International football star to host business mentoring event

Entrepreneurs and business owners based throughout the Sheffield City Region are set to be put through their paces by a former England international football player who swapped the boot room for the boardroom at a free event in October.

In a professional football career which spanned more than fourteen years, Danny Mills was one of the most formidable defenders of his generation, winning the League Cup with Middlesbrough, earning 19 caps for his country as well as representing four Premier League clubs including Leeds United and Manchester City.

Outside of football, the former right back has built and maintained a commercial and residential property portfolio and following his retirement from the game, Danny has continued to develop his business interests, successfully turning around the West Cornwall Pasty Co and sold Deeside print from Excelsior Technologies for £33m earlier this year.

Danny will speak at a special event hosted by Launchpad Mentoring; a Sheffield City Region wide programme which matches new entrepreneurs with experienced business owners.

The event is designed to encourage business owners to pledge their support and sign up to become a Launchpad mentor, to pass their skills and knowledge to new entrepreneurs to help them achieve their full potential.

During his talk, Danny will share the story of his dramatic change of direction from football to business as well as providing tips and tools to promote business growth and explaining how the role of mentors has helped to shape his own business journey.

The event forms part of Launchpad Mentoring Month which takes place during October and is just one of a series of workshops and activities which will celebrate and showcase the role mentoring can play in helping business owners to succeed.

Throughout the night there will be the chance for attendees to network and create business contacts and hear from some of the businesses that have benefitted from mentoring support through the Launchpad programme, as well as enjoying refreshments and live music from Anastasia Walker of Doncaster band Bang Bang Romeo.

For established business owners, the event will provide a chance to find out more about becoming a mentor.

Irshad Akbar, business mentoring manager at Launchpad, said: “Many individuals who start a business need support from someone who has been there and done it and working with a mentor can offer insight and experience along the way.

“The Launchpad Mentoring programme was established to connect new entrepreneurs with existing business owners who are keen to see others in the Sheffield City Region succeed.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Danny Mills as our guest of honour. Although he is perhaps best known for his exploits and success on the pitch, since retiring from the beautiful game Danny has established himself as a highly successful business owner and during the event he will be sharing anecdotes from his playing days, as well as offering tips on how to succeed in business.

“This special event, which forms part of a month dedicated to mentoring, highlights and celebrates the work undertaken as a result of mentoring whilst encouraging new entrepreneurs and business owners to take advantage of the free support available through the Launchpad programme.”

Danny Mills said: “I have always had an interest in business and alongside my football career I created a successful commercial and residential property portfolio.

“After retiring from professional football I wanted to put my business skills and knowledge to further use and joined forces with the partners at Private Equity Turnaround Specialist Endless LLP to form Enact, creating an investment fund aimed at helping distressed SME businesses get back to success.

“I am honoured to be speaking at the Launchpad Mentoring event, which I hope will help aspiring and existing business owners within the Sheffield City Region to find out more about the help and support which is readily available on their doorstep”.

Launchpad Mentoring Celebration evening will take place on Wednesday, October  25 at The Hide in Sheffield and entry is free for entrepreneurs and business owners within the City Region. To register your attendance, visit or contact

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