Having spent a lot of time networking, Duncan became frustrated with the choice of events on offer. Instead of meeting genuinely experienced entrepreneurs at these events, he and his peers met people who wanted to sell to them or were at too early a stage to offer valuable advice.
Recognising an opportunity, Duncan arranged a dinner for eight entrepreneurial friends in a private dining room, where he hosted an open discussion. They learned so much and they proved so popular that they increased in regularity. In 2003, The Supper Club was born.
The Club has now hosted over 2,500 events and supports entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey, from scale to sale and beyond. Adapting to their evolving needs and busy lives, it helps them spend their time more wisely. Members value the quality of our events, curated content, and dedicated account management, which helps them scale.
We have taken this model of entrepreneurs learning from each other to the wider enterprise community. In 2011, Duncan co-founded StartUp Britain, the national enterprise campaign, with Prime Minister David Cameron to give founders advice and confidence to start businesses the right way. We also launched Growth Britain with Lord Young to crowdsource practical ideas to help accelerate Britain’s economic growth.
To influence policy, we produced a report on the Tax Lifecycle of an Entrepreneur in 2012, presenting the economic contribution of high growth entrepreneurs. This was followed up in 2016 with Britain Unlocked: A Tax Code for Global Ambition, highlighting obstacles to scale from the current tax system and recommending changes based on real life case studies from members of The Supper Club.
We work with corporate partners on campaigns that recognize and drive entrepreneurial thinking, brought to life by thought leading members as commentators.
We draw upon insight, hindsight and foresight from a diverse membership to inspire all entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders in blogs, videos, features and special reports. This includes practical advice from thousands of entrepreneurs who have shared creative alternatives to a range of business challenges.
We also convene tailored events for private, public and third sector organisations, with members sharing tips and tactics on how to apply a more entrepreneurial mindset. Find our more here.
I went to a lot of networking events before launching The Supper Club and eventually realised, they were all the same...loads of people in a room and, personality aside, they all wanted to sell – to get your card and sell you a service. What appealed to me was to cut all of that out and get a group of people in a room whose agenda was not to sell, but to share experiences.Duncan Cheatle, Founder, The Supper Club
“The Club offers a valuable forum where entrepreneurs can meet and share their ups and downs in complete confidence. I have always left a Supper Club event feeling that I have gained something that will help me and my business – and hopefully been able to offer something useful to others around the table.”
Martyn Dawes, Founder, Coffee Nation