"Unofficially Yorkshire": The rise of the business community

Monday 11th May 2015 - Posted in Yorkshire Mafia
By Geoff Shepherd, Founder of The Yorkshire Mafia

No mandate, no authority, no taxpayer funds, no quangos, no fees…and yet…

No one asked us to do it, no one gave us any funding, no staff were seconded across, there were no committees and we weren’t promoted by any Government department or quango.

It’s completely UNOFFICIAL… We are completely unofficial… but, there are thousands of businesses getting together and joining us… The business community is coming together to resource itself, to create its own unofficial “agency”.

“Imagine a Chamber of Commerce on steroids, crossed with the A-Team, with no politics, ran by awesome people, with no egos, and a mantra of doing business, getting things done and looking after those people who try hard. Sales and Marketing Director”First Direct Arena, Leeds

No one is going to participate in a community if it’s not of value.

Something has been building in Yorkshire since 2008… A groundswell, a “movement” perhaps, of businesses getting on and creating their own “institution”, their own market deformer, to fill the gaps left by the demise of the RDA and Business Link and provide an alternative to the uninspiring nature of what remains as business support. A place (virtual and offline) where tens of millions of pounds are traded each year, where huge regional business-catalyst events take place, a community where over £500K of in-kind and charitable giving is generated and over 15,000 businesses are brought together face to face each year to build relationships, share expertise and trade.

“What an amazing organisation the Yorkshire Mafia is, their whole approach to grassroots and regional events is outstanding” Senior Area Vice President – Salesforce

The engine room of the Northern Powerhouse…

The Yorkshire Mafia business group began life in 2008 as a tongue-in-cheek name for a very small, regionally focused, LinkedIn group for business. Some 17,000+ members, the UKs 3rd largest B2B conference and exhibition and the UK’s largest business week later it’s now the must-join business group in the region – and there are no signs of it slowing down.

Born of a feeling that others felt the same, the Yorkshire Mafia business group quickly attracted the attention of thousands of like-minded business people. The feeling that we don’t need Government and quangocrats to lead us (are they even any good at it?)… that we have everything we need within ourselves, as a community. That if we pulled together, we would be Stronger Together…

And we are! As well as a rolling 12 month programme of events, our business community now boasts the Buy Yorkshire Conference and Leeds Business Week in its production stable. These events attract a roll-call of names from big business, celebrity land and politics that any international business event would be proud of.

Buy Yorkshire is the North of England’s largest B2B conference and exhibition and creates over £8m of economic impact across its 2 days with many more millions to come from sales cycles after the event.

Leeds Business Week delivers over 5800 business seminar seats free of charge over a 5 day period providing the regional business community with free business education and workshops provided by national and global business giants.

Online, The Yorkshire Mafia LinkedIn group acts as a LinkedIn-powered peer-to-peer advisory and support platform where members pitch in and help each other with free of charge advice, encouragement and expertise. It’s a vibrant and active forum that outstrips its regional rivals by a factor of 10.

“LinkedIn’s partnership with the Yorkshire Mafia grows stronger every year, which helps each of our constituents enhance their knowledge of the power of new media channels and offers LinkedIn the opportunity to work with some of the region’s best organisations. The Yorkshire Mafia is setting the European standard for regional conferences and it is a privilege to participate. Head of North America Talent Solutions”LinkedIn

Be “unofficial” too…

The development of such a strong strategic business network shouldn’t be underestimated. The Buy Yorkshire conference alone saw over £500 billion of revenue represented at the event. That’s like having Switzerland show up at your offices to do business.

If you’d like to join us, “Unofficially” of course, and take part in the rise of the business community head this way… be good, be supportive, ask for what you need and share your expertise.

*Disclaimer: No public funds were injured in the production of these videos and events and no one officially asked us to do anything.

#unofficiallyyorkshire | #yorkshiremafia

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The Yorkshire Mafia Blog is a collection of posts from some of Yorkshire’s leading sons and daughters.



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