WBS London to host ERC Small Business Conference

29 November 2016

The Enterprise Research Centre is set to host its third annual State of Small Business Britain Conference At WBS in London, The Shard, on Wednesday (30 November).

As well as presentations on new research from the ERC, the event – hosted in partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses programme – will feature a number of topical panel discussions throughout the day, including speakers from business and national policy organisation.

Related article: How Trump's victory could affect UK SMEs

The event will also coincide with the publication of the latest ERC’s latest UK Local Growth Dashboard. This will show areas of the UK with the strongest growth.

As well as a live blog on our news page, people who want to follow the event on Twitter should use the #smallbizbritain2016.

Stephen Roper, Professor of Enterprise at Warwick Business School and Director of the ERC, and Lucy Armstrong, Chief executive of The Alchemists and chair of the Advisory Group of the ERC, are set to kick things off.

The ERC was established in February 2013 to answer one central question, ‘’What drives SME growth?’ This theme will play a big part of proceedings on the day, but this year's conference will focus on two particular issues according to Professor Roper.

Professor Roper said: "This year's State of Small Business Britain Conference will be squarely focused on the two big issues for the UK economy: productivity and inclusive growth.

"We have a fantastic line-up of guest speakers and panellists including Liam Byrne MP, chair of the APPG on Inclusive Growth, Cliff Prior CEO of Big Society Capital and Phil Smith, Chairman of Cisco UK & Ireland and a member of the new Productivity Leadership Group chaired by Sir Charlie Mayfield, as well as a cross-section of delegates from organisations across the enterprise and growth landscape.

"We'll also be unveiling the latest ERC research, including the 2016 UK Local Growth Dashboard detailing the performance of every local economic area in the country, as well as a new paper from our research team looking at 'growth heroes' and how we can replicate their success to tackle the UK's productivity underperformance.

"As the government looks to put in place a new industrial strategy, there couldn't be a better time to be holding this conference and we look forward to a lively and informative debate."

Shard image
On the up: WBS London, The Shard will host this year's ERC small business conference

A brief introduction and presentation on the 10,000 small businesses programme by Charlotte Keenan who works with conference partner Goldman Sachs will follow the ERC introduction. She has been with Goldman Sachs since 2015 as Head of Corporate Engagement and overseas the 10,000 Small businesses programme in the UK.

Labour MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill and Former Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne is one of a number of guests speakers on the day. He will be discussing the topic of ‘Forging a New Consensus on Inclusive Growth’.

Other speakers on the day include Cliff Prior CBE, CEO Big Society Capital who will be discussing Growing Social Ventures in the UK and Phil Smith Chairman of Cisco who will be discussing UK Business Addressing the National Productivity Challenge.

The full schedule can be seen below:

09.45: Introduction and Welcome to Conference - Lucy Armstrong (ERC Advisory Group Chair) and Professor Stephen Roper (Director, ERC)

09.50: Welcome from our conference partner – Charlotte Keenan (Goldman Sachs) – “Supporting Growth through the 10KSB Programme”

10.00: Keynote Speaker

10.15: Headline Video – “Growing Firms, Growing Jobs”

10.20: “UK’s Local Growth Dashboard 2016” Professor Mark Hart (Deputy Director, ERC)

10.30: Panel discussion: Lee Hopley (EEF), James Phipps (Nesta), Sarah Middleton (Black Country Consortium Ltd), Susanna Lawson (OneFile Ltd & GS10KSB alumnus). Chair: Professor Mark Hart

11.15: “Forging a New Consensus on Inclusive Growth” Liam Byrne, MP (APPG on Inclusive Growth) - followed by Q&A

11:50: “Growing Social Ventures in the UK” Cliff Prior (Big Society Capital) - followed by Q&A

12.30: Lunch and networking

13.30: Welcome back and introduction by Chair, Professor Stephen Roper

13.35: “The UK’s Growth Heroes and their Wider Economic Impact” Professor Jun Du (ERC) - followed by Q&A

14.00: In Conversation – “UK Business Addressing the National Productivity Challenge” Phil Smith (Cisco UK and Ireland, a member of the Productivity Leadership Group). Interviewer: Professor Stephen Roper

14.20: Panel discussion: Jun Du (ERC), Jenny Cridland (BAE Systems), Joe Marshall (NCUB), Richard Evans (Mechatronic Ltd & GS10KSB alumnus). Chair: Professor Mark Hart

15.00: Future and Prospects - SMEs driving Growth & Jobs - “What have we learnt today that has made us think differently about the prospects for UK SME Growth?”

Reflections from ERC Funders: Tony Moody (BEIS); Matt Adey (BBB)

Panel discussion: Ute Stephan (Aston University, ERC), Haydn Thomas (NatWest), Mike Spicer (BCC), Kevin Davis (The Vine Trust & GS10KSB alumnus). Chair: Charlotte Keenan (Goldman Sachs)

15.40: Final thoughts (ERC Directors)

15.45: Conference close

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