A South Yorkshire-based tech entrepreneur is hoping to give business owners across the Sheffield City Region the chance to make new connections at any time of the day has received the backing of Doncaster Chamber.
Set to launch later this year, the new platform which will be called Network 24/7, will offer opportunities for business owners to connect and collaborate with others 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing business owners to drop in at times of the day which suit them best.
Network 24/7 is the brain child of accountant- turned-tech entrepreneur Ednan Karim who was inspired to develop a more flexible way of helping business owners to build stronger business connections after noticing the growing popularity of virtual networking events since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ahead of the formal launch, which is set to take place later this year Chamber members are being given the chance to join the new networking group for just £10, offering a chance to explore the platform , with feedback received being used to help shape the future of the platform.
Doncaster Chamber, along with Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber and Sheffield Chamber have all pledged their support to the project, which Ednan believes could be a genuine game changer when it comes to building stronger business connections.
Ednan hit on the idea of developing a 24-hour networking platform after becoming frustrated with short-format networking events, which typically rely on short introductions, but offered little time to delve deeper into how business owners could collaborate. Recognising the potential offered by virtual networking, he spent time speaking to fellow businesses and began mapping out his own plans for a virtual platform.
After spending time researching his idea, Ednan realised some business owners found themselves unable to attend traditional networking events, often as a result of work pressures, so he hit on the idea of pioneering a flexible service which would allow business owners to meet like-minded individuals at times to suit their working day.
Unlike traditional face-to-face and existing virtual networking events, Network 24/7 allows business owners to spend as much or as little time as they wish making new business connections, offering the chance to connect with others based in their local areas through unlimited one to one video calls and breakout rooms.
The platform has been built from scratch by Ednan and his development team and the result of many months of planning, preparation and development. After launching the platform to help businesses in South Yorkshire, the Rotherham-based entrepreneur is hoping to roll out his idea to other towns and cities across the UK, with 10% of the proceeds from the platform being used to support local good causes.
Ednan Karim, founder, Network 24/7 said:
“Networking is the lifeblood of most businesses and since the beginning of lockdown last March many events have moved online, which has proved to be popular with many business owners as they can reduce time spent away from the office. However, in most cases, the people who you meet tends to be down to chance and can also mean opportunities to collaborate are limited due to the time restraints on the event.
“I spent time talking to business owners across South Yorkshire and realised there was a golden opportunity to create a different type of networking experience: one which removed the element of chance, and enabled business owners to strike up meaningful conversations with others. From this idea, Networking 24/7 was born.
“Network 24/7 is not set to formally launch until later this year, but I wanted to give business owners across South Yorkshire the chance to trial the service. I’m thrilled that all three chambers of commerce in South Yorkshire have given their backing to the project and as a result, I’m hoping businesses across the region will take the opportunity to try the platform for themselves.”
Jade Dyer, Business Director, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said:
“The Doncaster borough is a geographically large area. This can mean for some businesses, attending physical networking events simply isn’t practical. Our virtual events have proved to be incredibly popular over the past twelve months and we felt Network 24/7 would help business owners to continue to forge connections at times which suit business owners best.
“We understand that when businesses in the region work together, the whole region wins and we gave our backing to the project after recognising the potential Network 24/7 offered in terms of helping business owners to connect and collaborate. The project is at an exciting phase and will not only help chamber members to make new connections, but based upon their feedback, members will be able to play a role in shaping what I believe could be an incredibly useful business tool.”
Chamber members can join Network 24/7 by visiting https://www.network247.co.uk/
Ednan is no stranger to developing innovative tech businesses. In 2020 he successfully acquired online job posting platform Postify which helps business owners to post vacancies to multiple job board websites, helping employers to make significant time and cost savings.