Group of diverse business people on panel discussion

regional event: Bristol

Regional conferences | Feb 28

Delivered by:

Small Business Charter Logo

Sponsored by:

HM Government logo

Regional event: Bristol

April 23rd
8:30 am – 2:00 pm
NatWest Accelerator, 2 Trinity Rd, Avon St, Bristol BS2 0PT

Highlighted speakers:

Gus Bhandal

Gus Bhandal Founder, The M Guru

Andrew Bryce

Andrew Bryce Founder & CEO, Sixty Seconds

Ruth Chapman

Ruth Chapman Executive Managing Director, Dulas and Advisor, UK Board of Trade

Accessing tools and talent for business growth

This event is designed to accelerate your business’s growth by equipping you with practices you can implement to boost your sales, amplify your social media presence, and increase employee engagement.

During this half-day event, you will have the opportunity to listen to:

  • a masterclass from social media guru, Gus Bhandal. This session will explore the intricacies of social media marketing and how it can increase brand awareness and engagement.
  • an insightful keynote on AI integration in business. This session will unveil how to leverage AI to build your digital presence and convert leads to sales.
  • a panel discussion on employee engagement and retention. This panel will explore the strategies you can implement to become an employer of choice and create a productive workforce.

There will also be plenty of opportunities to forge new business connections with your fellow alumni and gain business support from our representatives from NatWest, the Department for Business and Trade, the British Business Bank and Innovate UK.


08:30 Doors Open

Breakfast and refreshments will be provided.

09:00 Opening remarks from the conference chair

Dr Paul Bennett, Dean of Partnerships and International, College of Business and Law, UWE Bristol

09:10 conversation café

We will be kickstarting the day with a highly engaging networking exercise. You will be given a set of business-focused questions and encouraged to discuss the answers with your peers. This is your opportunity to share and hear from other business leaders about their journey.

09:30 Keynote address: digital presence on a budget

Andrew Bryce is the founder and CEO of Sixty Seconds, a company at the forefront of revolutionising video marketing and prospecting workflows. With a decade of experience, his work focuses on integrating advanced AI and software tools to enhance how businesses communicate with their audiences. Andrew’s leadership is marked by a commitment to using technology to simplify communication processes, improve storytelling, and optimise engagement strategies for organisations globally.

Key takeaways will include: 

  • How to integrate AI into your marketing strategy.
  • How to utilise AI to convert leads to sales.
  • Steps to creating a digital presence on a budget. 
  • How to evolve your business proposition.

Andrew Bryce, Founder & CEO, Sixty Seconds

10:00 Social media masterclass

In this session, Gus will guide you through strategies to optimise your business’s digital marketing channels, enhancing visibility and attracting new customers. Learn how to leverage social media platforms to improve sales and digital presence, whilst saving time and resources.

This masterclass will focus on these key areas:

  1. Setting clear objectives: Learn how to establish measurable goals.
  2. Strategies for achieving your social media marketing goals: Discover the ideal platforms, content nuances, and time allocation for maximum impact.
  3. Customer connection tactics: Learn how to craft compelling content strategies, expand reach, and master inbound/outbound techniques.
  4. Measure success: Learn to track metrics, understand how to distinguish between organic and paid strategies, and ensure your efforts yield results.

Benefit from practical examples, case studies, and engaging activities to ignite your digital marketing journey.

Gus Bhandal, Founder, The M Guru

11:20 mid-morning break

Grab a coffee, make new connections and engage with business support.

11:40 Employee engagement, retention and productivity panel

It has become increasingly difficult to motivate and retain staff. How can you ensure you’re keeping employees engaged without sacrificing productivity?

During this panel discussion, expert practitioners and local business leaders will share tried and tested management tools and techniques that nurture talent development and a feeling of purpose amongst your employees.  

Key takeaways will include:  

  • Dos and don’ts when recruiting.  
  • How to build a high-performance culture.  
  • How to establish connection, meaning and trust with your team. 
  • Cost-effective and productive benefits and financial incentives.

Richard Roberts, Culture and Employee Engagement Specialist, enRich

Andrew Woolnough, Consultant

Abbie Burland, Director, Mella Recruitment

Terry Corby, Chairman, CMI South West Board

12:20 keynote address: Changing the world with business support

In this inspiring keynote, Ruth Chapman, Executive Managing Director of Dulas, will share her journey of using business support to overcome challenges in running an SME. She will focus on the company’s growth mission in improving humanitarian aid. Ruth will demonstrate how she utilised loans, knowledge transfer partnerships, and other forms of support to navigate obstacles like cash flow and skill gaps. Be prepared to gain insights into engaging with entities like the Department for Business and Trade and Innovate UK. Use this as an opportunity to learn how to leverage similar support available at the event.

Ruth Chapman, Executive Managing Director, Dulas and Advisor, UK Board of Trade

12:50 Closing remarks from the conference chair

13:00 Lunch, networking and exhibitions

Grab some lunch, make new connections and engage with business support.

The running order is currently being finalised. While we confirm the finer details, the programme may be subject to change.


If you have any questions, please get in touch by email at or contact the Small Business Charter by phone on 020 7634 9584.

Capacity is limited so please register your place as soon as possible.

About our Speakers

Gus Bhandal

Gus Bhandal Founder, The M Guru

Richard Roberts

Richard Roberts Culture and Employee Engagement Specialist, enRich

Andrew Woolnough

Andrew Woolnough Consultant

Abbie Burland

Abbie Burland Director, Mella Recruitment

Andrew Bryce

Andrew Bryce Founder & CEO, Sixty Seconds

Ruth Chapman

Ruth Chapman Executive Managing Director, Dulas and Advisor, UK Board of Trade

Terry Corby

Terry Corby Chairman, CMI South West Board

Book Your Place

about the Regional Business Support

British business bank

The British Business Bank offers free financial tools and advice. While they do not lend or invest directly, they are experts in small business finance and work with more than 200 partners such as banks and venture capital funds, to help businesses like yours.

Be prepared to:

  • understand more about the finance options available to you and your business
  • find finance providers, business support and information available in your region 

Department for business and trade

The Department for Business and Trade helps UK SMEs identify and win new sales opportunities in overseas markets. They do this by providing advice, market intelligence and custom-made support to maximise your potential growth whilst minimising risk when selling products or services overseas.  

To make the most of this opportunity, we ask that you prepare your “pitch” by developing your export plan using the structure in the following link as a guide – 

innovate uk

Innovate UK is a UK-based innovation agency that aims to drive business innovation and productivity. They provide facilities and a framework of funding, finance and one-to-one support from over 400 innovation specialists and scaleup directors embedded in every UK region and nation. 

Be prepared to:

  • sharpen your commercial strategies
  • realise your maximum value from your IP
  • raise game-changing investments


The NatWest Accelerator supports and empowers UK entrepreneurs to scale their businesses to the next level.

This free accelerator programme offers: 

  • one-to-one coaching with experienced Acceleration Managers 
  • a programme of thought leadership and events 
  • access to a network of like-minded peers, supported by our Ecosystem Managers 
  • focused support with access to experts from across your specialism 
  • modern co-working spaces in one of our nationwide hubs. 

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