In late 2010, I proposed to John Denham MP, then Shadow SoS for BIS, that we should create a group for Entrepreneurs and re-establish our credentials as a party interested in business. We "floated" our Next Generation of Entrepreneurs group last year and have had three meetings in London. On Thursday evening, we travelled up to Manchester to host our fourth meeting with local start ups.
Manchester is a City on the move and in digital terms wants to be in the top 5 Digital Cities in the world by 2020. At the rate it is going it will easily achieve that and put our other UK cities to shame. Good on them.....
Before the event, I was interviewed by Ben Adamson, a Ph.D student at Manchester Uni who is looking at Digital stuff.
The three inspirational speakers at our event were:
** David Fox: he has seven East Asian fusion restaurants, turing over £7m p.a. employs 180 staff and serves 10,000 meals a week; his company pays £2.3m in taxes plus corporation tax......he spoke about the need for social housing, child care, the importance of the minimum wage and consistency in VAT (pasty tax et al)
** Sue Woodward: she runs the SHORT project in East Manchester which has 54 businesses where three of them are currently producing three network dramas for television. So far the scheme has had £16.5m of inward investment and is flying
** Derek Mapp, the former very able Chairman of Sport England who runs a whole host of different businesses from restaurants to music two of which are on listed on the stock market. He spoke about the need to help SMEs
The main theme to come out of our event was that Government should be the wind in your back not the wind in your face.
It was an excellent evening though I wasn't back home till after midnight.