Networking With A Conscience as charity offers free business support

The first “Networking With A Conscience” business support event run by Halifax Opportunities Trust will be a free session on understanding GDPR.

The new help sessions have been set up by the Trust under their charitable objective to support businesses in Calderdale.

The launch event takes place at the Elsie Whitely Innovation Centre – the Trust’s own community-based business centre – on Thursday, November 2, from 9.30am to 11am and all local businesses are welcome to attend.

The session will be run by specialist security and risk management firm Equilibrium Risk, from Huddersfield, who will talk about cyber risk and examine the issues around GDPR, offering advice and practical solutions.

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and, from 25th May 2018, this is a regulation that all businesses will have to comply with – facing a risk of financial penalties for any potential breach. The team from Equilibrium Risk will advise businesses on how to avoid the doom and gloom surrounding GDPR and, instead, to use the new regulation as a positive opportunity to do better business.

The idea for the new support sessions sprung from a popular open door event held by HOT as part of the recent Community Business Weekend. They invited in local businesses as part of the weekend of national events held to celebrate 7,000 Social Enterprises across England which are run by their own local communities.

The Halifax event kicked off with a business networking session at the Elsie Whiteley Centre including a talk on the digitalisation of tax from Halifax-based chartered accountants and business advisers Spenser Wilson.

Halifax Opportunities Trust CEO Alison Haskins said: “Our guests told us they found the information session extremely valuable and that they would be interested in more talks on topics that affect them. So, in response to all the very positive feedback, we have agreed to put on similar events in future as part of our support for small businesses.

“One of our charitable objectives is to provide help and advice to local businesses and to create training and employment opportunities, particularly for unemployed people who may need help in setting up a business of their own. SME owners can be unaware of new regulations that are coming into play – like GDPR, as a perfect example – and this will be a great way of getting that information out to them”.

“Many paid-for networking events are becoming too expensive for start-ups and small businesses, so we will be running these free monthly sessions to give everyone an equal opportunity to meet, network and learn. We’re very much looking forward to the first event in November and we hope lots of local businesses will come along and take advantage of what promises to be a very informative session.”

The Elsie Whiteley Centre, in Hopwood Lane, Halifax, is home to a whole range of thriving small businesses, with rental income from its office space and meeting rooms funding the charity’s important work helping disadvantaged families across the district.

Community Business Weekend provided an opportunity for more than 150 businesses and organisations nationwide to showcase the positive impact they have on society and get more people involved in their valuable work. It was run by Power to Change, an independent charitable trust that supports community businesses in England, and supported by Campaign Collective which helps charities, social enterprises and public service organisations with affordable professional communications advice, along with nature and educational charity Eden Project Communities.

To book a free place on the Networking With A Conscience session please visit:

For more information about Halifax Opportunities Trust visit:

ABL Business Ltd is a commercial finance and marketing company based in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire. They are members of the NACFB and authorised and regulated by the FCA for commercial finance brokerage activities.