The Shard
32 London Bridge Street

May 18, 2015 13:00 - May 18, 2015 17:00

The ERC in collaboration with the CDFA will be hosting a 1 day event ‘ Realising the Growth Potential of New Businesses’

The profile of new business start-ups in the UK is changing as self-employment booms. How can we best shape local support to help these new businesses to realise their full growth potential? How can we best provide finance and other support as firms experience the transitions from self-employment to micro- to growth-business?

This workshop will explore the changing nature of micro business in the UK and the demands this places on organisations seeking to provide support as these businesses grow.

A panel discussion including Ben Hughes, Chief Executive of CDFA will consider the medium-term implications of the emerging trends and seek to identify gaps in our current understanding.

Speakers from the ERC will include Stephen Roper, Michael Anyadike Danes and Drew Gertner along with CDFA speakers- tbc.

Full programme details to be released shortly.


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)

Drew Gertner

Research Fellow, Birmingham University

Karen Bonner

Senior Economist

Karen is a senior economist at Ulster University’s Economic Policy Centre and also works with the ERC on projects relating to entrepreneurship, business demography and innovation. She is involved primarily in firm-level economic research utilising micro-data to examine aspects of firm performance in both Northern Ireland and the UK. Karen works with ERC members to produce the UK Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Other recent projects include those for BEIS, DfE, and Scottish Enterprise. Previously she worked as a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Paul Taberner

Investment Director, EV Group

Paul joined Enterprise Ventures in 2006 and is a member of the EV Growth team. He was previously a Regional Director with Barclays Ventures, responsible for the North of England and the Midlands.His experience includes investments in MBOs and development capital transactions in many sectors, including specialist manufacturing, support services and distribution.The earlier part of his career was spent in commercial banking, in the UK and overseas.

Julia Groves

Managing Director of Trillion Fund

Since co-founding britishairways.com in 1994, Julia has led a series of start ups in the digital and environmental sectors, including Engensa, a leading UK domestic solar installer, and Quiet Revolution, a wind turbine business which designed and built turbines for the Olympic Park.

Following a year at eVentures where she acted as Interim MD for the SoftBank/News Corp B2C portfolio, her interest in early stage disruptive companies also led her to invest a combination of her time and money in a portfolio of sustainable businesses, including Loco2, and most recently Trillion Fund, the UK's leading social crowdfunding platform where she is now CEO.

Julia co-founded the UK Crowdfunding Association in 2012, and has successfully campaigned to make finance more democratic and accessible to regular investors, under the banner #wealthisnotaskillset. She is a member of Innovate 50 in the UK, CF 50 in the States, recently completed a two year Non Executive Director role at Move Your Money and is a fellow of the RSA.

Julia received an MBA in 1993 at the age of 23, the same year she coxed the winning crew in the National Championships men's lightweight VIII.

Her proudest achievements, however, are her two cheeky blond sons, and her talent for reverse parking.