Together We Can Take on the World

Thursday 23rd November 2023
Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel
8am - 5pm

Resilience is the underlying theme of our autumn conference and the largest entrepreneurial event in the region: Together We Can Take on the World.

Hosted by presenter Charlie Charlton, our annual conference welcomes over 250 North East business leaders each year for a day of inspiration, learning and making valuable new connections.

Our Speakers

Rob Law, Trunki

Rob Law, Trunki

Few figures embody the spirit of innovation as vividly as Rob Law MBE, the visionary founder of Trunki.

The brand behind the much-loved ride-on suitcase for tots, Rob pioneered a new retail category of children’s travel products with the launch of Trunki in 2006, an idea he developed whilst studying Product Design at Northumbria University.

Since then, Trunki have sold over four million suitcases worth $200 million, won over 120 awards and became an international brand, selling in over 100 countries.

Discover how, through grit, passion and real belief, you can change the world, one imaginative idea at a time.

Jo Chidley, Beauty Kitchen

Jo Chidley, Beauty Kitchen

Meet Jo Chidley - sustainability expert, chemist, herbal botanist and founder of Beauty Kitchen, a company on a mission to create the most effective, natural and sustainable beauty products in the world. 

The first UK cosmetic business to certify as a B-Corp, Beauty Kitchen set the standards for sustainability in the industry with its accreditation in 2017 and has been paving the way for others ever since.

Headquartered in Glasgow, Beauty Kitchen are helping the capital to become the first carbon neutral city in the UK. As its founder and CEO, Jo’s approach to sustainability has secured her the Who’s Who in Natural Beauty industry award while Beauty Kitchen itself has been voted one of the UK’s 50 Most Disruptive Companies.

Discover how, through groundbreaking programmes and innovative small changes, Jo and Beauty Kitchen are tackling the UK's cosmetic waste problem.

Mark Roberts, formerly Beer Hawk

Mark Roberts, formerly Beer Hawk

The year is 2012. In a small warehouse in Harrogate, friends Mark Roberts and Chris France have left their corporate jobs and ventured into the world of craft beer with the launch of their first business.

The result is Beer Hawk – a start-up created with the goal of helping the nation discover the world’s best beers.

In the years following Beer Hawk’s launch, Mark and Chris would supply hundreds of thousands of delighted beer lovers, building Beer Hawk into an award-winning company which they scaled to the largest UK online craft beer retailer before selling to AB InBev in 2016.

Hear Mark's incredible growth story and join him for a beer after the conference! 

Gary McKee, Marathon Man

Gary McKee, Marathon Man

Imagine running a marathon. Now imagine running a marathon every day. For a year.

That’s exactly what Gary McKee, the ‘Marathon Man’, decided to do in 2022 when he made ‘running 365 marathons in 365 days’ his New Year’s Resolution.

Setting off at 5am each morning, Gary completed 26 miles around his hometown in West Cumbria in just four hours - faster than the global average marathon time of four hours 30 minutes - before returning home and starting his shift at the Sellafield nuclear plant at 2pm.

Along the way, Gary raised over £1m for charity whilst capturing the attention of audiences across the globe.

Learn how Gary is inspiring others to discover the mental and physical resilience within them.

Inspiring Future Generations Panel

Inspiring Future Generations Panel

In a panel featuring Kari Owers (, Laura Weaving (Duo Global Consulting), Chloë Clover (Wander) plus an additional panellist, we'll explore the roles and responsibilities of entrepreneurs and business leaders in inspiring our next generation.

Charlie Charlton (Host)

Charlie Charlton (Host)

Naturally curious, incredibly passionate, warm and witty, Charlie has been the host of our autumn conference since 2017 and has entertained audiences and been inspired by our speakers in equal measure.

A former BBC presenter for almost 20 years, Charlie is an award-winning journalist known for getting to grips with the issues that matter most. Now working freelance, you can often find Charlie centre stage at events around the country, whether it’s Q&As, live business conferences, virtual award shows or music concerts. Recently, she made history as the first woman in the UK to host a day-long business conference with her 4-month-old baby in a sling. Talk about inspirational!

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