Running a business can be a difficult role sometimes, but it’s especially tough when you don’t have a support network to rely on. Business owners are regularly faced with hard choices and confusing situations, and unpicking them to reach a resolution is an overwhelming task when there’s no-one around to talk to about them. That’s where business and networking groups come in – providing support, understanding, and advice when it’s most needed and helping business owners to build stronger networks in the local community.
We’re big believers in the value that business and networking groups can deliver, and we’re proud that Basingstoke is home to a thriving business community and a whole host of such groups. Here are some of the best business groups in Basingstoke for you to check out.
Basingstoke Chamber of Commerce
Dating back to 1985, the Basingstoke Chamber of Commerce is one of the most prominent business groups in Basingstoke. Part of the broader Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, the Basingstoke Chamber works to ensure that Basingstoke is recognised as one of the top places in the UK to do business.
It’s led by senior leaders from a broad range of local businesses and organisations, with meetings held every other month. The focus of these meetings is on providing help and support to local member businesses and acting as a collective voice to steer the overall objectives of the Basingstoke business community. Worting House is a proud member of the Basingstoke Chamber of Commerce, and you can join too by contacting the Chamber here.
Basingstoke Business Club
The Basingstoke Business Club is another prominent local business group, meeting on the first and third Fridays of each month to network and absorb educational presentations. It features an ‘open house’ policy, meaning any business owner can join no matter how large or niche they are, with membership costs of just £25 per month.
While it’s less focused on the directional big-picture than the Basingstoke Chamber of Commerce, the Basingstoke Business Group is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local business community and make new connections. As an attendee, you can introduce and promote your business, discuss opportunities and challenges with other members, and pick up knowledge from presentations. It’s a great environment for anyone trying to build a better local network to be in – find out more on their website.
Buzz Connect is a relatively new networking group in Basingstoke, holding digital networking meetings on a weekly basis throughout 2021. This group connects businesses in Basingstoke, Newbury, and Reading, bringing them together over Zoom calls to help members build their local network, discuss ideas for collaboration, and promote their businesses.
Established to help foster real growth in the local economies of West Berkshire and North Hampshire, Buzz Connect is supported by West Berkshire Council. It offers members the opportunity to become a part of a business community that spans a broad range of sectors and develop mutually beneficial relationships with other business owners – especially useful for new businesses looking for early opportunities. You can register as a member on their website.
The Athena Network Basingstoke West
Launched in September 2018, The Athena Network’s Basingstoke West group is the local division of a national business group that is dedicated to networking, training, and development opportunities for female executives and business owners. The group meets on the fourth Thursday of each month between January-July and September-November, with members spanning all manner of business sector.
The group aims to provide a space for local women in business to meet, network, and develop together, with a focus on building connections and growing core business skills. It’s an invaluable resource for women entrepreneurs seeking support, and can lead to great opportunities for collaboration. You can find out more about the network and register to join the local group on The Athena Network’s website.
Basingstoke Business Expo
While not necessarily a networking group, the Basingstoke Business Expo is an unmissable networking opportunity for local businesses. Held twice annually, it’s known as Basingstoke’s largest business conference and, best of all, is free to attend. You can join hundreds of local businesses as an attendee and openly network with professionals from across a broad range of sectors. There are also seminars and workshops to join in with, and a roster of educational speakers.
In 2022, the Basingstoke Business Expo will be held on Thursday 7th April at The Apollo Hotel and on Thursday 15th September at Oakley Hall Hotel. Both events are sure to be filled with value for attendees, and since they’re free to attend, there’s nothing to lose. We usually attend the expo ourselves, so we might see you there! You can register for tickets for the April event here.