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Press Release - 11 November 2004

Local Entrepreneurs Gain Access to Marketing Skills

The first in a series of free seminars to help small and medium businesses was launched by the University of Bath in Swindon today.

International marketing expert and best-selling author Professor David Kirby told an audience of 50 people that marketing was key for small businesses in the 21st century.

European Union European Social FundProfessor Kirby was speaking at the inaugural Entrepreneurs South West seminar. Offered by the Enterprise Gateway at the Oakfield campus to support and inform local enterprise, this initiative is partly funded by the European Social Fund.

“Small businesses can be nimble and responsive within an increasingly changeable international marketplace. As we head into the 21st Century this is the sector that has the potential to drive the local and national economy. Marketing is the key to unlocking this potential,” he said.

With over 30 years of consultancies experience, Professor Kirby communicated his passion for small businesses and identified them as a sector currently under-valued.

Filled to capacity, the seminar, held in one of the dedicated Gateway buildings of the Oakfield campus, was attended by a cross section of local owners and managers from small and medium sized enterprises (known as SMEs) as well as partners from the Federation of Small Businesses and Business Link.

Dr Faith Butt, Director of University of Bath in Swindon, commented on the seminar: “Being oversubscribed for our first event is a good indication that Entrepreneurs South West is providing a highly-valuable service. Small businesses are crucial in improving Swindon’s economy and the University is committed to offering all the support it can.

“By organising these seminars as interactive discussion sessions, rather than lectures, attendees can ask questions of experts and peers. Running a small business can feel a bit lonely at times but these regular meetings provide a focus for the local sector.

“We want these events to be an excellent networking opportunity as well as to provide access to experts on topical issues for SMEs. We are also committed to providing information on the availability of additional support and resources both at the University and further afield.”