Reflecting on the inspiring ideas from BIPC x Firestarters - Building a successful business in Knowsley
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Reflecting on the inspiring ideas from BIPC x Firestarters – Building a successful business in Knowsley

Firestarters partnered with the Business and IP Centre Liverpool to deliver an exclusive event in Knowsley. The event brought together local business leaders and entrepreneurs to support and empower them to grow and develop their organisations. BIPC Liverpool are working to create and support a network of businesses across the Liverpool City Region, offering a range of advice and support services.

What is ‘Firestarters?’ 

Firestarters brings together a purpose-driven network of people from across the region from the private, public and third sectors. Through a range of virtual and live events, Firestarters addresses some of the challenges and facilitates the hard-hitting conversations facing the region. Providing a platform to address these challenges, Firestarters gathers a diverse range of local speakers and a community wanting to work together to spark positive change across the Liverpool City Region.

Why ‘Building a successful business in Knowsley?’ 

Knowsley has recently experienced success in relation to its culture and identity, due to the recent promotion of Knowsley as a Borough of Culture in 2022 and the opening of the Shakespeare North Playhouse. With more businesses across the region striving to become more purpose-driven, it is more important than ever to address how to create a culture that helps entrepreneurs to develop and grow their organisations. 

What we discussed at ‘Building a successful business in Knowsley’ 

The event brought together local industry experts and business leaders from Knowsley to discuss stories of how to welcome a culture that encourages entrepreneurship and supports local business in the area. 

At the event, we heard key insights from a panel of four guest speakers: 

The event kicked off with a panel Q+A where Gavin Burgham was asked to discuss some of the challenges facing businesses in Knowsley. He highlighted that organisations can experience some challenges if they are not able to access a full working space to undertake some core aspects of their business operations, including interviews and client meetings. Gavin also discussed challenges due to a lack of a purpose-driven community. 

“Having a lack of a digital community and being able to network and meet up in the Knowsley area can be challenging.”

Gavin Burgham, The Right Click

Next, we heard from Kelly Roskell who shared some of the opportunities for starting a business in Knowsley. Kelly talked about the opportunities around developing and growing independent businesses in Knowsley and the incredible network that this has already created. 

“We have lots of independent businesses in Knowsley working together, supporting each other and collaborating to build a community. This means there is so much space for people to come to the area for business opportunities.”

Kelly Roskell, The Success Plan

When asked about the changes she would like to see to create a better culture for businesses in the area, Melanie Lewis iterated the importance of inbound investment for the area and why this is required to establish a cultural identity and draw business to Knowsley.

“We have a big cultural institution but to draw people to us we need inbound investment to make infrastructure better. We need to retain Knowsley’s independence but we need support from Westminster to deliver essential services like transport. For the Playhouse, it’s about awareness and understanding how culture plays a massive role in our region.”

Melanie Lewis, Shakespeare North Playhouse

Hearing from the panel during our Q+A opened up the space for core discussions and insights. This was continued in more detail during breakout sessions which our panel and attendees continued for the remainder of the event. 

What we learnt at ‘Building a successful business in Knowsley

Our panel of industry experts and community of changemakers raised some excellent themes and insights throughout the Q+A and breakout discussions. Some of the primary points raised were: 

  • Lack of access to funding can provide obstacles for the growth and development of businesses in Knowsley. There should be better access and signposting to the right funding to empower new business leaders.  
  • The importance of culture and identity in attracting, retaining and providing opportunities for businesses in the area. 
  • The changes that individuals would like to see in the area, including better community outreach and connections with school leaders to create more support for young people.

“Success is just as much about what you don’t see than what you see. It’s important to be kind to yourself and it’s okay to be second guessing and wondering if you’re making the right decision. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, learn from them but always do it with the values of your organisation in mind.”

Phil Noon, Evolving Mindset

What’s next for Firestarters?

Following a host of successful events across 2022 and 2023 so far, including the ‘Growth for Good’ series, we’ll be taking a quick break to reflect and refuel.  Firestarters is bigger and better than ever, so we’ll be back soon with more exciting events designed to help us to spark positive change across the region!

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