The Revolution, powered by Smarta Business Builder, saw established entrepreneurs matched up with local start-ups, looking for advice on how to take their business further or, in some cases, get it off the ground. Taking place at the end of a packed day, which started with Sir Richard Branson joining entrepreneurs for the morning session at Liverpool's Arena and Convention Centre, the event was greatly enjoyed by mentors as well as mentees.
"The Revolution wheel was a perfect end to the day and it really lived up to its name by both showcasing the magnificent view of the bustling city as well as some really dynamic business brimming with talent and passion," says Ben Ramsden, founder of Pants to Poverty. "The entrepreneurs I met were fabulously enthusiastic about their profitable start-ups and seemed really responsive to the discussions we had. They were definitely ready to take their own entrepreneurial revolution to the next level."
The mentees included students looking to launch their first venture, brand new businesses as well as those that have been going for a while. "I had the most wacky yet beneficial mentoring sessions. My remarkable mentor Karen Darby, told me I should enjoy the experience as much as I could and enjoy my business. When I got home I had to really think of the direction I want to take with my business to achieve this," says Jourdelle Bennett, a student of the Peter Jones Academy.
Another student, Elliot Skehel, agreed. "I was fortunate enough to be paired with a self-confessed expert networker by the name of Paula MacArthur, who had nothing but constructive things to say. Despite the cold weather, the warm and friendly atmosphere surrounding the Wheel made it a highlight of my GEC experience," he says.
Two more mentees from Third Degree Studios agreed: "It was a great opportunity and setting to see the city, in which we want to grow-third degree studios," the founders tweeted.
So successful was the event that several mentors took the trip twice as young entrepreneurs, eager to glean some advice from them, lined up to join the wheel. King of Shaves founder Will King took two trips with different mentees and enjoyed the experience. "I was delighted to go a few rounds on the Smarta Business Builder wheel as a mentor - or wingman as I like to call it - to a couple of small businesses looking to scale up. One was in the business of brewing up success, the other originating and serving content within education facilities," he says. "During a few turns of the wheel, we were able to chat about the importance of product distinction, brand names, not spinning too many plates at once, focussing on being great and how to leverage the power of social media to spread not just word of mouth, but word of mouse to the world."
Those waiting to join the wheel were busy networking with other entrepreneurs and at the end of the hour's mentoring, participants left a bit wiser and no doubt with new business contacts to work with in the future.
"It was an hour I greatly enjoyed," says King. "Here's to more of these unique initiatives in the future."
Read about Sir Richard Branson's message to entrepreneurs here.
Smarta Business Builderis an online toolkit for start-ups and growing businesses that gives you the essential tools needed to run your business. You can manage your finances, create your website, set up a professional email address, produce a business plan from scratch and access a library of highly customisable legal documents. You can follow Smarta on Twitter @SmartaHQ