With the economy finally picking up, UK small businesses finally have the opportunity to realise their growth ambitions, taking advantage of the recovery to take their business to the next level.
Naturally though, for this to occur, they must have access to the required resources, from finance, to the right contacts in international markets, to an understanding of the regulatory framework in which they operate.
While many resources now exist to meet this demand, often the SMEs that could benefit most from support from government and organisations like the FSB are unaware of the options available to them. Hosted by Daily Telegraph Editor Jeff Randall, the FSB conference aims to address this issue to help Britain's small businesses overcome the challenges they face and drive the UK economy forward.
Moving into the afternoon session, delegates will also discuss how government can formulate enterprise policy in order to boost opportunities for SMEs in the future. In particular, speakers including Minister for Skills and Enterprise Matthew Hancock and former Queens Award for Enterprise winner Bev Hurley CBE will look into how educational bodies can cultivate entrepreneurial skills to inspire a new generation of business leaders.
A cast of influential names from the business world will be in attendance, including Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna, and FSB Chairman Mike Cherry, with several key speakers from the agenda identified below.
As Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Chuka Umunna is instrumental in shaping government's business policy to better meet the needs of businesses. Umunna was also one of the driving forces behind December's Small Business Saturday, campaign, the first initiative of its kind in the UK which encouraged shoppers to realise the importance of small businesses for UK society.
Elected as the FSB's National Policy Chairman in 2010, Mike Cherry is also an entrepreneur himself, having worked in the timber and manufacturing industry for the past 40 years. Cherry will be drawing next week's FSB Policy Conference to a close, reflecting on how the issues raised throughout the day can be taken forward into actionable change to create more equal opportunities for SMEs.
As Entrepreneur in Residence for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Rekha Mehr represents the voice of small businesses within government, advising the department on the challenges faced by SMEs in the day-to-day running of their business. Mehr draws from her own experience as founder of Indian sweets company Pistachio Rose, with products now stocked in Fortnum & Mason.
CBE Previous Queen's Award for Enterprise winner and founder of multiple high-growth businesses, Bev Hurley CBE offers a unique insight into how to push a small business to the next level. Having found success with three different business ventures, Hurley is now Chief Executive of YKTO Group.
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