Entrepreneurs get ready to discuss region's challenges

SOME of Yorkshire's best-known entrepreneurs will discuss the challenges facing the region's economy at a major event next month.

Venturefest Yorkshire, a conference which will be held at York Racecourse on February 16 to highlight Yorkshire's top science and technology entrepreneurs, is holding the Big Debate.

The debate will bring together high-profile banking, business and enterprise experts with public sector representatives.

Chairman Tony Hardy said: "Since the last Venturefest in February 2010, entrepreneurs are facing a completely new landscape as the decisions of the coalition Government take effect and organisations that have previously relied on public funding find new ways to operate.

"Feedback suggests delegates are keen to know more about Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Regional Growth Fund and the new mechanisms for supporting enterprise and entrepreneurship across Yorkshire.

"Venturefest is the perfect platform for debating the issues that really matter to entrepreneurs and the organisations that support them in our region."

The Big Debate line-up includes Yorkshire Bank's director of small business banking, Gary Lumby; Confederation of British Industry (CBI) regional director Andrew Palmer; FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) national chairman John Walker; GSM Group chairman, Barry Dodd; City of York Council chief executive Kersten England; Carl Hopkins, who is one of 16 business experts appointed to Business Secretary Vince Cable's Entrepreneurs' Forum; and James Newman, chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP and chairman, Finance Yorkshire.

For more information about this year's Venturefest, which has sponsors from the private and public sectors, visit www.venturefestyorkshire.net.