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Start-up Day 2021

Councillor Paul Turpin addresses an audience for Start-up Day 2021
Councillor Paul Turpin addresses an audience for Start-up Day 2021

Sustainability, Responsibility and Action!

The day delivered a broad programme of activities and conversations designed to support and motivate those in, or looking to start a business, to take action to incorporate sustainability into their day to day and to make changes in the way that they operate.

Introducing the day, Councillor Paul Turpin, Green Party, Executive Member for Inclusive Economy, Jobs and Skills reminded us how successful Sheffield is at supporting start-up business, with “start-up businesses in Sheffield more likely to succeed than in any other core city” and highlighting that if we all make small changes together, we can make a huge difference. The morning focussed on sustainability in business, with Hellen Stirling-Baker, local entrepreneur and owner of Small Stuff, an eco-friendly children’s lifestyle store sharing her story of how she embedded sustainability into the ethos of her business from the beginning and the steps she’s taking to continue to move forward with sustainability at the heart of her business. Roger Wareing, Independent Sustainability & Business Improvement Consultant and Sheffield Sustainability Network committee member, followed with a practical discussion on how businesses can work to embed sustainability and the benefits of doing so – a business should be realistic about what they can do to change and break it down in to manageable chunks. Roger also introduced the Sheffield Sustainability Network, a platform in which local businesses and non-profit organisations can support each other in their goal of becoming more sustainable.

It’s not just start-up and small businesses that are responsible for making changes though, sustainability needs to be taken seriously at all levels, and Sheffield is leading the way. Jake Wilson, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce & Industry, led an inspiring panel event with Andrew Cameron (Intelligent Facilities Solutions), Kayleigh Thompson (Professional Energy Purchasing), Chris Sorsby (Vitritech) and Rob Cole (Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens) offering some key takeaways and insights of what their businesses are doing to make a positive impact – be disruptive, give more than you take and put the pressure on globally if you have the leverage to!

After a delightful lunch from local caterers PJ Taste, our very own Nick Partridge, Head of Library Services, Sheffield City Council, introduced the afternoon by shining a light on the Business & IP Centre, and the work we are doing to transform the way ideas grow into successful businesses. Many business owners may not have thought that they have intellectual property that they need to protect, and Suzy Cornwell, BIPC Information Specialist, highlighted why it’s important to consider an intellectual property strategy for your business. Highlighting why market research should ever be underestimated, Andy Bunn of Business Sheffield followed with a session on top tips of starting a business with market research, and how the BIPC can help you with your market research and business information needs. BIPC South Yorkshire provides free access to over £5m worth of online market reports, up to date research and business databases and Sarah Hogan, BIPC Information Specialist, rounded off an informative and engaging day, by hosting an interactive session on how to use the free resources in the BIPC for market research.

It was a great day and we loved hosting once again in the library! To find out about our upcoming events, workshops and one-to-ones, both in person and online visit our events page.

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