Updated: Small business networking events in Cardiff this March

I first googled ‘business networking events, Cardiff’ over a year ago, while I was setting up Glew. Nowhere could I find a comprehensive list of everything taking place. The more I looked and asked around, the more events I discovered.

It wasn’t easy to keep up or decide between them. And so I began this monthly round-up: to help you and other small business owners in Cardiff looking to build or grow business connections.

Like many others, I knew that networking, as uncomfortable as it can sometimes be, would be one of the best ways to build the personal connections I needed to get my business started. And aside from meeting one less than polite person and one slightly disconcerting one, it really has been worthwhile. Not just in terms of meeting some great people and starting new business partnerships, but in widening my understanding of and involvement in our business community.

Some of the events listed are free, most are around £15, and some are a bit more. More importantly, most include breakfast, lunch or tea and cake! The awe-inspiring speakers alone make many a worthwhile investment of your time.

If you’re not sure where to start networking, or you want to try a different forum to one you’ve tried before, I hope this list will help you.

How has networking helped your small business? Please share your experiences or let me know of any events I’ve missed in the comments.

* Please note, event information is only up-to-date at the time of publishing. Please check individual links below for updates. If you’d like one of your business networking event listings added or updated, please get in touch. Please note, I do not receive any incentive for listing any event.

Enjoy #connectingtogether

Caerphilly Business Forum: Breakfast Seminar with Gareth Jones, Town Square

When? Tuesday 6th March, 7.30-9.30am

Where? Welsh ICE, Britannia House

How much? £12-24

What? ‘This is the ninth in our set of new breakfast seminars where we aim to provide insightful and helpful seminars that can help businesses throughout Caerphilly.

’12 months on from the historic signing of the £1.2bn City Deal, is Caerphilly on the right path to lead the region by example and create a prosperous future for all?

‘As founder of ICE, a community of over 180 companies on Caerphilly Business Park, Gareth has held roles on the Cardiff Capital Region Innovation and Economic Development subgroups since 2014, feeding in ideas and supporting the development of a strategy to make best use of the investment.

‘With the world of work changing at a breakneck speed, and innovations such as automation, blockchain, and faster connectivity around the corner, will Caerphilly as a region lead decisively, embrace the changes and invest well, or will we rue the missed opportunity in decades to come?

‘Gareth will speak on the context of the situation, the current thinking, and highlight where we all have a role to play.’

Cardiff Evening BizMum March 2018

When? Tuesday 6th March, 7.30-9pm

Where? Cedar Tree Farm Pub

How much? Your first visit is FREE, Returning Guests £6

What? ‘Join your host, Catrin and other businesswomen in your area to promote your business, get support and advice. All decision making business women are welcome to join us.

‘This month’s theme is Mindset so there will be a short talk on this topic.’

Business Women Connect: Roath+Rhiwbina Get-together

When? Tuesday 6th March, 7-9pm

Where? The Corner, Pen-Y-Wain Road, Cardiff

How much? £10-12

What? ‘Georgina is the founder of Ink Counselling and Well-Being and is the driving force behind Ink’s passion and mission to drive down the stigma associated with mental health.  The Well-Being aspect of Ink is a more holistic approach and encourages the use of journaling (hence the name Ink!) to keep track of day to day activities whether it be self-care, fitness goals or general life-style changes.  In short, Ink was created to help people achieve their goals, see beyond them and maintain a more simplified life that is well managed and has plenty of time for self-care – a bit like personal project management!

‘As well as being a counsellor, mentor and wellness advisor she is also a Blue Light Mental Health Champion for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and yes you guessed it, an operational Fire Fighter of 19 years service.  It is this role that inspired her to help people with more than just the physical aspects of life events.

‘She has counselled at Cardiff Mind for many years and is experienced in helping people with different and sometimes complicated mental health issues.  She is passionate about getting mental health awareness into the workplace without stigma or taboo.

‘More recently Georgina has become an ambassador for gender equality and has given talks at the Millennium Centre for International Women’s Day and at the Senedd for Girls Circle and International Day of the Girl.’

IoD Wales: First Wednesday Club

When? Wednesday 7th March, 5.30-7.15pm

Where? Cardiff Business School, Cardiff

How much? £10-15 + VAT

What? ‘Stephen Thompson presentation will cover:

  • What are the risks of not having a shareholders’ agreement?
  • What kind of things does a shareholders’ agreement cover?
  • Option agreements – what are they and what do they cover?

‘Damian Phillips presentation will cover:

  • Why have directors’ service agreements in place?
  • What should they contain to be effective?’

CIPD Wales: the value of values

When? Thursday 8th March, 7.45-10pm

Where? Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff

How much? Free – £12

What? ‘With only 38% of managers feeling that their organisation’s values are “very closely aligned” with actual business behaviours, how do we bring them to life and understand their role in business strategy?

‘In this session, Rosie Sweetman will discuss the business case for values, and what values might mean for you in practice, providing an understanding of the practical steps you can take to drive values-led behaviours in your organisation.’

Zokit: Vale Business Brunch

When? Thursday 8th March, 9.30am-11.30am

Where? Academy Coffee, Cardiff

How much? £10-13

What? ‘Our Business Brunch is a great way to connect and grow your business at a convienient time of the day.

‘9.30am – Grab a cuppa and a pastry, or even a bacon roll, before settling down. (Order the bacon ro vegeterian sausage roll when booking your ticket)

’10am – Welcome announcements
– 10 second quickfire round to introduce yourself and your business to the room
– Business Wisdom Session (10 minutes):
– Share & Grow facilited table conversations

’11am – Open networking

‘11.30am – Meeting finishes but feel free to continue networking’

IoD Wales: South Wales Young Directors Site Visit

When? Friday 9th March, 2pm-4pm

Where? Cancer Research Wales, Cardiff

How much? £0-10 + VAT

What? ‘We are delighted to invite you to our Cardiff Young Directors site visit to Cancer Research Wales on Friday 9th March at 2pm. Spaces are strictly limited to 15, so please book early too avoid disappointment!

‘About Cancer Research: Cancer Research Wales is Wales’ only independent cancer research charity, funding pioneering, world-class local research in Wales. Every donation made to Cancer Research Wales goes straight to teams of leading scientist to fund their work, helping them in the pursuit of a cure; making great discoveries in the areas of early diagnosis, better treatments and preventatives of cancer for the benefit of cancer patients everywhere.’

Cardiff Business Club: Admiral Lord West

When? Monday 12th March, 6.15pm

Where? St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay

How much? Networking and talk Free, Dinner £45 including VAT (members only)

What? ‘Admiral Lord West served in fourteen ships and commanded three. He commanded HMS ARDENT in the Falkland Islands where she was sunk in their successful recapture. Awarded the Distinguished Service Cross he led the Victory Parade through the City of London. He was a carrier battle group commander for two years and took the 22 ship group to the Far East for the Hong Kong withdrawal. He served three years as head of Naval Intelligence and three years as Chief of Defence Intelligence during which time he provided intelligence for the Kosovo war. He was Commander-in-Chief Fleet for the invasion of Afghanistan and First Sea Lord for the invasion of Iraq.

‘On retiring he advised both Conservatives and Labour on defence and foreign policy before, in July 2007, becoming the Minister responsible for national security and counter-terrorism as well as cyber security. He produced the nations first National Security and Cyber Security Strategies. He left government in May 2010 and is currently chairman or strategic advisor to a number of  companies, a motivational speaker, Chancellor of Southampton Solent University, Knight President of the Knights of the Round Table, media programme maker, philanthropist, plus a number of other appointments. He is much sought after to advise on strategic risk.

‘Lord West was made a Knight Commander of the Order of The Bath in 2000, Knight Grand Cross in 2004, Baron in 2007 and a Privy Counselor in 2010.’

Zokit: Cardiff Early Evening Networking

When? Wednesday 14th March, 4.30pm-6.30pm

Where? Holiday Inn, Cardiff North

How much? £7.50-10

What? ‘Our event will start with a tea or coffee, and some delicious cake….Over tea each business owner is able to give a short introduction of who they are, what benefit their business offers and who they are looking to connect to. Following tea, you have an opportunity to choose who you’d like to have your 3 one to one’s with.

‘From approx 5.00pm, there will be a 45minute presentation on how to identify customer preferences by Bob Anchor of Anchor Success. There will be an opportunity to answer any questions following the presentation.’

FSB South East Wales: Networking Breakfast

When? Thursday 22nd March, 8.30am-10.30am

Where? Regus Offices, Cardiff Gate

How much? Free

What? ‘This informal networking event provides a fantastic opportunity to promote your business and develop meaningful relationships with other business owners throughout south Wales.

‘Each month we host key note speakers covering topics of interest and relevant to running a business. So come along and network with a cup of tea/coffee and some pastries.

‘Get the chance to meet members and FSB team in south Wales to find out more about what is included in the membership package and how it can benefit your business along with the opportunity to view the Regus centre and its facilities.

‘We hope you can join us for FREE marketing opportunity for your business!’

CIPD: “If you’re a woman, you’ll earn less than a man”

When? Thursday 22nd March, 5.45pm

Where? Village Hotel – Cardiff

How much? Free – £12

What? ‘Please note that refreshments will be served between 17.45 and 18.30. The main event will take place between 18.30 and 20.00

‘Speaker: Alex Christen, Solicitor – Capital People: With Gender Pay Gap reporting requirements in place, there will be greater scrutiny on organisational pay. Producing specific statistics will not, in themselves, highlight whether equal pay claim risks exist. This session will explore the benefits of undertaking a more detailed audit, highlighting the difference between gender pay gap reporting and equal pay audits, why you might/should do them, and how to approach them.’

Bierkeller Business Expo with Indaba Corporate Events

When? Thursday 22nd March, (10)12-4(6)pm

Where? Bierkeller Cardiff

How much? Free – £14 + fee (charge only for organised networking sessions, expo free)

What? ‘After the hugely succesful launch of the Cardiff Bierkeller Expo in association with Indaba Corporate Events in September 2016, Cardiff Bierkeller and Indaba Corporate Events have teamed up again and are pleased to announce the 4th Expo will be held on Thursday 22nd March 2018!

‘Join us for a Business Expo with a twist. Split across Around The World Bar – Cardiff and Shooters Bar – Cardiff where there will be over 70 companies exhibiting and workshops during the day in our Bierkeller Room.

‘Attend the facilitated networking in the morning which will include a hot buffet breakfast as well as unlimited teas and coffees in our Bierkeller room. We had 85 attendees at our September 2017 networking breakfast so this is a fantastic opportunity to network and kick start the day!

‘There will be live music and Happy Hour drinks with canapes & informal networking to wind down after a hard day from 4pm!’

South Wales Chambers: Chamber at the Chapel

When? Thursday 22nd March, 5pm

Where? Chapel 1877 Bar & Restaurant, Churchill Way, Cardiff

What? ‘Join us for our new after hours networking event held in the gorgeous Chapel 1877 Bar & Restaurant.  The event will be relaxed and informal.  Just a chance to catch up or meet like minded individuals.  So come and join us for what promises to be a great evening.’

Zokit Vale Light Lunch

When? Thursday 22nd March, 12.30pm-2.30pm

Where? The Old Custom House, Penarth Marina

How much? £15-17

What? ‘A Business Light Lunch is a great way to make connections and develop business relationships.

‘12.30pm – Grab a cuppa for a little open networking

‘1.00pm – Welcome announcements – Fill your plate from the delicious buffet – 60 second quickfire round to introduce yourself and your business to the room

‘1.30pm – Business Wisdom Session (10 minutes) – Share & Grow facilitated table conversations / One-to-one meetings

‘2.00pm – Open networking

‘2.30pm – Meeting finishes but feel free to continue networking’

3rd Thursday Club

When? Thursday 22nd March, 5.30pm

Where? Park Plaza

How much? Free

What? ‘Cardiff’s 3rd Thursday is an informal free for attendees networking event held monthly for the professional community of Cardiff.’

Princes Trust Young Entrepreneurs Pop-Up Shop

When? Thursday 22nd – Friday 23rd March

Where? St David’s, Cardiff

How much? Free

What? A series of inspirational business workshops


Cardiff Breakfast Club: Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council and  youngest Council Leader in Wales.

When? Tuesday 27th March 2018, 7.30am-9.30am

Where? SSE Swalec Stadium

How much? £35

What? ‘Huw has served as a local Councillor for the Splott ward in Cardiff since 2012 and has previously held the positions of Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure & Culture and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services.

‘He was elected as Leader of the Council in May 2017 and his administration has prioritised tackling inequality and growing the city’s economy for the benefit of all communities, whilst ensuring that Cardiff’s growth is clean and sustainable.’ See website for more.’

Zokit: Cardiff Networking Breakfast & FREE Health Club Day Pass

When? Wednesday 28th March, 7.30am

How much? £15-17

What? ‘Zokit is a business development network spanning Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend and now RCT. We host refreshingly different networking events, master classes, awards and expos.

‘We start with a delicious buffet / continental / cereal breakfast from 7.30am till approx 8.15am. Over breakfast each business owner is able to give a short introduction of who they are, what benefit their business offers and who they are looking to connect to. Following breakfast, you have an opportunity to choose who you’d like to have your 3 one to one’s with.

‘From approx 8.15am, the breakfast sponsor is able to share a 15 / 20 min presentation on how their business is able to add value and benefit others. This can consist of a product, service, speaker or business education slot. There will be an opportunity to answer any questions following the presentation.

‘From approx 8.45am – we will start the one to ones. We look to finish no later than 9.30am.’

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