Posted: Wed 16th Sep 2015
Enterprise Nation has announced the first of 12 Enterprise Champions who will be representing our community across the UK and helping us to grow a truly entrepreneurial nation.
We're profiling the Champions and next up is Emma Selby, who represents Surrey.
Who are you and what do you do?
I run the Farnham Hub, a model of cooperative business support where business owners train other business owners in return for promotion and visibility within a collaborative framework. Our mission is to ensure all business owners in and around our town have access to all the skills, resources and information they need to grow their businesses and realise their dreams. This year we opened two further Hubs in Winchester and Haslemere.
Tell us about the small business scene in your region. Why is it so good?
We have a diverse range of businesses like all towns and business owners are motivated and keen to learn and make the most of the resources available. Business owners have a huge demand for current and relevant skills and training as well as a real need to be in a collaborative community and since we have started to provide these the small business scene has begun to really take off.
What needs to be done to make it even better?
Farnham would really benefit from an incubator and co-working space open six days a week in the town centre as I believe would all towns. We can only provide this service once a week currently.
Tell us about two great small businesses in your region and why they're so brilliant.
Stop and Stare Marketing set up in 2013 in Farnham town centre with a view to providing a top quality agency service that local businesses can afford. The business' focus on local SMEs has really paid off and they are growing at the rate of one employee a month. They train for us at the Farnham Hub and in 2014 signed 31 clients this way so they are a fabulous illustration of why town hubs work so well.
A lady called Sandra McHugh came to the Hub two years ago when she was working as a volunteer coordinator and as she was on a low income. I was able to give her some free training and free desk space. A single mum on benefits, she went on to do an intensive 'Supermum' training course at the Hub, then set up her own successful business TweetingbyHand which coaches people on Twitter. She has now opened the Haslemere Hub with a view to helping others in the same way the Farnham Hub helped her.
Why were you happy to become an Enterprise Nation Regional Champion?
I share a love of small home businesses with Enterprise Nation as that is where I started. I spend all my days helping businesses get off the ground in Farnham and want to help others do the same further afield. I feel that a partnership with Enterprise Nation will give my Hubs greater breadth and scope and give us a voice to speak to government.
What are your three top tips for running a successful business?
Always ask how you can help people, be different and look at your number dashboard daily.
Follow Emma Selby on Twitter at @thefarnhamhub
Find out more about our Enterprise Champions here.