SUCCESSFUL entrepreneurs Michael Eavis, Helen Lacey, Helen Bristol and David Baker were the speakers when Somerset Chamber of Commerce’s held its inaugural Business Start-Up Exhibition.

Over 150 delegates attended the event at the Canalside, Bridgwater, which aimed to encourage people to set up their own businesses.

Organiser Rachael Sweet said: “With unemployment levels in Somerset at an all-time high, we want to encourage and give confidence to those who face redundancy or can’t find a job.

“We wanted to show another viable option is to create your own job by starting a business here.”

Exhibitor Pete Fairburn, who set up his firm, Morphsites, last June, said: “Setting up a business is scary. It’s hard work and it means long hours with no sleep.

“It has to be something you have the passion to drive forward because nobody else is going to be more passionate about your business than you.”

Evelyn Adfield, from exhibition sponsors Porter Dodson, said the event offered a valuable opportunity for people thinking of setting up a new business to learn from others’ experiences.

“While it’s an exciting time for budding entrepreneurs who are keen to bring their ideas to market, it’s worth investing time at the outset to ensure the business has been properly set up with appropriate contractual, trademark and design protections which will benefit both the individual and the brand in the long term.”

Delegate Charlotte Day said: “I attended the exhibition because I’m not sure how secure my current job is.

“I’ve had an idea for a business for a long time and the exhibition provided me with the perfect opportunity to develop my business idea, talk to some experts and see if I can turn my dream into reality.”