Business Festival

We are delighted that the Business Festival programme is now live, and will kick off on Monday 22nd February! Aimed at our local SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) business community in East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough, the festival is also open to anyone else who is seeking to get insights, intelligence and a mix of support, ideas and connections to help grow their business. You can join sessions live by following the interactive links in the programme below. In case you miss a session, we will make content available in a link afterwards so you can catch up on what you missed. If you have any questions about the conference, get in touch by emailing us We hope you are looking forward to the events and that you will find something to inform, encourage and inspire you in your business.

For the business festival we will:
  • Deliver a virtual conference aimed at anyone in business, or wanting to make their mark in the business world
  • Promote the best in business and people through a number of business awards
  • Support High Street traders through a number of local events
  • Work with partners to expand the EEN business support programme with a number of webinars, talks and podcasts
  • Launch a small grant scheme to support new and existing businesses
  • Explore potential future growth, connectivity and partnership models to champion key business needs
  • Deliver business breakfast events aimed at encouraging business networking
  • Inspire the Entrepreneurs of the Future – delivery of a Dragon’s Den type competition
  • Launch a new EEN business newsletter and website which will be delivered quarterly
  • Showcase local innovation, talent and dynamism
  • Affirm collaboration and partnership across the business support ecosystem
  • Listen to the business community to identify areas of need and intervention going forwards
  • Highlight key local sectors and the contribution they make to the economy, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Bus Fest social media image

Business festival Daily Schedule

Please click a date below to see the schedule for that day.

Monday 22nd February

9am – Welcome to the Business Festival – Click here!



10am – 10.45am Fast Track Job Match Webinar with Annamaria Cast and Charlotte Marshall from East Northamptonshire Council’s. As part of our Recovery Through Enterprise work, learn more about FastTrack JobMatch, a service for individuals who need to access the advice and support to make the best choices in accessing training and finding a new job. This session will include 30 minute overview of the scheme and an example of how the scheme is already helping individuals who have been made redundant, and a 15 minute question and answer session.

Click here!


11am – 11.30am – Reviewing your Sales Strategy. Wenta is excited to be delivering this webinar in partnership with the FSB. This is an opportunity to look at your current sales strategy and practices with fresh eyes and consider new approaches to help you adapt your services/products and reflect the demands of the market around you. Book here!


11.30am – New podcast with Jason Tagg at Vinyl Coffee looking at his own journey over the last 12 months. Click here!


12pm – 12.30pm – Lunch and Learn with Enterprise Nation. Join this webinar as James Davey takes you through the seven key elements of a killer e-commerce strategy, helping you to drive growth Please send any questions you’d like James to answer during the webinar to

Click here to join.


2pm-2.20pm – Frequently asked questions – recorded question and answer session by the economic development team on frequently asked questions regarding business support. Click here!


3pm – Hear some inspirational stories from our High Street businesses on how they have adapted and are surviving during the Covid pandemic:

5pm – Test your knowledge of the Nene Valley with our quiz and win some fab prizes! The competition will run from 22-28 February and our winners will be announced early March. Click here!

Tuesday 23rd February

10am – 12.30pm – How to Start your own Business webinar. For many, owning their own business and being their own boss is just a dream. Making the decision to become self-employed isn’t an easy one and one that we often scare ourselves out of making. Join this workshop dedicated to help those thinking of starting their own business or who have recently set one up. Book here!


10am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 5pm – Business Festival Main Event 


10.15am – 11am – Introduction to Recovery Through Enterprise programme and the work to date. James Tennant, Business Account Manager at East Northamptonshire Council. This session will include a 15 minute Q and A session.

Click here to join. (Meeting ID – 853 4196 9342 / Passcode – 660180)


11am – 11.30am – Rachel Mallows – ‘Buying local food and drink: the Made In Northamptonshire story’ webinar. Rachel Mallows MBE is a Northamptonshire businesswoman with over 30 years’ experience in delivering training, coaching, mentoring and business support.

Click here to join. (Meeting ID – 890 4223 2853 / Passcode – 532467)


11.30am – 12pm – Webinar by Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive of the  SEMLEP (South East Midlands Enterprise Partnership) with a perspective on the South East Midlands, and the role of SEMLEP to boost recovery and innovation.

Click here to join. (Meeting ID – 868 6840 2825 / Passcode – 12925)


Lunch break!


Afternoon breakout sessions to include:


1.30pm – ‘Be the spark that gets your local community moving, connecting and thriving’ webinar by Mark White, CEO and Founder of Your Towns. The Your Town Get Together brings local communities together and empowers them to make a positive impact on their town. It starts with a small group of people coming together and talking about what they want for their town and culminates in the organisation of a run, walk or ride that raises money for a local cause. The towns of Rushden, Raunds, Irthlingborough, Thrapston and Oundle will be participating in 2021 and this is a great opportunity to see how you can get involved! (45 minutes).

Click here to join. (Meeting ID – 897 0200 7219 / Passcode – 575606)


1.30pm – Linkedin top tips – Enjoy this short Linkedin session from Adam Payne, Business Mentor and Growth Coach (30 minutes)

Click here to join. (Meeting ID – 832 1236 1571 / Passcode – 650399)


2pm – Website top tips – Webinar by Poppy Design Studio (30 minutes). Click here to view


2pm – 1 to 1 Social Media sessions for tourism businesses (beginners). 1 hour slots available from 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm. Book here!


3pm – Top tips for pitching your story to the press. Join tourism PR expert, Megan Allen from Rural Roots Media who will take you through her five tops tips for pitching your story to the press (30 minutes).

Click here to join Meeting ID: 832 1236 1571 Passcode: 650399



2pm – 4pm – SEMLEP Growth Hub Event – Community Grants Information Webinar. Do you run a project that supports local people to get on in life? If you can help people to build confidence and overcome barriers that can block them from getting into training or paid work, the Community Grants programme could help you.

The Community Grants programme offers Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations grant funding from £10,000 to £20,000 to deliver projects that make a difference within local communities in the South East Midlands. Click here to join.


Don’t forget to tune in to our podcasts from Jake Maunders at Shire Fit and Dawn Girardi at Pegasus Lift Truck Training.




Wednesday 24th February

9.30am – 11am – Enterprise Nation – Creating High Performing Teams. A FREE webinar designed to support ambitious leaders of growing businesses to create high performance amongst their teams.  The end product of really successful leadership is a high performing team. This session will provide advice on eight key areas in creating a high performance amongst your team.

Click here to join.


10am – 10.30am – Managing Challenges webinar with Ruth Roan from Building Business. Please note that this session was pre-recorded during the second lockdown. Click here!


3pm – 4.30pm SEMLEP Growth Hub Event – Sustainable Production Innovation Network (SPIN). The Sustainable Production Innovation Network (SPIN) has been designed to bring together businesses from all sectors to present and discuss solutions and challenges surrounding all aspects of sustainability. The second event is ‘Sustainable Manufacturing: Let’s talk about waste’

Click here to join.

Thursday 25th February

9.30am – 1pm – SEMLEP Growth Hub Event – Customs Data, Procedures, Check and Financial Audits. This webinar is aimed at individuals from businesses currently involved in imports and exports who want a refresher or those who due to Brexit may be new to this area of work and are keen to understand the information and data they need to manage and maintain so that they can either do customs entries themselves or provide the correct information to brokers/freight forwarders and courier companies.

Click here to join.


10am  – 12pm – SEMLEP Growth Hub Event – Community Grants Information Webinar. Do you run a project that supports local people to get on in life? If you can help people to build confidence and overcome barriers that can block them from getting into training or paid work, the Community Grants programme could help you.

Interested? Join this upcoming webinar to find out more about the programme, eligibility, the application process and delivery.

Click here to join.


11am – 12pm – SEMLEP Growth Hub Event – Building Resilience in 2021: Change, Adapt and Access New Markets. Adapting and accessing new markets is fundamental in times of changes. Join this webinar to find out about the financial support and advice available for your business.

Click here to join.


1pm – 4pm – Recovery Through Enterprise Dragon’s Den. Tune in for our very own Dragon’s Den event, with local individuals pitching their business ideas to four Dragon’s for a chance to win prizes. Visit our facebook page and view live!


1pm – 4.30pm – Social Media For Your Small Business: Online Bootcamp. Are you all of a Twitter and confused on how social media can be used effectively for your business?

The world is changing and love it or loathe it, social media is a powerful online marketing tool. This introductory webinar will help you understand how social media can help increase customers to your business.

By the end of this webinar, you will be able to identify the Social Media tools that will be most effective for your business. You will be able to set up accounts on these platforms and understand how to manage social media so that it does not rule your working day. Book here!


2pm – 3pm – Please note this webinar has been postponed and will now take place next week. Date to be announced shortly.  Covid 19 – Guidance for Food Businesses. Join the Health Protection Team at East Northamptonshire Council and learn more about the COVID-19: guidance for food businesses. We will be asking businesses to submit any questions prior to this event so that we can answer during the session. For businesses located outside of East Northamptonshire, please contact your Local Authority if you would like further information. Book here! Click here to join. (Meeting ID – 819 8296 7949 / Passcode – 879186)


3pm – 4pmWhy, When and How do you get business support in a time of crisis? – Panel discussion with Paul Beesley, Ruth Roan and Jennifer Thomas.

Click here to join. (Meeting ID – 812 8275 4121 / Passcode – 186204)


4.30pm – 5.30pm – Enterprise Nation – Creating Financial Confidence for Your Business. Join Ralston for this engaging webinar on creating a financial plan to hire faster, stress less about cash flow and understand your business performance. Discover how to make more decisive decisions with a helpful framework for more effective financial planning.

Click here to join.


3.30pm – 5.30pm – Wenta Q&A webinar with an accountant. Finance and tax tips for your new business.

This webinar is for anyone who has recently started, or is running a small business and has questions about finance or tax.

This will be an interactive webinar with questions from delegates, so come prepared with anything you want to know.

Allan is a business owner and a Chartered Accountant and tax advisor, so this really is a fantastic opportunity to gain insight from an expert in the field, who understands small businesses. Book here!

Friday 26th February

10am – Q&A with Keith from HB Accountants – advice and support on getting the most out of working with your accountants.

Click here to view 


11am – 11.45am Visit England present on business support & Escape the Everyday campaign. We are inviting businesses across Northamptonshire to join our series of Supporting Your Businesses webinars. As part of our response to the COVID19 pandemic the University of Northampton is committed to helping communities and businesses. We are offering webinars on a broad spectrum of topics, bringing together our academic knowledge with our business support expertise to provide advice and support in a collaborative and responsive environment. Visit England will join us for this webinar to present on support available from Visit England, update on the Escape the Everyday Campaign and consumer sentiments tracking. Book here!


1pm – 2pm  – Nene Valley Accommodation Catch Up. An informal networking session with accommodation providers in the Nene Valley to share your ideas, key issues an relating to the Covid pandemic and best practices. This event will be hosted by Karen Williams, Tourism Development Officer and Project Manager for Destination Nene Valley and is aimed at existing and new start-up businesses of any size. Book here!


2pm – 3pmLife Through a Lens. Roundtable Creative Discussion with Mark Saggers, Rob Kirkley and Ian Cann, hosted by James Tennant from East Northamptonshire Council.

Click here to join. (Meeting ID – 824 9042 2761 / Passcode – 585381)


4.30pm – 5pmKeeping Calm in the Chaos. Tips on Health and Wellbeing during a stressful time from Orley at Bio Nature LTD.

Click here to view.


Greg Macdonald – Head of Economic and Commercial Development
E: T: 07912 501836

Karen Williams – Tourism Promotion and Development Officer
E: T: 07739 507443

James Tennant – Business Account Manager
E: T: 07515 191798

Annamaria Cast – Enterprise Officer
E: T: 07881 234890