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Record breaking attendance for Small Business Conference

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Wales hosted their annual South Wales Small Business Conference on the 26th of October at the Village Hotel in Cardiff.

Sian Lloyd

Hosted by esteemed broadcaster Sian Lloyd, the event, sponsored by NastWest Cymru, brought together business leaders and tackled topics like mental toughness, business continuity, customer experience, along with useful insights to help attending SMEs grow their digital marketing skills and improve their branding.  The event also highlighted how being a responsible business can help both businesses and their communities.

The event saw over 130 small businesses come together to network with peers and gain valuable advice. Just under 30 exhibitors made up of other businesses, business support organisations, and micro, small and medium sized businesses from across the region, added great value to the event.

Kelly and Jodie Powling

Notable among the exhibitors were the dynamic sister duo of Kelly and Jodie Powling, who co-own and operate Penny’s Podcast Studio, alongside their individual ventures in the financial and empowerment sectors.

The inaugural session underscored personal and business resilience, featuring prominent speakers such as Lianne Waver from Beam Training and Development, who expounded on the concept of anti-fragility, and Dai Rees from Case-UK, who shared valuable insights into habit formation. The following segment, led by Gemma Casey, representing NatWest Cymru, featured speakers from FSB Insurance and Haines Watts.

Following lunch, the second session covered the importance of sustaining and scaling small businesses, and included session from Mel Evans from Insight 6, Emma del Torto of Effective HRM, and Ceri Jennings, of Sparkles Cleaning.

The post-lunch and networking session featured Darrell Irwin of Cre8ion, who captivated attendees with his presentation on brand development, and Jonathan Pollinger, who conducted a comprehensive masterclass on harnessing LinkedIn effectively for small businesses.

Rob Basini, Development Manager for FSB in South Wales, was pleased with the overwhelming turnout at the event, stating, ‘Bearing witness to such a remarkable gathering of small businesses was genuinely uplifting. Despite the myriad challenges faced over the past few years, providing a platform for these businesses to cultivate personal and professional resilience, learn from experts, and connect with like-minded peers has been of immense value.”

He further underscored the transformative impact of the conference, stating, “I was thrilled to hear so many small businesses tell us, as they left the conference, how they were leaving equipped with new skills and connections. FSB takes great pride in facilitating this, as the opportunity for much-needed networking and sharing experiences with fellow entrepreneurs undeniably contributes to their personal and professional resilience.”