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High Growth On The Agenda For The International Festival For Business 2014

The Apprentice’s Karren Brady CBE, fashion guru Wayne Hemingway and Ultimo founder Michelle Mone announced as keynote speakers at IFB’s signature event…

Britain’s fast-growth businesses are to play a major role in this summer’s International Festival for Business (IFB) as part of a major showcase of the UK’s economic recovery.

Festival organisers have confirmed the details of a range of events that will demonstrate the diversity of the UK’s fast-growth community when the world comes to Liverpool & the North West this summer.

Accelerate 2014, one of the signature events at IFB, looks set to replicate the success of its inaugural year, which saw the unique event for high-growth businesses attract more than 1,000 delegates.

Karren Brady CBE, star of BBC’s The Apprentice, iconic fashion designer Wayne Hemingway, and Michelle Mone, founder of international lingerie brand Ultimo, have been confirmed as headline speakers Accelerate 2014, which will be hosted by TV journalist and foreign affairs expert Krishnan Guru-Murphy.

Taking place at the Arena & Convention Centre Liverpool on Thursday 20th June, Accelerate 2014 will be opened by Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson OBE and brought to a close by Max Steinberg CBE, chief executive of Liverpool Vision and chairman of IFB 2014.

Other event highlights to focus on the UK’s fast-growth economy include:

  • Africa Rising – 10-12 June: A high-profile conference that provides a platform for African businesses and countries, Africa Rising will act as a route into the continent’s fast-growth economy
  • Grow Your Own Talent – 8-9 July: This event will showcase the different employment opportunities for fast-growing firms
  • International Trade Expo – 10-11 June: Aiming to attract upwards of 3,000 delegates, the event will target SMEs looking to export and help them reach their high-growth potential by connecting them with emerging markets
  • The Power of the Global Network – 15-16 July: A two-day conference with breakout sessions and a gala dinner that connects businesses across a range of sectors to stimulate the growth in UK exports
  • Like Minds – 17-18 July: Voted one of the 10 best ideas festivals in the world, Like Minds will provide a platform for participants to engage with each other, discuss new ideas and forge new connections to help make those ideas happen.

Comprised of more than 200 world-class events running throughout June and July, IFB is a key part of the government’s ambition to promote economic growth and rebalance the economy. Backed by UKTI, the Federation of Small Businesses and the CBI, and with BT and Santander as lead corporate sponsors, the Festival will help connect British businesses with new markets, new partners and new products, in a major push to double UK exports by 2020 and to increase inward investment into the UK.

Karren Brady, BBC TV’s The Apprentice, said: “I’m delighted to be taking part in Accelerate 2014. The UK’s fast-growth firms are the ones transforming communities and countries all over the world with their ambition and performance – and it is imperative that we lend them the continued inspiration and support they need. I am thrilled to be a part of IFB and I can’t wait to meet the stock of talented businesses that will be there.”

Joe Anderson OBE, Mayor of Liverpool, said: “If we are going to meet the target of doubling exports by 2020, we need to be backing the businesses that are going to get us there. This means creating opportunities for our fast-growth companies to make the connections that will feed their lofty ambitions.

“IFB is going to give both the UK economy the shot in the arm it needs, but it’s events like Accelerate 2014 that will provide the sizzle needed to make it count.”

Max Steinberg CBE, chief executive of Liverpool Vision and chairman of IFB 2014, said: “Around 15,000 jobs are created in the UK every month – this is what the IFB is celebrating and what it seeks to further promote.

“The objective for IFB is to highlight the fast-growth agenda of post-recession Britain. Events like Accelerate 2014 will help do just this by celebrating the impact our brightest businesses are having on the UK’s economy.”

IFB will offer unique opportunities for small, medium and large businesses to make international connections, exchange new ideas, promote their products, create new partnerships and seek new sources of finance.

From established events including as Horasis’s Global India Meeting and the British Business Embassy, through to events such as BT’s Global City Leaders Summit and Africa Rising, the Festival is 50-days worth of world-class events designed to propel UK industry and broadcast the message of Brand Britain.

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