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The Business Network Review – The Chairman’s Business & Community Breakfast Club

Date: 5 November 2015

The Business Network Column from Platinum Business Magazine

Network Review – The Chairman’s Business & Community Breakfast Club

By Emma Pearce – Marketing Consultant – outsourced marketing services and social media training


Emma Pearce gives a more detailed insight into a new network in St Leonards-on-Sea, Hastings …

Most networking events focus on encouraging a range of SME businesses to attend.  Some may have lock-outs (one person from each profession), while others focus on company size or sector. Now there is something slightly different…

On 1 April a new networking breakfast was launched (and no, this is not a belated April Fool!).  The difference with this group is that it welcomes business-to-business (B2B) companies and community/charity groups. There are no joining fees, you just pay-as-you-go (£8 per visit including breakfast).

The Chairman’s Business & Community Breakfast Club was founded by Lord Brett McLean.  “We want to add an extra dimension to networking. Of course our event is a great opportunity for B2B businesses to connect, but here they can also meet charities and community groups that could also need their services.  Plus, of course, a business can find out about great local causes to support and collaborate with for team building and other corporate social responsibility activities.”

Brett went on to explain that he was delighted to witness a deal between two attendees in the first few minutes of the meeting ending. The Bexhill Furry Friends charity ordered business cards and t-shirts from Luna Prints.

The topical speaker at this first event was Amber Rudd.  She was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 15 July 2014 and elected Conservative MP for Hastings & Rye in 2010.  Amber talked about her focus being on helping businesses to flourish so that they can employ more people, as well as skilling up candidates for those jobs.  She said the Government should not get in the way, but provide businesses with support and a stable environment.  She also gave dates for local election hustings that she will be attending.


The format of the meeting each month will be:

  • 30 minutes open networking with everyone attending the event
  • sit down for breakfast (hot and cold buffet)
  • 1 minute round – each person can speak for 60 seconds (with a call to action if you are maximising this opportunity!)
  • listen to a speaker for 15 minutes
  • 1-2-1s – two 5-minute individual conversations with other people in the room to get to know them better
  • more open networking if you wish to stay.


Another way in which this network is aiming to differentiate itself is that anyone attending can bring a single pop up banner to promote their services and everyone will receive a list of who came along with their contact details.  

The businesses represented at this well attended first event ranged from air conditioning suppliers and business process improvement consultants to financial forecasters, recruiters, will writers, marketers, IT specialists and wine producers.  There were also representatives from business funding organisations such as Locate East Sussex, plus apprentice services and a great range of charities such as The Sussex Association for Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus, St Michael’s Hospice, Bexhill Furry Friends and Gizmo.


Key Facts

  • Location: Azur at the Marina Pavilion in St Leonards-on-Sea, near Hastings, East Sussex
  • Frequency: first Wednesday of each month
  • Size: average of 40-50 people
  • Time: 7.15 am – 9.00 am
  • Lock out: no
  • USP: welcome businesses and community groups/charities, plus everyone can bring a pop up banner to be put up around the room and all attendees are sent a list of those who were at the event
  • Minute round: yes
  • Speaker slot: yes – typically an external speaker
  • Cost: £8 per visit – pay on arrival – no other fees


Contact: or   

01424 447461 or 07838 241222


Why not read our other networking blogs


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