Together We Can Take on the World

Entrepreneurs' Conference

12 May 2016, 08:00 - 17:00

Crowne Plaza Hotel - Stephenson Quarter, Hawthorne Square, Forth St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3SA

Scaling up, raising the bar, doing good and ice cream are just some of the themes of our spring entrepreneurs’ conference, Together We Can Take on the World.

Sponsored by SGP Technology Group and following on from the success of our Global Entrepreneurship Week conference, entrepreneurs and business owners from across the region will be coming together at the Crowne Plaza Newcastle, for what is the highlight of our annual event calendar. In a day that promises to share knowledge and experience to help grow your business, you can also expect plenty of laughs from our host, BBC Radio Newcastle presenter Alfie Joey, who is back by popular demand to introduce our superb speakers.

Irene Graham is the inaugural CEO of the Scale-Up Institute. She sits on the Advisory Board of the UK Business Angel Association and the Small Firms Enterprise and Development Initiative and was a senior executive at Standard Chartered Bank (SCB). At the height of the banking crisis Irene lead a task force to determine what the industry could do to specifically help British business grow and prosper. This work led to the creation of the Business Growth Fund, mentorsme and critical policy developments, such as the UK Small Business Act. Irene was MD of Better Business Finance and Executive Director of Corporate Policy at the BBA.

James Lambert OBE is one of Yorkshire’s best known entrepreneurs. Investor and chairman of Waggs Plc, Burton’s Biscuits Plc and Animalcare Plc, non-executive director of Story Homes and a seed investor in several start-up businesses, James began his career in cattle breeding, seeing the opportunity to make his own mark in 1985 and, alongside friend Jonathan Ropner, bought a small ice-cream business, setting out to transform it into an international enterprise. R+R Ice Cream is now Europe’s largest own-label ice cream manufacturer, the business has factories in the UK, Poland, France and Germany, with a workforce of more than 2,000 people. Having guided R&R from £40k to £700m, James will be sharing the secrets of his amazing business growth.

Sir Peter Vardy & Peter Vardy are a father and son team who have both grown hugely successful motor retail companies with very different business experiences. Founded on strong values and work ethos, both lead high growth, service-led companies, with Sir Peter, the son of Reg Vardy, famously growing the eponymously named company into a national chain of motor dealerships that became the most profitable in Europe before its £506m sale in 2006. Following in his footsteps, Peter Vardy founded Peter Vardy Limited and in under 10 years has grown the business to have 12 dealerships, employing over 800 colleagues with a turnover of almost £400m. Both are huge advocates of “putting something back” and looking after people.

EU Referendum Debate: chaired by Graham Robb, two of the region's leading entrepreneurs - Jeremy Middleton (Middleton Enterprises) and John Elliott (Ebac) - will be debating whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or choose to leave.

Dr John Alderson has over 25 years' experience working in high growth IT companies and consultancies at executive and board level, specialising in strategy, business case development and technology diligence, advised many leading organisations in the private and public sectors. John devotes significant time and energy into exploring new technologies that have the potential to deliver a step change in competitiveness and performance and as chairman of Altringham based Informed Solutions, has helped the organisation to scale up. Specialising in digital transformation programmes and big data solutions to key government departments both in the UK and in Australia and to global majors operating in over 40 countries, Informed were UKTI’s North West Export Champion for 2016.

Steve Smith is Britain’s most successful ever high jumper, having won a medal in every major championship including the Olympic Games. Apparently too short to be a high jumper, his British record has now stood for over 20 years and throughout his career he managed to take on the world’s best athletes and win. Drawing on his vast experience at the highest level in sport, as well as 10 years of working with blue chip organisations and high performance individuals, Steve will take you on a roller coaster journey, challenging personal performance through a no compromise approach to success which will help you create a winning mind set and gain a winning edge in your business.

Please note the Early Bird offer ended on 25th March.