Thursday 19 February 2015

Business Sheffield, the business-facing team of advisors for Sheffield City Council, held their first “Pitch and Pledge” event at Kelham Island Museum yesterday evening, 18 February 2015.

The event, which attracted more than 70 business men and women from across the city, was organised by Business Sheffield after identifying a need for new networking opportunities to promote collaborative working and relationship-building across sectors.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council’s cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “Sheffield businesses told us that they wanted to find new ways to engage with each other, to cross-promote services and grow their customer base.

“The traditional ‘breakfast style’ networking events, whilst still fulfilling a need, weren’t reaching the wider talent pool that we know exists within Sheffield.
“The Pitch and Pledge format is designed to encourage start-ups, longstanding traders and newly created firms to pitch to each other, share their wealth of experience and invest in their respective skills and talent. It worked really well.”

Pitch and Pledge is the first in a series of new networking events to be hosted by Business Sheffield.

Drawing on some elements of the popular “Dragons’ Den”-style set-up, the panel, consisting of three Sheffield business leaders, each with a wealth of experience and expertise in their sector, were not there to question the profitability or longevity of the business offering. Instead, they contributed by prompting the pitching professionals to explore their products and services with attendees in more detail.

Sponsored by Wosskow Brown Solicitors and Hawsons Chartered Accountants, the event saw businesses from the transport, media, food and consultancy sectors pledge offers of support to the room.

Pledges ranged from discounted services to free consultations and were not confined to the five businesses that took centre stage.
The event facilitated informal networking, promoting conversations between established traders and those new to the market place to discuss beneficial service relationships.

Participants had the opportunity to vote for their preferred pitch and the winning candidate, Pauline Dawes, MD of Somi Trailers, was awarded a free consultation package donated by Wosskow Brown and Hawsons.

The Business Sheffield team is an integral part of Creative Sheffield, the economic development arm of Sheffield City Council. Their remit is to promote and support business growth and investment in Sheffield.