Local small business leaders become ambassadors to support Prosperity Network
Business / Fri 10th Feb 2023 at 02:23pm
LEADERS of six local small businesses become Prosperity Network Ambassadors to show their support for the new business-to-business network launched in January.
The Prosperity Network, launched last month, connects businesses of all sizes in the district council areas of Harlow, East Herts, Epping Forest, Uttlesford and Broxbourne. It offers a range of networking and business profile raising opportunities through a comprehensive programme of events and exhibitions, a member’s online portal, and personal tailored business support.
The Prosperity Network is a not-for-profit organisation led and funded by local business. Any surpluses are directed back into providing additional support to members to help the local economy be more resilient.
The new Prosperity Network Ambassadors, who together will help drive the direction of the network, cover a range of businesses including Food & Drink, Construction, Logistics, Marketing and Lighting Engineers.
Introducing the Prosperity Network Ambassadors:
The Prosperity Network has been designed by the team who delivered Opportunity Harlow and the Network is a legacy project from it. All Prosperity Network Ambassadors are previous Opportunity Harlow members so have experienced the benefits of networking in the local area. Emma Robson, Prosperity Network Ambassador and owner of Stort Valley Spirits explains:
“We are delighted to be involved in the Prosperity Network. Stort Valley Spirits was formed with the goal of championing local and being a member of Opportunity Harlow allowed us to share our passion for everything local with others and develop new connections, enhancing and growing our business. Keeping business local is beneficial to us all, not just from an economic and sustainability perspective, but it also enhances communication and visibility, allowing partnerships to develop and thrive. The Prosperity Network aims to continue this, and we are excited to meet others who share our values and love of local.”
The Prosperity Network Ambassadors have been selected as they share a common goal to do more business locally to keep spend within the economic functional area which boosts the local economy and benefits the community. Raja Naveed, Managing Director of EEH-Solutions and Prosperity Network Ambassador explains:
“Sometimes, as business leaders we get too focused on one thing – profits or shareholders and stakeholders. We lose focus on the people and the things that matter – the community we live in.”
Keen supporters and advocates of growing your business through meeting other like-minded business owners face-to-face, the ambassadors are all proactive networkers. Prosperity Network Ambassador, Emma Knewstub owner of Magnificent Stuff highlights:
“Building a rapport with regular event attendees is inevitable and really beneficial. I always bump into somebody I recognise, but generally always connect with a new face too which is fantastic, and helpful for business growth.”
Nick Eva, director of Elite Express Logistics and Prosperity Network Ambassador, continues:
“Networking is important to us. It’s how we find local suppliers. For example, through networking we’ve found our IT, furniture and telephone system. You tend to meet good business people at these events. They are forward thinkers!”
A unique feature of the Prosperity Network is tailored business support from the Client Relationship Managers. The Client Relationship Managers have a wealth of experience, alongside connections with local SMEs, major project owners, larger organisations, and skills providers. Understanding what’s available locally then signposting and making those all-important business connections is a key benefit of membership and the team are on-hand to ensure members get maximum benefit. Brian Glynn, Director of EOS Lighting Solutions and Prosperity Network Ambassador shares his experience:
“As a direct result of being a member and meetings with our Client Relationship Manager, we were able to secure funding towards three new projects that helped utilise our resources more efficiently and reduce carbon, which is helping us grow the business.”
The Prosperity Network will run a comprehensive networking event and conference programme covering subjects that affect business today such as workforce development plus topics essential for successful bids like cybersecurity and sustainability. The events programme will also build on the successes of Opportunity Harlow like the Harlow Business Exhibition, and the Harlow Food & Drink Festival. Last year’s successful Food & Drink Festival attracted over 1,000 visitors and enabled food and drink producers in the local area to strengthen their network as well as raising awareness of their produce to local residents. Director of Redchurch Brewery in Harlow, and Prosperity Network Ambassador Tony Porter explains:
“The Food & Drink festival 2022 was held at Redchurch Brewery. It was good to meet other local food and drink businesses and showcase all of our products in one place. We look forward to working with these stall holders and other local producers to create future food and drink events, along with other exciting collaborations.”
The new Ambassadors will work closely with the Prosperity Network team. A dynamic approach will shape the direction of the network using knowledge learnt from the Opportunity Harlow project and from every business that joins. This will ensure the Prosperity Network benefits are truly business focused.
Anita Thornberry, Executive Director at the Haven Gateway Partnership who is leading the development of the Prosperity Network concludes:
“It is marvellous that we have secured such brilliant ambassadors for the Prosperity Network who will work with us to shape the network as it progresses into something that truly supports businesses and the economy. I am also delighted to have seen such a positive response to the launch of the network. Something that is purely business led and focused on strengthening the local supply chain as well as raising awareness of opportunities including with major projects can only help businesses and, by extension, the local economy and communities. We thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone on Opportunity Harlow and look forward to continuing this with the Prosperity Network.”