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Nottingham University Business School Debates Future Of UK Small Businesses

TV ‘Dragon’ and Chairman of Federation of Small Businesses advise firms on how to become a preferred supplier and export to emerging markets

By  Rob Kirby

Wed Mar 30 2011

Nottingham University Business School is running a new conference at which the audience can probe a panel of experts on running small businesses.

The UK Business Barometer Forum will be held at the University of Nottingham on April 13th. Rob Pittam, ex-presenter of BBC Working Lunch, will chair the discussion. The panel will include:

- John Walker, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses
- Rachel Elnaugh, business mentor, venture capital advisor and former BBC Dragons’ Den investor
- George Cowcher, CEO of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce
- Keith Girling, responsible for Economic Regeneration and Business Engagement for Nottinghamshire County Council
- Greg Whitling, Partner of Smith Cooper, a Midlands-based firm of accountants and business advisors

Dr Louise Scholes, lecturer in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Nottingham University Business School, says: “Five to ten per cent of the MBA students at Nottingham want to start their own business, and a slightly higher proportion come from family firms and intend to join the family business after the MBA.

“This will be a good opportunity for those interested in starting a business, or for those already involved in a smaller business, to meet like-minded people and to get some idea of the challenges ahead.

“We hope the forum will encourage smaller businesses to discuss their needs and concerns with policy makers and practitioners in the neutral surroundings of the University.”

There are likely to be a host of questions about how small businesses should weather the recession.

“Funding is still an issue in the UK, as is the ability for firms to become preferred suppliers,” says Dr Scholes. “But there may be opportunities for exporting quality goods to emerging markets such as China and Mexico.”

The University hopes to make the Forum a regular event in order to promote discussion of local and national business policy.

The topic of the first Forum is ‘What Support Do UK Smaller Businesses Need?’

For more details and to register to attend, click here