A NORTH East-based networking organisation is celebrating its first anniversary – by launching its 10th group and unveiling plans to expand across the UK.
CHOICE Networking held its first meeting in Durham 12 months ago to help members in the region grow their businesses through networking.
The organisation has rapidly expanded with groups in Tees Valley, Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham.
In the same week as its first anniversary, the organisation launched its 10th group in Whitley Bay.
Founding partners Steve Cahill and Kath Benson, said they were delighted that CHOICE Networking was growing strongly and that enquiries were being received from across the UK.
Steve, who lives in Durham, said: “We decided CHOICE Networking should offer ‘pay as you go’ networking because we recognised that some small businesses couldn’t commit to every meeting in their area due to the demands of their workload.
“We felt that if members attended the meetings they could manage and pay for only those they attend without an annual fee, they would get the most out of being part of a network.”
The first meeting took place in a restaurant in Durham, in September 2016 and immediately attracted interest. Since then, the demand from North East businesses to become part of the network has exceeded all expectations.
“We wanted to make our meetings fortnightly because we felt weekly groups were too much of a commitment to some busy business owners,” explained Kath. “But for those that want weekly networking we offer lots of choice, with morning and lunch groups across the region on most days.”
“The tremendous interest shown for our meetings proves that the formula really works, and we have built a strong core of members who want to work with and for each other and grow their businesses together.”
CHOICE Networking will launch a breakfast group in Richmond, North Yorkshire, soon, as well as three further groups in the North East, and will then begin its UK-wide expansion. Several new services are also being developed under the CHOICE brand to support member businesses.
Steve said: “We have had enquiries from North Yorkshire, Lancashire, Scotland and London, and will be putting together a schedule of opening dates soon. It’s fantastic that a North East-based organisation is reaching out and helping business owners across the UK.”
For more information, visit www.choicenetworking.co.uk

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