The Shard
32 London Bridge Street

June 21, 2018 10:00 - June 21, 2018 15:15

‘Productivity and Place’

The fifth annual ERC State of Small Business Britain Conference will take place this year on Thursday 21st June at The Shard in London. The conference is aimed at anyone interested in the success of the SME community in the UK. We will present new research findings from the ERC, the UK’s premier research centre on SME growth, productivity and innovation. Expert speakers and panellists will come from the worlds of policy, research and business support, and business leaders themselves will share their own insights and experiences.

This year the theme of the conference is ‘Productivity and Place’. The UK is in a period of considerable economic change and uncertainty as the Brexit negotiations unfold. The Government’s recently published Industrial Strategy recognises that if we are to continue to have a competitive national economy, it will be vital to build on the strengths of local economies.

Read the full write up from this event below.

Read event write up


Lucy Armstrong

Chief Executive ,The Alchemists - Steering Group Chair

Lucy is chief executive of The Alchemists. This business works with high growth mid-corporate businesses to accelerate their growth and success by focussing on shareholder and management development and succession.
She is chair of the Steering group of the Enterprise Research Centre.

Tony Danker

Chief Executive, Be The Business and the Productivity Leadership Group

Tony Danker is Chief Executive of the Be The Business, a new business-led organisation created to close the UK’s productivity gap. Be The Business was set up in 2017 by the Productivity Leadership Group – a group of senior business leaders chaired by Sir Charlie Mayfield. Tony was previously the Chief Strategy Officer at Guardian News & Media (GNM), where he had responsibility for the Guardian’s strategy, business development and analytics functions. Prior to this role he was International Director, responsible for GNM’s international expansion. Before joining GNM, Tony spent two years in public policy and was a Special Adviser in HM Treasury. He previously spent 10 years at McKinsey & Company, with expertise in government and organisational consulting. In 2004 he completed the mid-career Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Matthew Fell

Chief UK Policy Director, Confederation of British Industry

As Chief UK policy director Matthew is responsible for developing and shaping the CBI’s domestic policy agenda, including on People and Skills, Infrastructure and Innovation. He also leads the CBI’s work on industrial and regional policy. Matthew is the CBI’s key spokesperson and has responsibility for political relationships and influencing across these areas of UK policy. Matthew joined the CBI in 1999 and has covered a range of business sectors including manufacturing, small business and financial services. As director for competitive markets Matthew led the CBI’s work on competition, regulation and corporate governance as well as campaigns to champion the UK's mid-market and the "Great Business Debate" to build public confidence in business. Immediately prior to taking up his current role, Matthew was Chief of Staff with responsibility for the CBI’s strategy, people and governance. Matthew has considerable experience of engaging with government, regulators and senior business leaders. He is a member of the CBI’s senior leadership team and sits on its Executive Committee.

Irene Graham

CEO ScaleUP Institute

Irene is the inaugural CEO of the ScaleUp Institute and Board Director. A former senior banker at Standard Chartered Bank where she held both European and global managing director roles, she set up, ran and scaled several of the bank’s key client and product businesses and led several global M&A activities. Before joining the ScaleUp Institute she was Managing Director at the British Bankers Association (BBA). She led the Business Finance Taskforce set up by the CEOs of the UK banks which resulted in the creation of the BGF, the Enterprise Research Centre, the SME Finance Monitor, and Mentorsme as well as many other key export and business policy initiatives on which Irene advised Government and industry. She is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University and sits on a number of advisory Boards.

The ScaleUp Institute was co-founded in 2016 with a range of private sector partners to focus on how to develop a UK ecosystem to support fast growth businesses and make the UK the best place to not only start but scale a business.

Mark Hart

Deputy Director - ERC

Mark is Deputy Director of the ERC and Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School. At the Centre Mark leads on business growth and productivity research to understand the dynamics of the private sector over time and the role of SMEs as well as contributing to the work on growth ambition and access to finance.

Andy Lee

Strategic Lead, Diversity in Business for The Royal Bank of Scotland & NatWest Business Banking Regional Enterprise Manager, Natwest

Andy works with the specialist Business Banking teams across the UK to connect the bank with enterprise support agencies, Business Networks, local government and Education bodies, to ensure there is robust support in place for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) business owners wanting to start, grow or scale their business. Andy has been with The Royal Bank of Scotland for 11 years, enjoying a variety of roles, from personal banking in the early years to Corporate project management most recently. He also uses the skills he has gained at work to support local good causes in Birmingham. He is a Governor at Selly Park Technology College for Girls, and a trustee at Relate Birmingham.

Rannia Leontaridi, OBE

Director , Business Growth , BEIS

Rannia Leontaridi is the Director for Business Growth at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy since May 2016. Rannia leads the Department's work to grow and scale productive businesses in the economy. She is the Government's senior sponsor for "Be the Business", the new organisation created by the Productivity Leadership Group, chaired by Sir Charlie Mayfield, and the policy sponsor the British Business Bank. Rannia also leads on services, emerging sectors and tech as well as the business intelligence function across Government. Rannia is a Carnegie Scholar with a PhD in Economics and began her career in the civil service in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office. She has held senior positions in the University sector, Cabinet Office and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. In February 2016 Rannia received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for public service.

Adam Marshall

Director General, British Chambers of Commerce

Adam Marshall was appointed Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce in October 2016. His principal role is to represent and champion the interests of accredited Chambers of Commerce and their tens of thousands of business members – covering every size and sector of business, and employing over five million people in the UK. Previously, Adam served as the BCC’s Executive Director for Policy and External Affairs (July 2009 – March 2016), and as Acting Director General (March – October 2016). Prior to joining BCC, Adam helped start up the Centre for Cities, built commercial links between industry and universities, and worked in the broadcast media. He holds a BA from Yale University and MPhil and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge. Adam is a national of the United Kingdom and the USA.

Tsitsii Mudokwani

CEO, Sisters Care Services Ltd

Tsitsi Mudokwani is a Registered Nurse and specialised in Neuro-Rehabilitation Nursing. She leads a small business in the healthcare industry, and is the Chief Executive Officer and Registered Manager of Sisters Care Services which provides complex community nursing services within the West Midlands. Tsitsi is also Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Agriculture Initiative ZAI. ZAI is a Community Interest Company registered under the laws of England and Wales. ZAI was created to conduct business activities which benefit the communities from which the company operates from. It is a member-driven organisation with a strong understanding of the value of social networks and capacity within communities. ZAI is built on a strong membership from the Zimbabwe Diaspora Community, who genuinely want to see economic development, food security, poverty alleviation and bring an end to unemployment in sustainable ways in Zimbabwe.

Sonali Parekh

Head of Policy, Federation of Small Businesses.

Sonali oversees the overall policy and research of the FSB’s Westminster Office. She has led the FSB’s research programme on the impact of Brexit on small businesses. This has included four detailed research reports and a summary statement. Prior to that she spent over fifteen years in the Civil Service most recently as Deputy Director for Markets for Government Services / Commercial Function at the Cabinet Office and before that Senior Adviser for the Prime Minister's Implementation Group. She also held roles in Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department for Work & Pensions and Department for Education. Sonali holds a BA (Hons) from Oxford University and an MBA from Imperial College, Lon

Stephen Roper

Director - ERC

Stephen Roper is Professor of Enterprise at Warwick Business School, Director of the Enterprise Research Centre - ERC (www.enterpriseresearch.ac.uk) and Co-Director of the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE)

Dan Severn

Operations Director, DM Orthotics

A qualified Chartered Physiotherapist since 2002 Dan initially specialised in adult neurology, then further specialised within paediatrics. Dan left the NHS and started with the clinical team at DM Orthotics in November 2010 progressing into a Senior Management role in 2014. Dan has recently been appointed to the role of Operations Director.
Within the company he has maintained clinical activity however in management and as a director he has responsibility for overseeing 55 staff across: administration, accounts, manufacture, R&D, marketing, sales, UK clinical sales & exports sales. Dan led the company strategic development and the development of the senior leadership team, (Factory Manager, Admin / Accounts Manager, new roles for Export, UK Clinical, Marketing and Sales Managers). Dan also has a passion for strategy, project management and change management. DM Orthotics reviewed their entire manufacturing process to increase capacity whilst maintaining the current staff base. This was successfully completed, increasing speed of manufacture and capacity along with cost savings. Other projects include the Implementation of a CRM system, successful accreditation for ISO13485 / CMDCAS as audited by BSI, readiness for GDPR and the company is on the way to becoming GS1 compliant in readiness for the NHS initiative Scan4safety. New internal IT systems are now also under Dan’s remit.

Ben Still

Managing Director, West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Ben Still joined West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in February 2016. With a background in transport and economic development, policy making and delivery, Ben has a deep understanding of the City Region’s diverse agenda and brings a wealth of experience from working in both public and private sectors. Previously Ben was Director of the Sheffield City Region LEP and Combined Authority, and interim Director General of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive. He was at the forefront of the creation of the Sheffield City Region infrastructure programmes, Combined Authority, its Growth Deals with Government and the Strategic Economic Plan. Ben has worked in private practice at consultants Steer Davies Gleave in Leeds, Arup in London and was also in the civil service working for the Department of Transport. He is also board Director and the lead on rail for the Urban Transport Group, the UK network of transport authorities.

Maria Wishart

Research Fellow

Maria joined the Enterprise Research Centre in February 2018 as a Research Fellow based at Warwick Business School. Before coming to academia, she spent 17 years working in global consumer marketing roles in a number of UK-based companies. She is experienced in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. Maria’s academic qualifications include an undergraduate degree in Business Management with French, an MA in Philosophy, an MSc in Research Methods and a PhD in Identity and Ethics. Her current research interests include business resilience, rural enterprise and business ethics.

Professor Philip McCann

Professor of Urban and Regional Economics

Professor Philip McCann is Professor of Urban and Regional Economics in the University of Sheffield Management School. He is the Director of the Productivity Insights Network, an initiative funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to promote new directions in productivity research. Philip is one of the UK’s most highly cited social scientists and one of the world’s most cited spatial economists. He has been Special Adviser to two European Commissioners for Regional Policy, and has also undertaken highly influential research on the impact of Brexit to regions and sectors in the UK.