The first ambassadors for the International Festival of Business (IFB) 2014 have been announced, with a host of Britain's business leaders pledging their support for the event.
The IFB Ambassadors include:
John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses
Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council
- Lord Derby, owner of Knowsley Estate and Safari Park
- Sir Bob Kerslake, head of home civil service and permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government
- Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco
- Phil Orford MBE, chief executive at Forum of Private Business
- Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates.
Also joining the ambassadors are a group of founder CEO's of some of the UK's fastest growing entrepreneurial businesses, including Paul Lindley, CEO of Ella's Kitchen; Henrietta Lovell, founder of the Rare Tea Company; and Julie Deane, founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company.
They join leading business organisations in their support of the festival, including the British Chambers of Commerce, UKTI, the Confederation of British Industry and UK Business Angels Association.
Building on recent figures from the Office for National Statistics that showed Britain exported £78.4bn of goods between April and June, the IFB hopes to play a crucial role in achieving the government's ambition to promote economic growth, rebalance the economy and double UK exports by 2020.
Fifty events attracting 75,000 delegates have already been confirmed for next year's festival, and with 10 months to go, there is expected to be more than a hundred world-class events running back-to-back in June and July 2014.
IFB 2014 will be a global showcase for British industries and sectors and will connect UK businesses to new markets, products and partners.
It will focus on key areas of commerce that are transforming the business landscape of Britain and beyond, including: manufacturing, science and technology; knowledge, professional and financial services; and knowledge, creative and digital.
"The International Festival for Business will be a fantastic opportunity to position Britain as a global business force," says chair of IFB 2014, Max Steinberg CBE.
"It will champion everything that is great about the British industry and will enable business leaders to forge lasting international connections. With the backing of the UK government and such reputable business leaders, IFB is set to follow the legacy of the London Games to be the greatest global showcase of 2014."
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The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) will be holding its 2015 AGM at ArenaMK in Milton Keynes, on April 30.