Business News

Sponsored by: Islamic Help Two major developments in Solihull as Future Faces expands

Young professionals group expands into Solihull

The right to water

Future Faces is extending its reach to Solihull. It follows a record-breaking year for the organisation, which more than doubled its membership in 2017. Anna Assinder (pictured), manager of the young

professionals arm of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “We’ve seen such fantastic growth this past year, it only felt right to extend our membership further to members of the Solihull business community in order to help them to develop their ambitious young professionals. “We’re looking forward to seeing more

Water is essential to life and the UN has enshrined the human right to water and sanitation. Everyone has the right to clean, safe and accessible water. Yet while in the UK a simple

turn of the tap meets all our needs – drinking, washing, laundry, bathing – a sizable portion of the world’s population is not so fortunate. Across the world, one in

eight people lack access to safe and clean drinking water and at least two billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces. Diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation kill 4,000 children every day. There’s also the social and

economic impact. Women and young girls walk miles every day to the nearest water source, hours of labour that could instead be used for education and livelihoods. Providing clean water is not

just a life-saver but a crucial tool in the fight against poverty and deprivation. Our water projects around the world not only help save lives and improve health but they open up opportunities for self- development and progression by freeing women and girls from the daily drudgery of fetching water. It costs the equivalent of

just 41 pence a day to provide a water hand pump. The value is immeasurable. 14 CHAMBERLINK May 2018

Solihull faces at our networking and professional development events, it will only help strengthen networks and ties across the region further, and contribute to the development of Solihull’s fantastic business community.“ Kevin Johns, president of Solihull Chamber and director of Prime Accountants, said: “Here at Prime we have always supported young talent and take great pride in developing our team and preparing them for the next step in their careers. We have often looked to promote from within and currently

have many individuals in senior positions that have been promoted through our firm. “In order to continually develop our staff we

provide training and look for opportunities for the team to gain experience. Future Faces provides the environment to gain networking experience and build a professional network with others at a similar level. “Solihull has a fantastic business community

with lots of young talent coming through across a wide variety of industries. Launching Future Faces in Solihull is an excellent opportunity to give the future faces of Solihull the opportunity to meet new contact and establish relationships that they will keep throughout their careers.” Future Faces’ will launch their first social event in Solihull on 3 May, at

Revolution Solihull. The event is being sponsored by Prime Accountants Group.

For more information or to book onto the

event, go to:

• More Future Faces news – page 32 Resilience in the face of change

Businesses in Greater Birmingham are showing a ‘remarkable resilience’ as they battle with challenging economic conditions. The performance of the region’s

businesses was analysed at the launch of the Chamber’s first quarterly survey of 2018, and although it revealed a mixed picture, business confidence has remained high. Export performance remained

static with a percentage balance of 61 reporting an increase in overseas sales. But domestic demand fell by three points to 66 – the lowest figure since the end of 2016. Chamber chief executive Paul

Faulkner said that although the report made for mixed reading, the region’s “renaissance” continued apace. He added: “Against a backdrop of uncertainty, it was perhaps unsurprising to see weaker growth in domestic demand, steadiness in export demand, lower recruitment levels and stagnant levels of investment in both training staff and capital expenditure. “In contrast, it was reassuring to

see price pressures easing slightly for local firms along with notable levels of confidence maintained in regards to turnover and profitability projections.

Business confidence (from left): Paul Faulkner, Julian Beer (deputy vice – chancellor, Birmingham City University), Joanna Birch, Kim Paterson, Robert Vaudry and Raj Kandola

“The region’s renaissance

continues at a pace and businesses are showing remarkable resilience. The fact that Greater Birmingham received the highest levels of Foreign Direct Investment of any region in the UK in 2017 is evidence of the dynamism that exists at the heart of the local economy.” Senior policy and patron advisor

Raj Kandola said: “Despite uncertainty in the markets, business confidence, even when it comes to turnover and profitability, is still holding strong in the region. That is testament to the regional workforce.

“I’m confident that work will

continue, not just into quarter two but the rest of the year too.” Delegates also heard from Robert

Vaudry, investment managing director at Wesleyan, who spoke about the impact of American politics on global markets, infrastructure investment, uncertainty around Brexit, and emerging markets. Also on the panel was Kim

Paterson, head of West Midlands corporate at RBS/Natwest, and Joanna Birch, director of innovation and enterprise at Birmingham City University.

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