Young entrepreneurs shake up North West business networking with new event and start-up funding competition

Two young entrepreneurs who were tired of stuffy and suited business brunches have collaborated to host an event with a difference; a networking session for North West business people aged under 30, complete with masterclasses from successful companies and the chance to win start-up funding on the day. This event, The Social Experiment, has been organised with assistance from Liverpool City Region investment charity One Ark.

The Social Experiment, which takes place on 9th April at The Williamson Tunnels at 6pm, is the only independent event of its kind in Liverpool, offering young entrepreneurs with great ideas the chance to network with likeminded individuals, receive mentoring via masterclasses and potentially win £500 cash funding and £500 worth of marketing and branding support from One Ark, part of the First Ark Group.  Attendees are able to pitch for the funding from the moment they register for the session on Eventbrite and the winner will be announced during the event. 

Robyn Dooley, 18, and Emily Karatay, 29, masterminded the event after finding the existing networking opportunities that were open to them were geared towards those operating in well-established organisations. They put together The Social Experiment to offer an engaging and helpful alternative to young people looking to build upon a great business idea.

Emily Karatay, who also runs New Collective, a consultancy which works to create networking opportunities for young people, said: “Many young minds have a fantastic business idea bubbling away within them. What they may not have is the capital or bravery to step out and make this dream a reality. Through this event we want to show that it’s possible to start with a sum as small as £500, and piece by piece build on each part of the idea over time until you’re left with a fully functioning – and successful – start-up. I’d recommend any entrepreneurial minded young people from across the region head to this event to see why taking a bite size approach to business could help them become a sector leader of the future.”

Helen Wills, executive director at One Ark, said: “We love to see young people with big ideas flourish in the world of business, which is why we’re so keen to support The Social Experiment. Obtaining funding from established channels is hard for young entrepreneurs.  Not only does this event offer finance for a business start-up, it also demonstrates that just a small amount of capital can help turn an initial thought into a real life company.”

The businesses managing the masterclasses at The Social Experiment comprise Liverpool online agency PH Creative, baby product manufacturer Izzy Melody and software development company Worpcloud. Attendees will be able to take inspiration from these living and breathing case studies as they discuss their start-up stories and offer best practice advice on launching a new business.

Event co-organiser Robyn Dooley recently launched Innovators Hub, a talent agency for young people looking to break into the creative industries, using this bite size approach to business. One Ark has assisted with this launch and continues to mentor and support Robyn as her business grows.

To register to attend The Social Experiment, and potentially secure funding for your business launch, please visit:

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