(Pictured left to right: Beverly Clarke, BWL Group, Sheila Kelly-Trow, Co-founder BUN and Sue Wright, National Will Register)
To launch a new business networking venture during a global pandemic is no mean feat however, Sheila Kelly-Trow together with Unique Venues, Birmingham have successfully created a vibrant network for Birmingham businesses in just six months. Since its inception, Birmingham’s Unique Network (BUN) has aimed to bring together the best of Birmingham’s local businesses in order to create a group of well-connected business leaders who are able to meet and network together, raise their profiles, gain business insights, and offer mutual support.
The BUN networking lunch events take place monthly at different venues across Birmingham, showcasing the best hospitality venues and bringing together an exciting mix of business leaders to give them each a chance to further develop working relationships with old and new colleagues. Each event offers informal networking, a sit-down lunch and a prize draw which is highly popular. Local businesses have donated many generous gifts. Each event also has its own event sponsor which is an opportunity for a local business to showcase their expertise whilst creating new relationships.
Since the launch in July 2021, BUN has seen 325 attendees at their events, with businesses representing many sectors including, insurance, marketing, investments, film making, well-being, recruitment, charity, and IT, to name just a few. BUN monthly events are well attended, and the network has continued to grow each month.
Sheila Kelly-Trow, co-founder of BUN, says; “The growing success of our events is supported by the professional approach of our support staff, the willingness of local venues to host the lunches and the continuing growth in the number of attendees who are prepared to devote their valuable time in order to join us. It would appear that our approach is along the right lines, however we will continue to develop our approach to business networking to ensure continued success throughout 2022.”
Suzanna Reid Barreiro da Silva, Commercial Director at Unique Venues Birmingham says “BUN is a fantastic opportunity for Birmingham’s businesses to come together and network, thus opening up their business reach and develop working relationships. We hope to provide businesses from all sectors the chance to find other likeminded businesses and to be able to foster partnerships, collaborations and above all, mutual support.”
BUN’s success is evident in their attendees’ endorsements: “I have been attending BUN events on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at various venues. The event attracts businesses and professionals where I have benefited greatly through direct and indirect business referrals. It’s also fun and I have developed friendships through these events. We were fortunate to host one of these events at Zen Metro for which I’m ever grateful to Sheila and her team.
“I highly recommend Birmingham’s Unique Network to anyone who is in business or want to substantially develop their network.” Jaimon George, Director, Zen Metro.
Regular BUN networker Peter Adkins, Partner at Knights plc says, “Birmingham’s Unique Network has been running networking lunches for six months and I have been delighted to be able to attend many of them. As well as enabling the business community to connect again, the support that these lunches give to the hospitality business in Birmingham has been extremely important. As a lawyer involved in Licensing, I know only too well that many venues have suffered during Covid, and they need this type of support as they begin the recovery from the ravages of Lockdown. All round, the network is doing a great job.”
The expectation is to continue growing the network in 2022 and to continue offering Birmingham businesses the opportunity to join this thriving network of local businesses. With the city looking forward to the Commonwealth Games 2022, the BUN network is an excellent way for local businesses to share practices and create new opportunities.