our team

Meet Our Staff

Welcome to the Staff corner of The Business Growth Network. Meet our relentless, ever active staff

Mark Linton

Founder & CEO

Holly Courtney

Marketing and Events Manager

Abigail Roberts
Yuki Tang

Event Partner Leeds

Paul Lewis

Event Partner Black Country

Leila Smith

Event Partner Gloucestershire

The Founder & CEO brief
Mark Linton, founder and CEO of The Business Growth Network, discovered the importance of networking many years ago. “Networking is nothing new”, he says, “but it’s knowing how to do it that counts.” Mark's highly successful networking membership business is testament to his words. Mark was alerted to the true value of networking for the first time in 2004, when he invested in his first breakfast meeting. With £12,000 backing from a sponsor, Mark secured a venue and with support of third party networking experts began the hunt for delegates. He was assured that all was going to plan and the event would be a success, until three days before the event, Mark was informed that only 5 people were interested in attending, and the event would have to be cancelled. “Cancelling wasn’t an option”, explains Mark, “but this was in the days before social media, so I had to individually call all of my contacts, one by one, then he walk door to door in the area. I got 78 people to attend the 7:00am breakfast meeting in three days!” He has applied this to all his events he has run and when the pandemic hit in March 2020 within the first three days of closing his doors to the National Growth Exhibition and Conference and his last face to face meeting he started running his events online. Starting with only one meeting a week, he now runs 5 meetings a week in 20 locations across the country and is expanding through his partners and has enquiries from Canada, USA, India, New Zealand, UAE and Ireland. His partnership programme is a unique opportunity for local businesses to be part of national and international brand and to help businesses grow throughout the world. He goes onto say; “Some people say that networkers don’t get any work done. My answer to that is, maximise your time afterwards, and be sure to follow up on contacts, but don’t be a busy fool, chasing up contacts that are unlikely to convert into genuine business.” My final piece of advice on networking is: “In networking you never know who you might meet. You could walk into a room or attend a zoom call and be inspired, motivated or gain more knowledge… but most importantly, you could walk into a room and become memorable.” The next The Business Growth Network runs 5 meetings a week in 20 locations across the UK and is growing.
Marketing and Events Manager

Holly Courtney

My name is Holly Courtney I am the Marketing and Event Manager for The Business Growth Network. My role is to help support members, partners and events and make sure the BGN brand is managed. I started as an intern for The Business Growth Network and was given the role of Marketing and Event Manager to help support both members and partners with running our events. I also look after our marketing and make sure my team gets the message out there that businesses are open for business. I am a Birmingham City University Graduate and studied communications and media. I am passionate about helping our members get their messages out there and helping manage the events we and our event partners run. If you would like to find out more about how the network works please do not hesitate to contact me.

Event Partner Black County

Paul Lewis

My name is Paul Lewis I am the Event Partner for Black Country for The Business Growth Network. I joined the Army in 1989 and served in many roles, including being a member of the Adjutants General Corps where I achieved the rank of Sergeant. I have served in many places around the world including the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Germany and have been on Operational Tours to Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq. My 21 year service history with the Army has given me not only an excellent background of working in a demanding role but also a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills that he has been able to carry forward into his role as Managing Director of Veterans Employment & Training Solutions. Being highly motivated and self driven are key attributes that I use to carry my business forward and make it a success. I am passionate about helping my clients get the right member of staff using veterans to achieve this. I have used networking to grow my business and become a member of the Business Growth Network and seeing how they work I decided to become a partner locally. I am committed to helping businesses connect and I will be running both online and face to face meetings in the region to bring businesses together. If you would like to find out more about how the network works or how my business works please do not hesitate to contact me.

Event Partner Black Gloucestershire

Leila Smith

My name is Leila Smith I am the Event Partner for Gloucestershire The Business Growth Network. I own Promise PR and Creative. Following on from my PR experiences in industries such as Fashion, Hospitality, Property and more, I decided to take the plunge to combine these experiences into a brand new agency based in Solihull, West Midlands. Promise focuses on providing the perfect PR services for any brands within the Lifestyle Sector. I have a passion for helping offers and running events and I am looking forward to working with businesses in Gloucestershire to help them connect and grow.