New dynamic business-led networking initiative launching in January 2023 to build on success of Opportunity Harlow

Business / Thu 24th Nov 2022 at 02:18pm

NEW dynamic business-led networking initiative launching in January 2023 to build on success of Opportunity Harlow.

In January 2023, the team behind the recently completed Opportunity Harlow pilot project, will launch the Prosperity Network. This new and unique business-to-business network connecting businesses large and small in the economic areas of Harlow, East Herts, Broxbourne, Epping and Uttlesford will support businesses to make those all-important introductions and connections essential for business growth.

Funded and led by businesses, the strategic direction of the Prosperity Network will use a dynamic approach that uses knowledge learnt from every business that joins to inform and shape the network ensuring member benefits are truly business focused.

Anita Thornberry, Executive Director of the Haven Gateway Partnership which delivered the Opportunity Harlow project explains:

“Through Opportunity Harlow events, interviews, connections, and experiences we gained a valuable insight into how local businesses feel, the challenges they face and what they want from a business network. We listened. This new initiative is a result of what members told us.”

To raise the profile of local businesses, successes from the Opportunity Harlow project will be continued including networking events and the Business Exhibition. 92% of Harlow Business Exhibition attendees said they would attend another. Further sector specific events like the Harlow Food & Drink Festival which attracted over 1000 visitors are also planned to support the growing Herts and Essex food & drink sector.

Large attendance at previous supply chain networking events highlighted that SMEs find it difficult to engage directly with large organisations and projects. Connections to wider networks, major projects and large organisations will enable the Prosperity Network team to signpost local businesses to new opportunities. Providing knowledge and expertise from the team, larger organisations and major projects in the area aims to put businesses in the best position to take advantage of new opportunities when they arise.

A full network of events and conferences will share knowledge and best practice focusing on challenges and barriers that businesses face today like workforce development.

Open to businesses large and small provides unique two-way opportunities. SMEs can discover new routes to market by tapping into the workforces of some of the larger employers in the area, and larger businesses can contribute to their social value agenda by engaging directly with the local business community though providing expertise, mentoring and development.

David Carter, Supply Chain Director at Raytheon UK, has been instrumental in shaping the Prosperity Network along with other larger employers in Harlow such as Arrow Electronics and Charles River Laboratories. David explains:

“Raytheon UK ‘s partnership with small and medium sized companies is vital, they are a funnel for innovation and ingenuity. It is in our culture to ensure we can harness and provide support to our local community of businesses and organisations to ensure we all benefit from each other’s business operations. We are also committed to ensuring we uphold our social commitments towards SMEs by providing access to resources such as cyber security awareness, diversity and inclusion initiatives and supply chain access to the export and domestic market. The Prosperity Network gives us a direct route to achieve this including support to local businesses in areas such as providing cybersecurity awareness and advice.”

David also highlights:
“ We can also use the Prosperity Network to provide additional benefits to members. Where appropriate we will enable members to share their business offerings with our own workforce which equates to over 400 local consumers.”

Members will also benefit from an online portal to provide a gateway to other members, opportunities, resources, and news. Plus, regular newsletters and a personal onboarding service will ensure maximum benefit from the network.

Annual membership starts from £225 per year. An early bird discount will be offered to Opportunity Harlow members.

To allow us to contact you with more information, please register your interest in the Prosperity Network.

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