The Annual Conference explores the subjects most relevant to UK business. Providing insights into key topics through panel discussions and keynote speakers, this year’s themes were innovation, infrastructure and people. As expected, Brexit was on almost everyone’s lips, but the overall feeling was of getting on with business and looking forward.
The Chambers of Commerce on Brexit
In his opening speech, Francis Martin, President of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “the British Chambers of Commerce is incredibly valuable in a time of uncertainty in the UK”. He spoke on the efforts of the BCC and how they are working to expand their global network of British Chambers, to build new connections for businesses on every continent worldwide.
Director General, British Chambers of Commerce, Adam Marshall, delivered a poignant speech emphasizing the importance of clear direction and that the current political environment is having very real consequences for some businesses. He said: “it is business and trade that will ultimately restore confidence – both across the nations and regions of the UK and with our many partners around the world.”
Adam was sure to tell delegates that business will lead the way in helping the UK rise to new challenges, seize new opportunities, and shape what comes next.
Takeaways on the future of UK business
In a keynote speech, The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, reaffirmed the capital’s attraction for both businesses at home and abroad: “London remains a hub of innovation, technology and business. We are the number one tech hub for unicorn companies and last year we received more foreign direct investment than any other city in the world. London is open to business, talent and investment.”
Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, addressed the concerns around finance for businesses. She shared that the government are working towards simpler processes for new business and SMEs to gain access to finance.
Facebook on the power of online and content
Oliver Sewell from Facebook shared some incredible examples of how social media has given businesses, of all sizes, the possibility to visually engage with consumers using affordable curated content that cuts through a busy market place.
There has been an evolution of the global marketplace, and small businesses, start-ups and even larger brands are now operating on a level playing field.
Technology and innovation have transformed consumer behaviour and there is now bigger opportunity than ever for small business to grow their brand, reach and profit.
The power of a creative community
Holly tucker, Co-Founder of Notonthehighstreet and Holly & Co gave a truly inspiring talk at the very end of the day which energized everyone in the conference to want to go forth and leave their mark somehow.
Holly spoke of her own story as an entrepreneur but her next venture is particularly exciting as she embraces her role as UK Ambassador to Creative Small Business. Holly has set out to build a community like no other, a place for small businesses to share their struggles and successes as well as inspiring one another and sharing crucial advice.
We were incredibly excited to hear how she is championing the formidable British talent of creative small business owners and artisans. We think that initiatives like this can truly make a difference and give business owners the confidence they need to grow. Holly we salute you and your army of makers, creators and innovators.
Were you at the conference? Share your thoughts or ask us a question @DHLExpressUK.