Kent Vision LIVE has always provided masses of practical advice through its free seminars and workshops – but, the sessions that have proved most consistently popular are the ones featuring local entrepreneurs talking about their experiences of building and growing their own businesses: the business success stories.
Which is why this year’s programme has been expanded to include a brand new afternoon stream—which we have appropriately called ‘Business Success Stories’—featuring Kent-based companies telling their own stories in a candid and illuminating way.
Kicking off the new stream is one of Kent’s most dynamic and best-known entrepreneurs: Frazer Thompson, CEO of international drinks producer Chapel Down Group.
Frazer started his career at Whitbread, where he led the team that acquired and developed the famous Boddingtons brand before being poached by Heineken NV to become Global Brand Director for the even bigger Heineken brand. In 2001, he took an unexpected career turn to become Managing Director of Chapel Down Group (then known as English Wines), where he has become a formidable force in raising the credibility of English wine on the world stage.
Winning multiple awards along the way, Frazer and his high-performing team have made the company profitable, developed a range of valuable premium brands, secured five rounds of external fund-raising and raised almost £4m in the world’s largest equity crowdfunding initiative.
In his lunchtime keynote at 1.30pm, Frazer will be sharing some of the highs, lows and key innovations that have propelled Chapel Down to a premier position in this fiercely-competitive sector, including their most recent crowdfunding activities to help build the new Curious Brewery visitor attraction in Ashford.
Later in the afternoon, the Business Success Stories continue when Dragon’s Den finalists Liquiproof talk about starting and growing a fast-growing fabric coating business, inspired by their founder Caner Veli getting tired of having his shoes ruined by weather and accidental spills.
Having initially focused on developing non-toxic protection for footwear to help preserve the environment, the Tunbridge Wells company now has a rapidly-expanding range of products to help in many aspects of everyday life. Their innovative approach to brand-building through social media and PR has proved so successful that it even managed to secure extra funding from the notoriously sceptical investors on the BBC’s Dragons Den.
Finally, the founders of the Metis Women network will use real-life examples from their many members to demonstrate how encouragement, peer support and collaboration can make a huge difference to the success of female business owners.
As winners of the Women’s Champion award for the last two years at Kent’s Women in Business Awards, Amanda Holges, Deborah Mulvany and Caroline Love have played a significant role in supporting the county’s growing band of female entrepreneurs. By recognising additional challenges such as juggling home/life responsibilities, isolation, undervaluing themselves and not being taken seriously by others, Metis is able to provide pro-active strategies to overcome these obstacles that have already been proven to work.
Book your place now to hear all of these speakers and many more on 10th May at the Kent Event Centre. Entry is free when you register online HERE.
PLUS: Win a VIP Kent Experience at Chapel Down & Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse
If you pre-register for your place at Kent Vision LIVE before 10pm on Tuesday 9th May, you could also win an exclusive VIP Kent experience, including a guided tour of the Chapel Down Vineyards and Winery, extensive wine, lunch at The Swan restaurant and two-night’s bed & breakfast at the Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse, run by Frazer’s wife Sue.