The Hub The Hub What’s on at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

Summer programme of Chamber expos

Events provide an

interactive forum Chamber chief executive Paul Faulkner used the launch of the organisation’s latest Quarterly Business Review (QBR) to underline the value of the events it holds. Mr Faulkner said that the QBR event, held at

Birmingham City University and featuring guest speakers Saira Demmer of SF Recruitment and Judy Groves, marketing director of Rigby Group, was a ‘fantastic way for businesses to interact’. Mr Faulkner said: “It was a pleasure to hear

from Saira and Judy speak passionately about the region and its bright future. “The briefing was engaging and insightful,

with some great questions from businesses across a myriad of topics. This event, like others the Chambers holds, is a fantastic way for businesses to interact and hear from leaders that are making waves in our region. “The QBR is as always, a crucial tool used by

businesses, stakeholders, politicians and individuals influencing policy at a national level to make decisions that will shape our economy, region and country.” As part of her speech,

Race day: The exhibition hall at Uttoxeter during the Let’s Do Business Expo

The Chamber is hosting three more of its expo events at various locations in the West Midlands during May and June. First up is the Solihull Expo 2019, which takes

place on 17 May at Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport. This event is free to members and features

‘Doing Business in Solihull’, and event discussing the local economy and featuring a panel of experts from the borough. More details on this can be found on pages 56 and 57.

‘Banks also have a huge part to play in the demise of businesses’

The event, which begins at 10am, also features

a seminar on marketing and a speed networking session. It is hoped the expo will attract more than 50 exhibitors and 400 delegates. The second expo is the Royal Business Fair in

Sutton, which aims to raise the profile of local businesses in and around the town. The Royal Business Fair will be taking place at

the Ramada Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield for the third year running. There will be 40 exhibition stands and a seminar programme and also a speed networking session. The event, on 7 June, begins at 10.30am and closes at 3pm. Three weeks later is Let’s Do Business Expo

2019, which takes place at Uttoxeter Racecourse. This county-wide exhibition will see members from all Chambers across Staffordshire come

together to network, make new connections, attend business growth seminars and do business together. The last three events have attracted more than

1,000 delegates, and it a showcase for the whole of Staffordshire as well as individual companies. This year, delegates will hear from special

guest Rachel Elnaugh, an award winning entrepreneur who is best known for her appearances on TV’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ programme, and also the Red Letter Days company which she fronted. Elnaugh founded the latter in 1989, at the age

of 24. The company sold events such as car racing days, hot air ballooning and health spa days. At its height, it was making a profit of £1m a

year – but the bubble eventually burst and the company went into administration in 2005. Elnaugh says about this: “I think it perfectly captures the emotional turmoil involved in losing a business.” She admits that she lost her passion for the

business in 2002 and should have got out then – but she stayed on, and three years later the company went into administration, something she blames on the banks. She said: “Banks also have a huge part to play

in the demise of businesses. Many people don’t realise that Red Letter Days had £3.3m cash at bank when it was pushed into administration… had they allowed us use of that money there is no doubt in my mind that the company would have survived.”

Judy Groves (pictured) discussed the Rigby Group’s 43-year history, and how it is based on vision and aspiration. Founded by Sir Peter Rigby in

1975, headquartered in Tyseley, the Rigby Group is one of the biggest privately owned businesses in the UK with a turnover of £2.4bn. The Rigby Group is spilt into six divisions,

including technology, through IT services firm SCC, airports, hotels, real estate, aviation and finance. Ms Groves reflected on Rigby Group’s history

and Brexit where she said that the Rigby Group had ‘fought hard not to be paralysed by Brexit’ and urged firms to stay resilient.

• See page 24 for a report on the QBR launch event

Council chief makes

a date for breakfast Birmingham City Council chief executive Dawn Baxendale is guest speaker at a breakfast event at Malmaison on 3 September. The event, which is free to Chamber members,

will see Ms Baxendale updating the audience on her time and achievements to date at the council, as well as the authority’s future plans. Ms Baxendale joined the council a year ago,

from Southampton City Council. Originally from Huddersfield, she began her

career on a fast-track management scheme with the European Commission in Brussels. She is passionate about public service and the role that local authorities play in their communities.


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