Empowering local entrepreneurs

By Angela Brett, The Sounding Board.

Since October 2020, The Sounding Board has been a support system for entrepreneurs in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Published in UK Director Magazines Spring 24

Giving Back:
Angela Brett, The Sounding Board   

This initiative offers valuable guidance through a comprehensive six-session programme. Driven by prominent business leaders, it aims to help business owners navigate real-world business challenges, focusing on growth and strategic direction.

The brainchild of Richard Ross, The Sounding Board was conceived as a response to the challenges entrepreneurs faced during the pandemic. Reflecting on his own experience of running a struggling business, Richard understood the feelings of isolation and the difficulty in obtaining sound advice. Recognising the need for a solution, he contacted ten experienced business leaders he had worked with and respected – people who had built businesses employing tens, hundreds, even thousands of people; businesses anyone would be proud to work with – and The Sounding Board was born.

Guiding Decision Making

Unlike traditional mentorship programs, The Sounding Board emphasises the importance of guiding, not dictating, decisions. The team believes that sharing experiences and insights can lead to better outcomes for those seeking to overcome obstacles, with the mentors providing invaluable perspectives to help entrepreneurs make informed decisions.

A distinctive feature of The Sounding Board is its commitment to providing advice without any direct payment to the mentors. This unique approach underscores the collective’s dedication to supporting the SME business community, prioritising the goal of helping individuals build better businesses.


Recently collaborating with Ian Smith, the founder of Reuzer, an energy sector training business, The Sounding Board received praise for its role in guiding long-term strategic thinking.

Working with The Sounding Board really helped us think about the longer term, and to consider how our shorter-term decisions might play into our long-term goals. Learning from experienced professionals who have been there and done it, really gave us the perfect chance to glean some expert advice and drive our business forward,” said Ian.

Giving Back

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Beyond their commitment to supporting entrepreneurs, The Sounding Board has a broader mission of giving back to the community. The collective aims to raise £50,000 for the Norfolk Community Foundation in addressing food insecurity. With nearly £14,000 raised so far, all donations directly contribute to The Nourishing Norfolk Network, which has established 15 affordable food hubs, ensuring communities have access to affordable, healthy food.

The Sounding Board stands as a beacon of collaborative support, not only empowering entrepreneurs in their business journeys but also actively contributing to the well-being of the local community.

Main photo shows: Chris Sargisson, Kevan Williams, Vanessa Fletcher, Peter Ballard, Saul Humphrey, Richard Ross

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Get in Touch

For more information, please contact Angela Brett:

T: 01603 672777
E: Angela.brett@chadwicks.co.uk
Or visit www.thesoundingboard.org.uk

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