Friday April 20th 2018

Free advice for food and drink entrepreneurs at Sheffield Food Festival

Head to the Town Hall for free business advice during the Sheffield Food Festival

Head to the Town Hall for free business advice during the Sheffield Food Festival

For the first time, during the Sheffield Food Festival (26 – 28 May), food and drink entrepreneurs will be the opportunity to take part in a one-day programme of talks, discussions, mentoring and advice with experienced industry professionals.

The Food Futures programme will take place in the Town Hall on Saturday 26 May and will be free to attend. All food and drink entrepreneurs will be welcome, from those with embryonic ideas to established businesses. A host of experienced industry professionals will be sharing their experience and knowledge, and there will be opportunities for participants to discuss their own ideas and challenges.

During the day James Ellerby, senior lecturer in Hospitality Management at Sheffield Hallam University will be sharing the findings of his research which identifies the core values shared by the restaurateurs who achieve and maintain long term success; Ophelie Robertson, research fellow for the Sheffield Innovation Programme, will discuss how small and medium size businesses can access research and technical expertise through the Innovation Programme to help them develop their products; Jay Bhayani, managing director of Bhayani Law, a team of employment law and HR specialists who support companies in the hospitality industry in Sheffield, will be sharing her top five most common employment and HR pitfalls for hospitality companies and how to avoid them; and Brendan Dyson from the NMTF, a national trade association for market traders and mobile caterers, will be discussing how to get started trading on markets, festivals, and fairs.

The keynote session for the day is The Entrepreneurial Recipe: How to get started in the Food Business, a panel discussion brought together by Darren Chouings, start-up business coach with University of Sheffield Enterprise.

Darren said: “Starting any business can be a daunting thing and working in the food industry brings its own set of challenges. When faced with the statistics that nine-out-of-ten new food and drink businesses fail, it is vital that these start-ups have the right support around them and know where to turn when they need guidance.”

The session showcases some of the exciting food start-ups that the university is currently working with, alongside other experts in the field. The discussion will focus on why panel members chose this industry, what it is that drives them and their success, as well as sharing some of the mistakes that were made along the way and the strategies they employed to get back on track.

Food entrepreneurs will hear from Ted Ki Tae Kim (Diversitea), William Chew (Mak Tok),  Jerome Jacobs (Phrooti), Natalia Welch (Pura Panela), Justin Rowntree (SweetSpot Hospitality Consultancy) and Yvonne O’ Donovan (The School of Artisan Food) with opportunity for questions and answers at the end.

Launchpad Mentoring will be running a ‘world café’ style session during the afternoon, with speakers available to discuss real life issues, challenges and ideas with attendees in more detail, either as 1-1 sessions or in small groups. There will be an opportunity to find out more about the Launchpad Mentoring programme, a free service offered by Sheffield City Region Growth Hub which links businesses under two years old with experienced entrepreneurs, who can share their experience and insights and act as a sounding board.

All food and drink entrepreneurs are welcome at the event, register for free on Eventbrite.

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