South East London Business Network's Heritage and Ethos
SELBN™ was started as a LinkedIn group by John Coupland in January 2010 and grew to nearly 3,000 members across the region. It was one of the few UK LinkedIn groups which put off-line networking first.
The group's first event was held at El Patio, Bromley. It was welcomed by the region as it operated on a 'pay-as-you-go' basis, (no membership fees), and proved to be popular becoming one of the most well known groups in London and surrounding areas. It formed alliances with organisations such as The Business Show, ExCeL & Olympia and the Key Person of Influence programme which John played an active part in.
John and his wife Angeline continued to host seasonal networking events until December 2014, having hosted hundreds of members and meeting many other business owners and entrepreneurs through other networks across the region, including Croydon.
With a heavy heart, John decided to mothball the LinkedIn group in February 2015 as he and Angeline could no longer justify the admin time spent ensuring SELBN™ remained spam free. That also coincided with the decline of genuine on-line engagement, (prevalent throughout LinkedIn whilst spamming increasingly became an issue for many groups), and John having to travel due to work commitments. An announcement was therefore sent to the group, especially as John couldn't find an active member who could spare the time and commitment involved in continuing to organise and host off-line events whilst managing the LinkedIn group.
Having returned, John and Angeline held a 'Friends of SELBN™' event in September 2016 and were amazed at the response, filling up the venue with networkers who were just as upbeat as they were before about supporting the local business community.
SELBN's ethos was always people first, despite John and Angeline running an on-line business, @networkerplus Social Media, throughout SELBN's first 5 years.
Following the success of John's bestselling book, ACCELerate™ Your Social Media, the business was rebranded as ACCELerate™ Your Business to reflect John's passion for marketing whilst helping others grow their businesses.
As a result of the on-going popularity of its events, SELBN's LinkedIn group was reintroduced. John restrategised SELBN and its website was subsequently launched on 31 October 2016, offering a more enhanced, integrated and wider network to businesses across the region.
SELBN™ now offers more services* to the region whilst continuing to extend business support through initiatives such as the successful #GrowBromley events which are hosted in partnership with the London Borough of Bromley. Photos.
Other partners are: My Super Connector, (Croydon); CNT Associates, (Bexley), and international partner, Bizcatalyst 360°, (a global media digest, sharing award-winning business thought leadership content to SELBN's LinkedIn group. Now over 3,300 members.
* A key aspect of SELBN's proposition is offering sponsorship opportunities to local businesses. A number organisations from various sectors have invested in the South East London Business Network's marketing and PR services. These range from legal; banking and accountancy; coaching; B2C; to the IT and tech sectors. SELBN is continuing to develop these, and similar propositions, to support both businesses and, of course, members of the network.
SELBN's core ethos is to support the local network. No-one is bigger or more important. Exuding mutual respect to one another is paramount. SELBN does not do egos. If you haven't already spotted it, it's of no coincidence that #ItsNotAboutUsItsAboutYou features many times as a hashtag in its marketing.
SELBN's events may be found via it's website.
ACCELerate™ Your Business is the owner and executive sponsor of the network.