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26 January 2012

The North West - the heart of the entrepreneurial universe once again

Mike Taylor from Liverpool Vision considers how much the North West has to offer growing businesses...

Mike Taylor

"Two hundred years ago Liverpool was at the centre of world trade. Businesses from across the globe descended to make deals and build a level of wealth in the area that at one point exceeded even London's. Liverpool became known as 'the New York of Europe' - and for good reason!

Much has changed, of course, but Liverpool  in 2012 remains an exciting place to be, full of history but also a place that embraces the future - like the North West itself. In March this year, inspiring wealth creators will be in the city for the eight-day Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC), a festival for entrepreneurs and those with the 'can-do' attitude that turns business dreams into reality.

For me, the congress is a natural partner for The North West Fund. Among those we have lined up to address delegates from more than 120 countries are Sir Richard Branson; former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy; Martha Lane Fox, founder of lastminute.com and Lord Michael Heseltine, founder of the Haymarket Group. These are just four of the many outstanding speakers appearing at the GEC all of whom have compelling stories to tell and can inspire the next generation of business builders and leaders - those who will create future employment and prosperity.

Importantly, The North West Fund recognises the significance of the entrepreneur in each of its six funds. Entrepreneurs are the people who take a risk and start up a business, believing that they will one day be running a multi-million pound enterprise. This is how Sir Richard and Martha started and I am pleased they will share their stories with us in Liverpool.

An impressive, 40 per cent of the £185m due to be invested by the North West Fund is being targeted directly at Merseyside. This is a huge investment, among the largest of its kind in Europe, and we should see it for the opportunity that it is. The North West Fund is only a year old, but it has already shown support for many exciting Liverpool businesses including Hammerkit Limited, a cloud technology provider, dental implants supplier Evodental, biotechnology business Incanthera and Ambitious Minds, which offers business education.  These companies and others in the region have secured the funding that will create jobs and boost growth plans.

I believe the North West has everything a region needs to help entrepreneurs succeed, from an enterprising heritage to the business support, infrastructure and funding needed to aid the stars of tomorrow. This is our time to shine, so make sure you are at this once in a lifetime event and help make our future even brighter."

Liverpool will be hosting the Global Entrepreneur Congress from 9th - 16th March 2012. For further information please visit: http://www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk/events/liverpool-festival-gec-2012. and www.gec2012.com


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