A week of expert advice, job opportunities and a fashion show featuring members of SAFC’s men’s and women’s teams will be on offer as part of the Bridges Means Business event.

The Sunderland shopping centre has unveiled a packed programme of events which are planned for 4 -8 October, as part of the Bridges’ contribution to Sunderland’s first citywide business festival.

An enterprise hub is to be set up in the former Disney store, with different activities taking place every day throughout the week.

Those events include free advice from banks and tax experts for anyone wanting to start their own business on Monday 4 October, with special sessions from homegrown entrepreneurs, Joe Sexton and Katie Bulmer Cooke the following day.

The centre will also play host to a Dragons’ Den style event on Tuesday, with a panel of business and marketing experts lined up to have ideas pitched to them.

Ideas on what clothes to wear for interviews and work will be highlighted in a fashion show in the Central Square on Wednesday 6 October, modelled by members of SAFC.

And that same day clothes providers Suitability and Smartworks -which help anyone struggling for the right items to wear to work or for an interview – will be running a pop-up shop in the centre.

Advice sessions on training options, CV writing and building a social media presence will be provided by organisations including Springboard, Media Savvy and marketing guru, Katie Storey, on Thursday 7 October, again open to anyone.

And the week will end with the opportunity for any budding performer to be signed to a major entertainment agency, with a Bridges’ Got Talent session run by ISG.

ISG, based at the BIC, has a number of jobs available for would-be entertainers and will be auditioning dancers and singers on Friday 8 October, with a view to signing up some would-be stars.

Throughout the week visitors to the centre can also pop into the unit and see a variety of job vacancies that are available in the city.

Karen Eve, Centre Director at the Bridges, is delighted to be able to offer a packed programme – and she is also doing her bit.

During the week Karen will be spending time with a variety of retailers in the city, trying her hand at working in their outlets.

“We are delighted to be part of the first City of Sunderland Business Festival and to have also put together the Bridges Means Business programme,” she said.

“There are some fantastic opportunities for people to get advice, find a job, see how they can upskill or to pitch their business idea to some real experts and we hope our shoppers will take advantage of what’s on offer.”

Anyone wanting to audition for the talent event or pitch an idea to the business panel is asked to email bernice@sortedpr.com.

The full programme for the festival is available at www.sbfestival.co.uk.

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