Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, hosted Gosport’s very first enterprise fair, a free event for residents and the local armed forces community who either own their business or are interested in setting one up.

Over 100 local residents attended to hear speakers including Anne-Marie Mountifield, the Chief Executive of the Solent LEP; and Ren Kapur MBE; founder and CEO of X-Forces.

Local business owner, Darren Holt of Angel Marine, explained how LEP funding had supported him as he grew his business while Lee-on-the-Solent resident, Don Hodgson MBE explained how X-Forces helped him establish Aardvark Photography after he suffered a life-changing stroke.

Brian Clark of British Marine next explained the business support available to the local maritime industry. Finally, local success stories James Baggott of Blackball Media and Sir Robin Knox Johnston CBE gave their top tips for running a successful business. Mr Baggott spoke of the importance of investing in a good team of people around you, while Sir Knox Johnston highlighted Gosport’s great business potential owing to its fantastic maritime location.

Following the speeches, a networking session ensued where guests had the opportunity to circulate with 18 exhibitor organisations including the Department for International Trade, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Start-Up Loans Company and Basepoint Gosport, to name but a few.

Commenting, Caroline said:

“I was delighted to host Gosport’s very first enterprise fair on Friday. The fantastic turn-out of over 100 guests proves that Gosport has a big appetite for events like this, which showcased the funding support and advice on offer for entrepreneurs and business owners in the local area. I would like to thank all of the guests and delegates that made this event a success, including the Solent LEP, X-Forces and our wonderful speakers.”