East Devon Business Initiative grows rapidly

Zebra Design's picture
Authored by Zebra Design
Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 12:14pm
The East Devon Business Initiative (EDBI) is a non-profit making, networking and referral group made up of enterprising small and medium sized businesses in the East Devon and Exeter areas. We aim to offer something different to other groups - put aside any of your traditional views about networking and enter a scene where the emphasis is nurturing relationships, rather than forcing referrals.... EDBI offers the value added extra of business support and advice as well as a regular schedule of informative and inspirational speakers. Every member has a chance to give a short presentation on their own business so that fellow members can speak knowledgeably about them when coming across a possible lead. At EDBI we emphasise getting to know and supporting each other in our businesses and maximising business growth opportunities through member referrals. We do have a structure to our meetings and manage the group on a professional basis but the atmosphere remains very friendly and completely 'unstuffy'. We build trust in each other and foster relationships on business and a social level, believing that people buy from people. EDBI is currently one of the largest non-profit making business support groups with a healthy, growing membership and avoiding internal competition by allocating membership to only one in each business category. The Friday EDBI weekly networking breakfasts are held from 7.30 - 9am leaving you with plenty of the day to still effectively run your business. Meetings take place at Woodbury Park Hotel & Golf Club which offers EDBI members excellent meeting facilities as well as fantastic discounts on leisure memberships as well as the chance for some of our golfing enthusiasts to tee off following our meetings. EDBI Grows Again The East Devon Business Initiative has recently grown to a fantastic 35 members with three new members joining us over the last fortnight. The EDBI meets weekly on a Friday morning at Woodbury Park Golf and Country Club and passes business between it's members whilst also offering each other advice and support in the day to day running of their businesses. This week sees the AGM of the EDBI and we are about to appoint a new Chairperson. Over the last 12 months, Helen Mattacott of Beacon Peninsula has been our Chairman and what a wonderful job she has done too, not only running our meetings in an extremely professional manner but giving up her time behind the scenes developing the group and dealing with day to day matters which have arisen.  Helen said, "It was a huge privilege for me to take over the Chairmanship of such a vibrant group of businesspeople. Over the years in business I have been a member of various networking groups but rarely, if ever, have I come across a group as committed as the EDBI. It is well structured and professional, plenty of business is passed between members but most of all, this is conducted between a supportive, congenial group of people with a huge collective experience and expertise in business management in a variety of sectors. Unlike other groups, our mission is not just the passing of referrals and profile raising for our own businesses but the group provide a forum for plenty of 'value added' elements: meeting at the fantastic facility of Woodbury Park which offers our members added benefits; embracing new businesses as well as established passing on expertise; a comprehensive programme of speakers on topics of particular relevance to all of our business members and keeping them up to date on business developments nationally as well as in Devon and East Devon in particular. In addition many of our members have become real friends, not only those we trust in business but those of similar minds with whom we can raise money for charity and have great social events too. Come and join us!" This year our chosen charity has been CLIC Sargent and the EDBI has raised to date a fantastic £2,743.50 by various sponsored events including a run from London to Brighton by Paul Cross of Utility Warehouse, a Golf Day at Woodbury, an abseil at Canonteign Falls, Mark Davey of East Devon Plumbing and Heating completing the Three Peaks Challenge and our Chairperson, Helen Mattacott completing a Night Walk. We still have money to come in from some of our braver members taking part in a tandem skydive and the auction at our Christmas Party on 22nd December. From Zebra Design's point of view, being a member of the EDBI has being a huge benefit. I have grown in confidence personally and professionally and have worked on projects for a number of the members and have also enjoyed organising all our Social Events. The support and business advice that members give each other is invaluable and I look forward to another year's membership of this vibrant networking group. If you are interested in joining us, please visit the website to find out more at www.edbi.co.uk and come along to one of our breakfasts on a Friday morning