancy practice and another top 10 firm) since 2011.

One of the most frustrating things working elsewhere was being hamstrung by inefficiency; too much time was being spent on administration and red-tape, meaning less time was being spent on providing clients with the service they pay for.

I therefore set up TN Accountancy to be extremely efficient, so that as much time is spent serving clients and providing all important tax advice as possible. Rather than being fixated on annual financial targets (as is so often the case in the industry), the wider picture is considered; I firmly believe that if we do a great job for clients and offer great value as a result, this will benefit our business in the long term.

Biggest success to date

I would have to say that the biggest success to date was making the final in the Tolleys Taxation Awards in 2019, where we were listed as one of the top 5 best new tax practices in the UK.

Biggest challenge

For me, the first 6-9 months were extremely challenging trying to get clients onboard, which then turned into a cashflow challenge. What I would say off the back of this to anyone looking to set up their own business is to be patient and to budget for a slow start; it took me 3 months to raise my first sales invoice, but now after 18 months, TN Accountancy has over 100 clients and is continuing to grow.

Plans for the future

My plans for the future are simply to grow the business. So far I have gone from working from my mum & dad’s kitchen table to operating out of an office in the High Street in Tunbridge Wells (although now due to Coronavirus I am back on the kitchen table, but not at my parents!).

The next steps will be to build a team of people as the client numbers continue to grow.

Tips for other young business owners

As alluded to above, as a general rule, be patient and allow/budget for a slow start; it takes time to get going.

More specifically to current times with Coronavirus, it is imperative to make sure that you fully understand what government support you might be eligible for in the current climate, as most businesses have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak in some way.

Contact

If you would like to find out a bit more about us, please visit https://tnaccountancy.co.uk/ where you can also find information on the government’s Coronavirus business support.

If you would like any more information, please do not hesitate to contact us on enquiries@tnaccountancy.co.uk or 01892 576550.

Jack Sales – TN Accountancy

digitalbeans launches YourLocal.Delivery

Free website to support local businesses in Kent stay in business

digitalbeans, a leading digital agency based in Canterbury, has launched YourLocal.Delivery, a free website solution which will help local businesses in Kent who are impacted by the Covid-19 situation and unable to service their customers. This free of charge service from digitalbeans will allow restaurants, toy shops, art shops, garden centres, small convenience stores and those on Kent’s high-streets to launch their own online store, by signing up to the free website solution. 

YourLocal.Delivery is a swift solution for many local businesses who would not have been able to set up their own online service in such a short space of time. The bespoke free-of-charge package includes a branded web page, individual to each company, so they can continue to take orders, online payments and display listings of an unlimited amount of product/menu items. Each website will be created manually by a member of the digitalbeans, who are kindly giving up their time to support this service.

Once local businesses have set up their profile online, they will need to share the link with its local community, accept the order and then offer a click and collect or delivery option to the customer. Thanks to Spark Film Production, also based in Canterbury, each business will have the opportunity to receive a free marketing package which includes eye-catching visuals to promote their new online store.

The agency recommends that all Kent businesses, that are keen to use this service, are following the government requirements for food/product delivery and social distancing to ensure they are qualified to carry out this service to the local community. 

Piperis Filippaios, Managing Director of digitalbeans, says “The coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt life as we know it and for our high-street and local eateries, business is far from normal. A number of local businesses are starting to shift to digital solutions in an attempt to continue to serve their customers, including personal delivery services. Unfortunately, many are having to pay extensive fees to companies as they do not have an efficient online platform to host such a service. We have launched YourLocal.Delivery to help and encourage local businesses to continue during these uncertain times by getting online. YouLocal.Delivery will give local businesses the opportunity to continue selling products to the local community with ease and enable them to survive during this difficult time.”

Piperis Filippaios

More about digitalbeans HERE

Business of the Month

Abbott Media – Ben Abbott

Hey – my name is Ben Abbott and I run a creative marketing agency called Abbott Media (I know… original right?) we specialise in helping businesses to increase their revenue through innovative marketing strategies and consistent social media content. To put it simply, we help you make more money.

My business started when I was in my last job, I started getting the itch to do my own thing and within a month I had a business plan put together and I was raring to go! I decided to hand in my notice December 2017 and I launched Maximum Media (now Abbott Media) back in January 2018, after noticing a large gap in the marketing industry for the use of podcasting and marketing techniques that focus on return on investment rather than likes. But aside from that, I’m really passionate about marketing and I love what I do. It’s what keeps me going in the tougher times!  

What’s been my biggest success/proudest moment to date? Making it to 2 years trading, this is when sadly most start-up businesses have failed, and I can see why! I should celebrate this stuff more really, but even with the struggles you get. 2 years is a win!

My biggest challenge has been CASHFLOW! I’m sure every young business has the same problem, it’s something that you have to look after. I’ve learned to manage it by implementing a better process but it takes time. 

My plans for the future? To grow the business and work with larger companies, but also to help the small business community too. I’m really excited about a new Marketing Mentorship for small businesses that we will be launching shortly, it provides support and training consistently, on a monthly basis without the cost of actually employing an agency for your business.

My top tips for other young business owners

Whenever you are having a moment that feels like you want to give up, remember why it was you started in the first place to refocus you and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It can seem daunting and even embarrassing sometimes, but it’s key to growing as a business owner.

Oh, and before I forget (again) celebrate every win. Running a new business is hard at any age and sometimes we get so focused on where we want to be we forget to celebrate the wins along the way! I have only just started to do this, it will make you put the losses into perspective and keep you pushing for success!

Find out more about Ben’s business by having a look at his website.

https://www.abbottmedia.co.uk/