Could this be the best time to start or build a business in Brighton?

Last month always possible’s Richard Freeman chaired The Big Debate. Get the lowdown. 

Excerpts from the Brighton Chamber blog post by Jill Woolf of Chimera Communications.

The Big Debate panellists

Over 50 attendees came to the latest Big Debate to contemplate whether this could be the best time to start or build a business in Brighton.

After the traumas, challenges and up and downs of the last year, starting a business might not sound like a good idea. But some Brighton businesspeople are amazingly resilient and capable – the plucky entrepreneurs who have spotted niches in the marketplace and used their imagination and energy constructively.

The Big Debate posed some practical and insightful questions. As well as hearing from four expert speakers on their views and experiences, delegates broke up into break-out sessions for smaller group discussions. There was a Q&A session and a general summary by host Richard Freeman of always possible, who chaired proceedings.

Guest panellists were:

  •  Jessica Rameau, Partner and Fund Manager, Wellstreet
  • Kurt Henderson, Co-Founder, Rassa
  • Viktorija Vasiliauskaite, Head of Operations, Roadways
  • James Dempster, Co-Founder and MD at Fox&Bear

After acknowledging that Brighton businesses have faced tricky decisions through the pandemic, Richard Freeman said the energy and determination he’d seen has been awe-inspiring. But the path ahead is treacherous. This was the premise for a fascinating and challenging debate.

After a quick hello from sponsors Hartley Fowler, there was a poll to see if attendees felt positive about starting or growing a business in Brighton. 65% said ‘yes’, 30% said they didn’t know, and only 5% said ‘no’. A big thumbs-up for forging ahead regardless!


Visit Brighton Chamber’s blog to read the main points raised by the speakers, along with their top tips.

Richard Freeman rounded out the event with a final summary on the topic: could this be the best time to start or build a business in Brighton?

  • It depends – on the sector and on people’s attitude to risk.
  • There’s never really a good or bad time to start a business regardless of where you’re located – a time of disruption gives more opportunities and people are far more willing to try new things.
  • Will innovative new businesses stand the test of time post-pandemic?
  • Could this be the end of traditional business? Now seeing more about collaborations and partnerships.
  • We haven’t really seen the outcomes of the pandemic yet and we don’t know what’s round the corner.

The always possible team are seeking ambitious entrepreneurs, creatives and business teams to join The 100.

Click here to learn more.