Doing Business With Big Business

Happening on 10/03/2020. Learn how to trade with some of the biggest companies in the UK

What is Doing Business With Big Business?

Doing Business With Big Business is a unique opportunity from Virgin StartUp for food and drink founders who want to trade with some of the UK's largest companies.

Get the chance to sit opposite buyers from the likes of Selfridges, Fortnum & Mson, LNER, Sainsbury's and Innoveat, and find out what it takes to do business with them.

Participants will gain an insight into the decision making at big companies and learn what these organisations are looking for from small suppliers.

Doing Business With Big Business is an intensive half-day workshop followed by an exclusive meet-the-buyer session.

Who is this event for?

  • This Doing Business with Big Business programme has been designed for founders of food and drink businesses who want to learn about how to approach big retailers
  • Founders who want to perfect their pitch and learn how to negotiate
  • Founders with products who want to learn more about the way procurement works in large organisations

What buyers will be in attendance?

Representatives from these businesses will be joining us:

  • Sainsbury's
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • Innoveat
  • Selfridges
  • LNER
  • Amazon Launchpad


Workshop details

How is it delivered?

Doing Business With Big Business is delivered by Karen Green, procurement expert and leading food and drink business advisor. Karen will deliver an interactive session that sees attendees practise pitches for buyers and work through procurement problems alongside other attendees who're also on a mission to win contracts with big businesses.

Where does it take place?

Doing Business With Big Business takes place in Central London.

When does it take place?

10th March 2020.

Workshop details:

09:45: Arrive

10:00am – 3.30pm: Doing Business Programme

  • Procurement process
  • Clarifying your Brand proposition
  • Pitching to retailers
  • Thinking sustainably: packaging and best practice by Sanjay Patel, Founding Partner of The Packaging Collective
  • Negotiation skills

3:30pm - 5:30pm: Speed networking with buyers

5:30pm: Ends

Karen Green is leading Doing Business With Big Business


Karen Green

Karen Green is the founder of Food Mentor consultancy, author of best-selling book “Recipe for Success – the ingredients of a profitable food business” and a Virgin Start Up Mentor.  

She has worked as a buyer for UK retailers, Tesco and Boots, and Commercial Director for a number of food businesses from Christmas puddings to sushi!

For the last three years, she has worked with clients ranging from pre start up to established businesses with £1m turnover who need to take their sales to the next level.  She provides 1-1 mentoring, hands on sales support and consultancy to help create profitable sales growth

Karen is also a keynote speaker on business growth, sales and negotiation and regular contributor to LBC business hour.


Sanjay Patel is speaking at Doing Business with Big Business

Sanjay Patel

Sanjay’s ‘corporate career’ saw him add value to Astra Zeneca, PZ Cussons and finally The Coca-Cola Company. He is now one of the founding partners of The Packaging Collective, and determined to leverage the experience of creating tangible change within teams, brands and organisations underpinned by sustainable growth through his consultancy: me&co.



We secured a Virgin Trains contract thanks to Doing Business With Big Business

Jamie McCloskey, founder Love Corn