Locally-run networking group ready for fourth launch

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EB Networking (EBN) is to launch a new franchise in the Craven area of North Yorkshire.

EBN is the brainchild of Keighley businessman David Lalor, a security specialist who first established the organisation in 2012. He will head up the Wharfedale group, with further groups based in Keighley and Harrogate.

EBN groups are operated as licensed franchises by group directors and the new Craven cluster will be run by co-directors Matthew Kay, a Bingley-based financial consultant, and Chris Cooper, business development manager with Skipton label-printing firm Alan Northrop.

Both are existing EBN members who identified Craven as ripe for the launch of the fourth regional group. It will draw its members from an area centred on Skipton and the Dales, also taking in South and North Craven and reaching as far as north-east Lancashire.

Mr Kay said: “Since the demise of BusinessLink in 2012, existing EBN groups have plugged a gap and proved integral to effective business education, growth and coaching.

“It’s all about establishing and cementing long-term relationships between like-minded local business people – mutually beneficial partnerships that keep business local and, in turn, boost the local economy.

“We are keen to work alongside other local business-led organisations, such as Skipton Chamber of Trade & Commerce.”

EBN groups meet fortnightly for two hours at the same time and location, and members are never forced to make referrals. Chris Cooper said: “The atmosphere at our meetings is fresh, relaxed and non-high pressure, and, unlike some other networking groups, we do not operate a non-attendance policy, but a flexible multi-group membership strategy that allows individual group members to attend other group meetings to suit both availability and location.

“Competing businesses are also welcome.”

Mr Lalor remains adamant that the organisation is actively transforming the face of business networking across the region.

“Groups are run by established and successful local businesspeople and we are targeting like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners who are actively seeking to build bigger, better businesses through effective networking,” he said.

There is an open invitation to attend EBN Craven’s first meeting, which will be held Wednesday, May 7, from 7.30am, at Utopia on Broughton Hall Business Park, near Skipton.