HE leading business event for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is fast approaching. In just under seven weeks thousands of SME decision makers will gather at the NEC for two days of expert insight, inspiration and innovation.
The free-to-attend event, designed to help SMEs develop their strategy for growth, brings together 130 speakers across seven seminar theatres to present, discuss and debate hot topics around the core sectors for business growth: finance, funding, business tech, marketing, accounting and outsourcing.
We take a closer look at what’s going on across the two-day event: On the morning of day one Patrick Magee, chief operating officer at British Business Bank will take to the keynote stage to present the ‘Midlands Engine Investment Fund’ aimed at boosting the region’s economy and supporting the growth ambitions of 780,000 smaller businesses within the region.
Suresh Patel, business enterprise manager at Birmingham City Council will present ‘Post Brexit Major Funding Opportunity to Grow and Develop your Business’, where he will showcase the £33million major funding opportunity available through the Business Growth Programme (BGP).
The programme has already supported over 200 companies who have benefited from a share of £5.5millions worth of grants creating over 600 job opportunities.
Emma Jones MBE, founder of Enterprise Nation, the most active network for small businesses across the UK, closes day one with her presentation ‘Grab growth while you can’. She outlines how she is seeing small businesses grow and what businesses can do to make the most of live trade and digital opportunities.
Other keynotes across the two days include Craig Humphrey, managing director at the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub who will present ‘Establishing Growth Hubs to attract Investment and Grow the Local Economy’ and David English, chief marketing officer, Start Up Loans Company who will present how the government-backed Start Up Loans Company scheme has helped businesses by exploring the marketing activities that have helped them to be successful. Google will be bringing the ‘The Digital Garage’ to the SME2017 exhibition to show businesses how to harness the power of the internet for growth. It will be running free hands-on courses from its stand throughout the duration of the show.
Other recent additions to the exhibitor listing include Samsung and Konica Minolta.
Samsung will be launching its social campaign, where local businesses can share their good day on social media for a chance to win free advertising.
It will also be showcasing its innovative range of products demonstrating how businesses can create better ways of working.
Konica Minolta will also be showcasing and demonstrating its comprehensive SME software product portfolio that provides powerful integrated solutions for today’s SME Business.
See the complete exhibitor listing at www.sme2017.co.uk Lending has never had so many options as there are today and many businesses need guiding through these to ensure they select the right one for their business.
With this in mind, ‘The Meet the Lenders Panel’ brings together an array of lenders to explore these options further.
There will be an opportunity to pitch and get your requirements matched to the right lender.
Panel members confirmed include BizBritain, largest Start Up Loans Delivery Partner in the West Midlands, BCRS Business Loans that meet the needs of West Midlands based businesses that are unable to get loans from traditional sources, ESME Loans, which work with businesses over 18 months old, offering fast decisions; Thin Cats which has access to £500 million for SMEs over two years old; and Alternative Business Funding a lending platform with access to 115 lenders to match the right lenders to the right businesses in minutes.
Meanwhile, Suresh Patel from Birmingham City Council returns to the stage in the Funding Theatre to present two further presentations ‘Business As Usual – Major Funding Opportunity in West Midlands’ and ‘The BGP: Providing SMEs with Grants to Grow’.
Suresh delves deeper into the mechanics of the BGP including solutions for growth, upskilling, job creation and economic prosperity.
Other speakers and exhibitors who will be taking part to share their funding and finance expertise include Unity Trust Bank, ART Business Loans, Capital Step, Blue Sky Corporate Finance, Alternative Business Funding, British Business Bank and Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP.
The SME2017 Grant Hub will showcase the grants available through Coventry City Council and Birmingham City Council, including more than 10 grants and the opportunity to tap into a potential £150,000 worth of funding per business, attendees can check out their eligibility for funding by scheduling a one to one meeting with one of the grant advisers onsite at the show.
For details about all the seminars visit www.sme2017.co.uk.