The Telegraph Festival of Business celebrates the contribution of Britain’s most promising SMEs

IN: Business news

This week, Aldermore will be attending the Telegraph's Festival of Business to hear from some of the UK's most successful SMEs.

Taking place in London, the one-day conference aims to underline the crucial role mid-sized firms, classified as having sales of between £5m and £250m, play within the UK economy.

John Cridland, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry, recently labelled these firms as the "forgotten army," representing just a fraction of private businesses but generating over a third of UK GDP. 

"Though small in numbers, these firms are big on impact, punching well above their weight in terms of revenue contribution and job creation," commented Cridland, expressing his respect for the entrepreneurs behind the sector. 

Through a number of sessions, the Festival of Business will explore key challenges and opportunities for these fast-growing SMEs, rounded up by a keynote speech from Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

A variety of established business leaders will be on hand to provide advice and inspiration for the entrepreneurs in attendance, including Julie Deane of The Cambridge Satchel Company, Luke Johnson behind Pizza Express and Michael Oliver of Oliver Valves.

This year, the show will address three main themes in particular; technology, international trade and finance, with a separate panel discussion for each topic. As an SME banking champion, Aldermore is especially pleased to see access to finance on the agenda, which remains a major hurdle for many SMEs looking to capitalise on their growth potential.

This session will see specialists from all sides of the SME finance debate come together to discuss the current state of the sector, including Experian's MD of business information Max Firth and King of Shaves founder Will King.

The panellists will seek to assess the current lending landscape for SMEs and encourage business owners to look beyond traditional lending sources to the range of alternative financial options that have emerged in recent years.

Throughout the day, Aldermore will be reporting on the key issues raised within this far-reaching debate and the rest of the conference on Twitter, passing on valuable insights to the Bank's SME follower-base.

Aldermore believes events like the Festival offer a vital chance for the UK's strong base of growth businesses to gain the knowledge and understanding needed to advance to the next level, and are glad to support a new wave of leading British businesses.

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