Attend FSB Essex's inaugural Small Business Bootcamp

To mark the 50 year anniversary of FSB, we're helping small businesses from across Essex to make their business count. Brought to you by NatWest:

Sponsored by Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisers, Rickard Luckin, and supported by Event Essex, FSB is delighted to announce their very first Small Business Bootcamp for Essex! Held at the University of Essex's landmark building of Essex Business School, with a unique indoor winter garden, the day will be packed full of insightful guest speakers, valuable panel discussions, practical workshops and opportunities to network with like-minded small business owners and entrepreneurs.

With FSB, we can help your small business achieve it's big ambitions! Our full speaker line-up will be revealed soon, but no need to wait as you can reserve your space now. Tickets are just £5 for FSB members and £10 for non-members.

Want to get your business in front of local SMEs? We also have low-cost exhibiting opportunities, starting from just £75.

Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided upon arrival/during the morning break. A buffet lunch of sandwiches will also be provided.

This event is designed to benefit entrepreneurs, the self-employed and small businesses from across Essex. On offer is:

  • an inspirational Business Bootcamp. This is your chance to hear from inspirational speakers to help you develop and grow your business
  • complimentary lunch
  • browse our exhibitor stands (if you would like to be an exhibitor, please book here)

Join us at one part of the event or all of it.

Hosted by

David Bell | Simboc Ltd

David Bell is a multi-award-winning company director, entrepreneur, executive business advisor, technology expert, keynote speaker and chat show host. He is FSB ‘s East of England Regional Chairman and has been an activist with FSB for over 18 years. David also supports Anglia Ruskin University as their Entrepreneur in Residence.To connect with David and find out more, click here.

Talks, Workshops & Speakers

Keynote Speaker
James Sinclair | Essex Business Tycoon

James Sinclair is the owner of beloved family brands such as Rossi Ice Cream, Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Lee Valley Animal Adventure Park, Partyman World, Twizzle Tops nurseries and Teddy Tastic. Today, his businesses generate £40 million revenue per year. He operates in a variety of sectors including leisure, childcare, outdoor attractions, commercial property, and toy manufacturing. James also owns Party Pieces, a 500-year-old hotel, and one of the UK’s oldest ice cream companies. James has a loyal and growing following on his popular behind-the-scenes YouTube channel, boasting almost 6 million views. Through his no-holds-barred podcast, the Business Broadcast, James helps fellow entrepreneurs overcome their toughest challenges. It regularly trends as one of the most popular podcasts in the “Entrepreneurship” category. His Entrepreneurs University gives members direct access to the proven strategies and tactics that have enabled his group of businesses to scale up to £100,000,000 in sales since they started. Find out more here.

Get back 20 minutes a day with AI
Mathew Parkins | I Want to Get Digital & The AI Guys

Mathew Parkins is Founder/Director of ‘I Want To Get Digital’ and AI Consultant at the AI Guys. On the path to give back businesses 1 billion hours, Mat works with businesses, both large and small, to develop custom AI and automation solutions that give business owners back the most valuable resource they have – their time. Mat will give his top tips for tackling repetitive tasks using AI, with the goal of reducing time on the mundane and increasing time spent on income generating tasks. Connect with Mat here.

Your Health in your Hands: Juice Workshop
Luke Morton | The Juice Guy

Award winning speaker and documentary maker, Luke, (AKA: The Juice Guy), is a Natural Juice Therapist, accredited by the Complimentary Medical Association. Join Luke as he shares his young entrepreneur business journey, which started in 2021, by making cold pressed shots made from 100% raw, natural, fruits and vegetables. He will also be giving his tops tips for staying healthy as a small business owner and may even give us a juicing demonstration! Find out more: www.juiceguy.co.uk

Panel 1: Overcoming Current Business Challenges
James Sinclair | Keynote Speaker

James Sinclair is the owner of beloved family brands such as Rossi Ice Cream, Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Lee Valley Animal Adventure Park, Partyman World, Twizzle Tops nurseries and Teddy Tastic. Today, his businesses generate £40 million revenue per year. He operates in a variety of sectors including leisure, childcare, outdoor attractions, commercial property, and toy manufacturing. James also owns Party Pieces, a 500-year-old hotel, and one of the UK’s oldest ice cream companies. James has a loyal and growing following on his popular behind-the-scenes YouTube channel, boasting almost 6 million views. Through his no-holds-barred podcast, the Business Broadcast, James helps fellow entrepreneurs overcome their toughest challenges. It regularly trends as one of the most popular podcasts in the “Entrepreneurship” category. His Entrepreneurs University gives members direct access to the proven strategies and tactics that have enabled his group of businesses to scale up to £100,000,000 in sales since they started. Find out more here.

David Barnes | Barnes IT Solutions Ltd
Specialising in: Cyber Crime

David has been working in the IT industry since 1984 and established Barnes IT Solutions Ltd in 1999, which provides IT services and support to micro/small businesses. He is currently volunteer Essex Area Lead at FSB, having previously been the East of England Chair, and is key to lobbying local authorities on small business support. Connect with David here.

Sarah Brockwell | Sarah Bee Marketing
Specialising in: Marketing

Sarah Brockwell is the founder of sarahBee Marketing Ltd, an award-winning consultancy for marcomms strategies. She is an active industry speaker and is a member of the American Marketing Association, having been the Vice-President of Global Marketing at a US based $13bn FinTech organisation. Sarah is also an experienced business coach and mentor on various public sector funded business support programmes, including the current Blueprint for Business. Find out more here.

Jason Roberts | Kaleida International
Specialising in: Diversity in supply chains and the workplace

Jason is Founder and Director Kaleida International; a fully inclusive, B2B marketplace for tenders focused on helping buyers find, assess and invite diverse suppliers to tender. He launched the business in 2021 after 24 years working in the financial services industry in both banking and sales. From the lack of representation in boardrooms, to being made aware that his 6’ 5” frame was intimidating, he experienced prejudice, bias and discrimination that impacted opportunities. Find out more here.

Kevin Thomas | Rickard Luckin
Specialising in: Planning ahead and Access to Finance

Kevin is a Director at Rickard Luckin, our event sponsor, leading the Small Business Team. Having earned a Mathematics degree, he trained as a general practice accountant and auditor. Qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he later became a Chartered Tax Adviser. As a member of the MGI network, a top 20-ranked international network of audit, tax, accounting and consulting firms, Kevin assists clients with international trade and tax issues. Read more about Rickard Luckin here.

Maria Antoniu | Chocolate Moments
Specialising in: Business Growth and Scaling up 

Maria is owner of Chocolate Moments, an online business selling unique chocolate creations that cannot be found anywhere else. She creates bespoke branded chocolates with logos printed onto the chocolate. Maria has also featured on Aldi's Next Big Thing and Dragon's Den, with her milk chocolate bar filled with crisps – a UK first. Find out more here.

Panel 2: Business Trends to look out for in 2025
Luke Morton | The Juice Guy

Award winning speaker and documentary maker, Luke, (AKA: The Juice Guy), is a Natural Juice Therapist, accredited by the Complimentary Medical Association. Join Luke as he shares his young entrepreneur business journey, which started in 2021, by making cold pressed shots made from 100% raw, natural, fruits and vegetables. He will also be giving his tops tips for staying healthy as a small business owner and may even give us a juicing demonstration! Find out more: www.juiceguy.co.uk

Mike Russell | MKR Solutions
Specialising in: The Race to Net Zero

Mike set up MKR Solution after 35 years in the financial services. He works with Start Ups/other SME's on reviewing business plans and is a coach/mentor/trainer. He is qualified as a Lean6Sigma professional delivering methods to improve processes, improve and grow business. Mike is the Essex Area Lead at FSB, alongside David Barnes. Find out more.

Mathew Parkins | I Want to Get Digital & The AI Guys
Specialising in: The Rise of AI

Mathew Parkins is Founder/Director of ‘I Want To Get Digital’ and AI Consultant at the AI Guys. On the path to give back businesses 1 billion hours, Mat works with businesses, both large and small, to develop custom AI and automation solutions that give business owners back the most valuable resource they have – their time. Mat will give his top tips for tackling repetitive tasks using AI, with the goal of reducing time on the mundane and increasing time spent on income generating tasks. Connect with Mat here.

Eve Calderbank | Essex County Council
Specialising in: The Business Support Landscape

As Business Growth Manager at Essex County Council, Eve Calderbank helps develop new opportunities across Essex for businesses to grow and invest in the county. She is a passionate advocate for equality and inclusion, set on changing the future prospects for women and girls. Eve set up the Ambitious Women in Essex group to help achieve this. Connect with Ambitious Women in Essex.

Jade Uko | DevComms
Specialising in: Small Business Intelligence

Formally employed by FSB as Development Manager, Jade is now a member of FSB and volunteer and East of England Policy Unit Representative. In this role, Jade helps to ensure that the voice of small businesses is represented both internally at FSB, and at every level of local/national government. Jade is Associate Director at DevComms and heads up the East of England office in Cambridge, where she works on major infrastructure projects, residential schemes and commercial development.

Henry Bennett | Wokendon Wealth
Specialising in: Small business finances in the current economic climate

Chartered Financial Planner, Henry Bennett, has been advising clients for over a decade; providing bespoke personal financial plans and managing wealth in line with that planning. From retirement planning to tax-efficient investment planning and savings to tax-efficient investment planning, Henry covers a vast array of topics. Running an Associate Partner Practice of St. James's Place Wealth Management, his emphasis is on maintaining a long-term relationship with clients, providing them with a source of trusted advice as their financial needs evolve over the years. Read more here: www.wokendonwealth.co.uk.

Fire-side chat with FSB Awards Winners
Emily and Oliver Arnold | Vanlife Conversions Ltd

Founded by Oliver Arnold, a former Army Officer, and Emily Arnold, a former NHS doctor, Vanlife Conversions are based in Colchester. They specialise in off-grid van conversions, merging premium functionality, advanced technology, and stylish interiors for couples at a turning point in their lives. Vanlife has been in operation for over 5 years and have crafted 35 vans across the UK/Europe. Vanlife were this year’s winners of the East of England and National FSB Awards in the Service Excellence category. To find out more click here.

 
Emma Robson | Stort Valley Gifting

Founded in 2020 by Emma Robson, the Harlow based business champions local food and drink, working with over 40 Hertfordshire and Essex based artisan producers. They provide gifting for individual and corporate clients, ranging from single chocolate bars to bespoke hampers adding a personal touch with branded ribbon using logos or custom messages. Stort Valley Gifting Vanlife were this year’s winners of the East of England FSB Awards in the Micro Business category. To find out more click here.

Bookings to attend this event close on 3rd September.

Interested in our Bootcamp series? See our other Bootcamps across the UK here.

Further Information for Attendees

There is a water fountain and a café in the Business School, plus plenty of cafes and restaurants on site if you would like to purchase extra food or drink.

There is also accommodation available on site, if needed. Wivenhouse House from £150 and single en-suite bedrooms within self-contained flats, at the South Courts from £45. Please quote EVENT ESSEX when booking for a preferential rate.

For those that opt in for this event, we will share your business contact details with NatWest. They may contact you with information from this event as well as product information and other information relevant to you. NatWest will process your data in accordance with their Privacy Notice. You can withdraw your consent at any time.

Accessibility Information

The venue is fully accessible with blue badge parking. There are disabled bathrooms, and the event is on the ground floor.

Venue parking and transport Information

There is ample free parking in front of the building, including blue badge parking. By providing your car registration number on booking, you will be able to park for free. You may receive a parking fine, if you do not provide your car registration number. If the car park is full, you may park elsewhere but do not park on the Wivenhoe side of the campus.

When you arrive in Colchester by car, follow road signs to the University (off the A133) to access our main visitor car parks, which is via the B1028, Colchester Road. Colchester North Train Station is 3.7 miles from campus and Colchester Town Train Station is 2.8 miles from campus. There is a taxi rank at Colchester North Train Station and on the High Street near to Colchester North Train Station.

Event contact

For general enquiries regarding the event, please contact Leila Jones on [email protected]

Sponsored by

This event is kindly sponsored by Rickard Luckin and supported by Event Essex.

Further information

  • To help ensure things run smoothly, please refer to our Events terms and conditions here.
  • We want all attendees to feel welcome - please read our statement on Diversity and inclusion here.
  • Please view our Privacy Policy here.
  • To enable FSB to deliver a high level of customer service at our events, and to tailor the content where appropriate, we will share your full name and business name with the host of the event you have registered to attend. The event hosts are representatives of FSB who irretrievably delete your details following the event.  Should you not consent your full name and business name being shared with the event host, please contact [email protected] within three working days of the event taking place, with details of the event.