Why Our networking is good for the individual, good for business AND good for the community

Why Our networking is good for the individual, good for business AND good for the community

 We asked psychologist and fellow social entrepreneur Dr Jemma Harris for her take on our ethical networking events. Here she highlights how attending our events could benefit you as an individual, your business and the local community.

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The business networking events organised by I Roll Up My Sleeves are a really great initiative and I am so glad to see that they are so popular. These types of events will tick multiple boxes when it comes to benefiting individuals, businesses and the wider community.

There are, of course, the very clear community based benefits that have been built into the design of the events. A range of local organisations and charities benefit from services, support, advice, customers and media exposure through the I Roll Up My Sleeves events.

What is perhaps more subtle are the potential personal benefits for the individuals attending the events and the subsequent benefits for their businesses. The events also seem to tap into the types of things that have been shown to benefit health, wellbeing and motivation. These include:

-kindness and prosocial behaviour

-physical activity (or at the very least reduced sedentary activities)

-social connection

-developing new skills

-a sense of being part of something bigger than oneself


These types of activities and experiences have been shown to have positive effects on wellbeing, happiness, health, energy levels, motivation, innovation and productivity and resilience to stress.

With clear potential to bring a range of positive benefits to the local community, individual attendees and associated businesses with each and every networking event I am excited about this paradigm shift if the networking world and am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves very soon!

Dr Jemma Harris is a mum of two, Chartered psychologist and founder of Happy Little Bundles, a social enterprise providing family activity packs inspired by the principles of positive psychology and education. She has previously been a faculty member of multiple UK universities and has successfully published within international, peer reviewed academic journals.

Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme Students 2017/2018

Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme Students 2017/2018

I was one of the lucky ones that managed to be picked to attend the most amazing support course in the development of our Social Enterprise. The year long course offers the opportunity to explore the full potential of our mission with a complete support network around us. The Eastern Enterprise Hub is a 'not for profit' organisation and the leading provider of entrepreneurial support in the East of England. It was set up by the private and public sector community in 2011 to offer in depth support to new entrepreneurs. From January 2011 to December 2015, the Eastern Enterprise Hub has supported 852 entrepreneurs who have driven business growth and employment across the East of England, through the creation of new enterprises and social enterprises. 

19 Social Entrepreneurs 

One of the greatest parts of being on the course is having the opportunity of sitting in a room with 18 other inspiring Social Entrepreneurs who are making such a difference to our communites and are going to continue to do so with the help of the course. I'd like you to say a big hello to these amazing people.


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Kelly Lindsay - Friend In Deed

Friend In Deed is committed to relieve loneliness and improve the
physical and mental health of older people & parents of young children.



Facilitating positive social change through entrepreneurship, youth development
and community organising.

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Bill Russell - Equal Brewkery

To show that people with learning disabilities can participate fully and contribute to a financially successful and sustainable business through brewing beer and baking bread.

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Dr Jemma Harris - Happy Little Bundles

Happy Little Bundles family activity packs are designed to help you to spend quality time together engaged in activities that support your family's health, wellbeing and development.

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Sarah Jones - Practical Bereavement Support

Tackling: The stress of dealing with admin and correspondence immediately after a loss and support to let go of the pain.


Suffolk Business Networking Collaboration

Back in May I Roll Up My Sleeves and ISSBA decided to hold a joint Business Networking event. This was to be held at Field of Dreams in Thurston on July 20th 2017.
We knew this event was going to be a little different to what ISSBA had done before so decided to advertise this as a gentle event Potting and Planting July 20th arrived and we were rather excited to see what the morning would hold for us.

Attendees began to arrive and over a cup of tea you could see the buzz and excitement on people’s faces. After an introduction from ISSBA and ourselves, Mark, Founder of Field of Dreams went on to explain to the attendees what a difference them being there and working on the projects would make to the farm and beneficiaries.
“The potting and planting means more produce can be sold to raise funds for the farm and the project to build more raised beds means I can grow and plant more vegetables to sell”

Everyone then set to work.

Some people decided having never done building or even used a saw before they would team up with other businesses to build raised beds. Whilst getting advice on the best way to use tools the businesses naturally spoke to each other and began to smile and feel overjoyed at the difference they were making.

One Business said “I never knew networking could be so rewarding”

This shows no matter what type or size of business you are, our events help you connect with other like-minded businesses whilst fulfilling your corporate social responsibility. With the event now in full flow and businesses networking we went round with our unique set of questions to get to know the businesses better. The outcome of this meant two of our businesses swapped cards to be able to refer one of their own clients to the other. Without the questions this would not have happened.

Once the projects where complete it was time for more refreshments and the morning came to a close. A few businesses hung around to have a tour of the farm and then went on their way.

Overall the morning was a very successful event.

Why Rolling up your sleeves is good for your business.

Why Rolling up your sleeves is good for your business, charities and local organisations.


Many small businesses are affiliating themselves with local organisations and charities to get their business noticed, whilst giving back to the community and helping others in the process. Which do you support? How do you choose? What if you can support more than one good cause and help a variety of disadvantaged people, support groups, worthy institutions or habitats in a meaningful way. Not all charities or organisations just need financial support. They need a variety of services, advice, customers, supporters, media exposure, awareness and help. Just like a normal business.


With our Business Networking Events you get to do just that, support a variety of good causes throughout your local community.

Proud to have been chosen as organisation of the year 2017.


Every year, the ISSBA committee selects a charity / organisation from amongst their members to become their Charity / Organisation ofthe Year. This year they are supporting our Social Enterprise I Roll Up My Sleeves and our Ethical Business Networking.


SSBA provides a forum for the mutual support of small businesses in Ipswich and surrounding parts of Suffolk, in the east of England. It is an informal organisation of business owners and others involved with small businesses, funded by sponsorship, members' subscriptions and organised by an elected committee.

Run entirely by a team of volunteers, for the past 28 years ISSBA is proud to be the only organisation of its kind in East Anglia.

They offer cost effective, clear and relevant support to it's members and work closely with partner organisations to ensure our goals for growth are aligned to the Suffolk Growth Strategy.

Activities include monthly meetings, events of both a business or social nature. Our flagship Business to Business Exhibition, the Anglia Business Exhibition that is held each May at Trinity Park, Ipswich and monthly business workshops. ISSBA keeps in touch with its members through a monthly e-newsletter, a directory of members and the website.

InWorkshop Event 17th November 2016


I am so proud of the businesses that Roll Up Their Sleeves at our events. We never let them know what project we will be completing before they arrive at the organisation that we are supporting on that day with our Alternative business Networking, and the response from them is outstanding.

On Thursday the 17th November we held our first event atInWorkshop in Bury St Edmunds. The purpose of the Community Workshop is to encourage full inclusion in a working environment safe for everyone.

So what difference did our businesses make? The biggest task for the team at InWorkshop is to raise awareness of the organisation so that they can support more people in the community. So they are holding a stall at the Christmas market in Bury St Edmunds.