Michael Dembinski, the BPCC's chief adviser, opened the event saying that taking on employee number one was often the biggest and most difficult step facing the start-up entrepreneur, from the managerial and legal perspective. Bartlomiej Kowalczyk, explained how Pblink supports Polish entrepreneurs across the UK.
Solicitors from Edinburgh law firm Anderson Strathern, the hosts of the event, gave the keynote presentation about employing people in Britain. Robin Turnbull and Amanda Armstrong explained what entrepreneurs need to know when they take on staff to grow their business. This included statutory obligations such as registration with HMRC, tax and National Insurance payments, dealing with disciplinary matters and grievances, as well as claims that might arise from dismissal.
Jeff Weir of JT Weir Solutions gave an outline of the apprenticeship programmes which offer employers the chance to take on young persons for the mutual benefit of trainees and the business. Current UK Government schemes make it financially attractive for employers to offer training to school leavers.
Keith Jeffrey of training consultancy The Roberts Partnership, a Business Gateway contractor, talked about marketing, which he defined as 'identifying and satisfying customers profitably'. Explaining the customer's journey from Awareness to Action via creating Interest and arousing Desire, he also focused on the role of social media in today's marketing mix.
Kasia Kidd from Pol-UK Recruitment Ltd presented her company as a case study of a start-up back in 2005 that recruited workers from Poland and other new EU member states. As well as offering an inspiring glimpse into how to grow a company from scratch, winning and retaining big clients, Kasia also explained how hiring temporary workers can make an employer's life simpler.
After the formal presentations, there was a chance for formal networking – where all participants could introduce themselves and their businesses to everyone else, and informal swapping of business cards over canapés and wine. The evening concluded with a visit to the Ghillie Dhu pub around the corner from Anderson Strathern's offices.
The seminar mixer was partnered by MoneyGram and supported by Anderson Strathern and BC Printing. The next events in the PBlink-BPCC series for Polish entrepreneurs will take place in Manchester (on 1 May) and in Aberdeen (on 5 June).