Paul Finch, Chairman of Sunderland Business Network stood down in June after heading up the network for the past 6 years. He reflects on the achievements of the network to date and how it will continue in the future.
Sunderland Business Network officially launched in March 2008 as the first city wide business network in Sunderland with the aim of assisting and supporting local businesses / entrepreneurs in their efforts to start-up, establish trading relationships, interact with like-minded individuals, communicate with local business leaders and ultimately prosper.
One of the key things that makes the network different is that it is run by a small committee of volunteer members who are passionate about the benefits of networking and encouraging businesses in Sunderland and the surrounding areas to work together and prosper.
Paul said, “I became involved in the network because I firmly believe in the benefits of networking. It has been a real privilege to be Chair and work with the committee to develop the network into where it is today. I have enjoyed every minute and met some lovely people along the way. It was a tough decision to step down as Chair but I know there is a fantastic team in place to take things forward.”
The network has continued to develop and offers excellent networking opportunities to guests and members alike. Breakfast networking meetings have continued to grow in popularity with an ever-increasing number of attendees.
Paul describes two important factors he believes are crucial to the success of the network, “Firstly, listening to members and the business community to ensure we provide the right events and networking opportunities. Secondly, the formation of effective collaborations with other like-minded businesses and network organisations, after all networking is not effective in isolation. We have demonstrated this by hosting events with the University of Sunderland on digital marketing, joint network events with the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) and our ever-popular breakfast meetings at the North East BIC.”
Paul continues, “When I became involved with the network one of the key objectives in addition to providing a welcoming networking environment was to ensure it became self-financing. I am pleased to say that the network has achieved this and I am confident that the committee and new Chair will continue to successfully develop the network going forward.”
“I would like to thank all members, guests, committee members and partners for their continued support, without you the network would not exist. I look forward to seeing you all at future events and wish you continued success in your respective businesses.”
Find out more about the exciting schedule of up and coming events via the Sunderland Business Network Website.