Young Enterprise Swindon hosted its first event with young professionals and special guest speaker James Threlfall MBE.

The new networking group aimed at 18-to-35-year-olds invited more than 40 people from around the county to socialise and network at Desk Cowork before listening to a speech from Mr Threlfall.

The 25-year-old talked about his successes as skateboarding pro, brand ambassador and radio and TV presenter. He also discussed how it felt to be recognised for his work and advised the crowd to 'stop comparing yourself to others' and 'believe you can and you’re half way there'.

Initiative manager at Business West Andrew Wells and The Business Exchange owner Anita Jaynes formed the networking group which is also known as YESwindon.

The pair approached the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership for support and the network is sponsored by the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub.

Andrew said: “The whole idea behind YESwindon was to create a space for young professionals and entrepreneurs to develop new relationships and increase business connections, as well as increasing their knowledge and awareness of the business support opportunities available locally.”

Anita added: “From the outset we were really keen to create a modern, forward thinking networking group that young people would engage with. We held a session asking what people wanted from the group and shaped the first event around this.”

Local entrepreneurs Dan Pettitt and Ben Lawton, owners of Swindon creative agency, Ottr Works created the YES brand and are now on the steering committee for the group alongside, Matt Greenwood, young entrepreneur and founder of the town’s first co-working hub, Desk Cowork in Old Town.

Brett King from Excalibur said: “I loved the first YESwindon, it was fantastic to see so many like-minded young professionals and entrepreneurs looking to develop themselves and better their careers or businesses.”

YESwindon’s ambition is to host events every six weeks, mixing up the venue and topics of discussion making it appealing to all.

If you would be interested in hosting a YESwindon event or would be interested in speaking at a future event, email