0845 153 0040


50 Growth Specialist Speakers and Guest Panelists

Tony Elvin
General Manager at Touchwood Solihull, REVO Awards 2019 Regional Shopping Centre of the Year.
Retail & Hospitality 13.00 - 13.30
Having delivered success in three different fields of leisure and hospitality, I now embark on a new career in retail aiming to to bring a hospitality mindset to the retail experience. 
I thrive on change and enjoy selling the concept to my teams. A loyal manager, I have spent 27 of my 30 years in business working for just three companies; First Leisure, De Vere & Hotel du Vin, in a variety of roles. Specialties: Change management, conflict management, service innovation, leadership, communication skills and structure, profit conversion, excellence in customer service, creating special experiences for our guests, relationship building, driving engagement, hospitality, wine, wine culture and events.
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Saj Hussain
The Property Joint Venture Expert
Keynote Speaker 09.45 - 10.15, Property & Construction 14.30 - 15.00
Saj Hussain is a property entrepreneur and is also known as the Property Joint Venture Expert and your partner for wealth creation through property. 
Since 2007 he has built a multi-million-pound property portfolio. During the last 14 years he has used many different property investing strategies ranging from sourcing to flipping to HMO’s to building new houses. Primarily, he uses his time, his skill and experience to find great investment opportunities and partners up with cash rich investors to create a fantastic return on investment. In 2013 he founded a specialist HMO lettings and management agency which has grown significantly. His team now manages the largest portfolio of professional house shares in Birmingham. Saj is very passionate about using his knowledge and experience to help others to also create wealth through property. He is frequently invited to events to speak about creating profit from property using other people’s money.  A big believer in collaborating with investors to build successful joint ventures for all involved. He further supports budding property investors through monthly networking events, training, coaching and 1-2-1 mentoring.
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Rachael Taplin
Media Match Maker
Keynote Speaker 12.00 - 12.30
Rachael Taplin has always been a high performer. She is a well-known businesswoman and entrepreneur; her determination is commended and respected at the highest levels and she has been recognised as one of the top 50 UK Inspirational Women in the UK
She now dedicates her time as The Media Matchmaker, training and helping entrepreneurs and business owners to be inspired to use PR and secure publicity for themselves whilst also connecting them direct to the UK Media, Journalists and Influencers. Rachael has launched the UK’s first Journo Request service and Media Database dedicated to Business Owners and Entrepreneurs connecting them to the UK media, Journalists and UK Media Influencers. She is soon to launch Media Matchmaker, an interactive media platform to connect Journalists and Organisations to share stories, articles and expert comments. Rachael has achieved her own personal media exposure within local, regional and national press, on radio and TV, she has also appeared within most of the national glossy magazines and has worked with lots of well know celebrities, so it’s safe to say she knows what’s she’s talking about. Rachael can help you learn everything you need to know on how to become a media expert and secure thousands of pounds worth of publicity for next to nothing. Rachael can share with you how from one press release she appeared on over 70 radio stations in one day and was also featured in one the UK’s largest daily newspapers. The principles you can apply and use yourself so that you will soon be gaining media exposure for your business.
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Grant Stain
International Techpreneur
Keynote Speaker 14.15- 14.45
My goal is to inspire as many budding entrepreneurs as possible have access to the information they need, that helps them get started in business.
Over the last 15 years I've helped over 300 people in 12 different countries start their business, so have a good idea of the challenges that will be faced and the mistakes that can be made. In my view there has never been a better time to become and entrepreneur, but it's not for everyone. However, if you have the itch and are serious about working towards having the choices and freedom being your own boss can bring, I'd be delighted to give you the benefit of my experience.
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Ben Kench
UK’s No 1 Business Sales Coach, Author Selling for Dummies
Keynote Speaker 13.30 - 14.00
I transform businesses and support business owners in getting from where they are... to where they need to be. Owning, running, and leading a business is hard. 
It can be a constant challenge of making the most of your time and people. Perhaps you’re… ✅Struggling to get consistent leads? ✅Finding it tough to find (and keep) truly great staff? ✅Losing contacts from larger companies always undercutting you? ✅Relying heavily on word of mouth and referrals to keep business coming in? ✅Struggling to convert inquiries into profitable clients? And trust me…I’ve been there: Trying to Build a great team with reliable Staff that actually impact the business, working 60-70+ hour weeks whilst sacrificing precious time with the family to finish the list of never-ending tasks. Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by the lack of consistency in lead generation and never seeing REAL growth in the business. But what if this could all change… ✅WHAT IF YOUR SALES PEOPLE: Had a plan for prospecting more effectively? Had a way to bring in LEADS consistently through a marketing process that actually WORKED? ✅WHAT IF YOUR TEAM: Came to work inspired and motivated? Enjoyed working in a thriving company culture? ✅WHAT IF YOUR BUSINESS: Could grow significantly by implementing a strategy that WORKS? Could Transform your confidence, lifestyle, and vision for the future? In my 16 years of business coaching, I have helped hundreds of businesses generate literally millions and streamline their operations. If you're feeling stuck and ready to get to that next stage in business and in LIFE... lets jump on a call. ✅ WHO I WORK WITH: I work with Service-Based Businesses such as Commercial Cleaning Companies or Technology companies with a turnover circa £600,000 or above who are looking to scale their business significantly. ✅ READY TO TALK? Reach out to me directly on LinkedIn or give me a call on 07989513009
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Eugene Nizeyimana
Co - Founder and Chair of One Africa Network
Manufacturing & International Trade 13.45 - 14.15
Eugene Nizeyimana is the Co-Founder and CEO of SSCG Consulting, Chair of One Africa Network and a Quality Strategy Engineer, Product Engineering at Jaguar Land Rover on future vehicle programs.
An entrepreneur, engineer and International management consultant with +15yrs experience and a track record in delivering multi-channeled capabilities and solutions to meet specific business needs across a broad range of clients, markets and industries ranging from Financial Services, Professional Services, Oil and Gas (E&P), Manufacturing and Automotive Sectors. He has served in various capacities and has held a wide range of responsibilities from both the private and public sectors. Eugene diverse core competencies and capabilities range from business start-up, strategic governance, Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Business Process Management (BPM), International trade and investment, product innovation and delivery, operation excellence, quality engineering, six sigma complex problem solving, business growth and market outreach. Passionate about entrepreneurship, he has lead various entrepreneurship programmes both in the UK and Africa to accelerate start-ups and SME growth, and advised founders of many start-ups companies. Eugene serves as a mentor for Africa Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) programme at The Centre for Global Enterprise (CGE) NY, US. A former mentor for The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), The BSEEN (Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network) programme at Aston University and Africa Innovation Price (AIP). He is also the co-founder of One Africa Network (OAN), a platform that brings together African professionals, entrepreneurs and businesses in the Midlands to share ideas to accelerate competitive growth and development. Remains a member of various Global Business Forums including Mckinsey Automotive and Assembly. Eugene graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a Beng in Automotive Engineering and received a Post Grad in Management from University of London. Currently completing an executive MBA. He has received professional certification and completed management programmes in diverse topics from University of Oxford, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, World Bank, Crown Commercial Service (CCS), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), KPMG, EY, Deloitte, PWC, ISO, IATF/SMMT Industry Forum and Association of Project Management (APM).
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Rob Pendleton
Award Winning Serial Entrepreneur and Business Growth Expert
Keynote Speaker 11.15 - 11.45, Banking, Finance and Funding 09.15 - 09.45
Rob Pendleton is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, angel investor & director, with a successful 20-year career leading business transformation, growth and improvement.
Margaret de Valois
Award Winning Thought Leader
Sales & Marketing 11.30 - 12.00
Mags is an experienced Actuary, award winning Thought Leader, an expert communicator, being a graduate of the BBC Academy for expert TV Presenters and a practising Non Exec Director, chairing boards for IMERYs and Cornwall Council. 
Her eclectic career began over 20 years ago when she joined the PwC graduate scheme to advise companies on all types of pension scheme matters.  Quickly realising that helping businesses flourish was what she loved, Mags has set up teams within HSBC, Schroders and Mazars and is committed to helping her clients be the best that they can be.  As part of the executive team at Pendleton Guaranteed Business Growth, Mags is involved in both the strategic and operational side of the business, as well as working with clients.  A Freeman of the City, Mags is a keen musician, founding the Crantock Chamber Music Series, and is a volunteer pianist for the National Trust, for whom she performs regular recitals
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Abid Khan
Entrepreneur, Networking Expert, Vice Chairman BYSA

Co-Founder of national commercial insurance business, ‘Riverdale Insurance’, I have been working in the insurance industry, for sixteen years. 

As well as being an expert in my respective field, I am also known as ‘Mr Chutney’ to clients and associates, for my role as National Director at ‘Pathway Group’ and responsibility of running ‘Chutney and Chat’ business networking forum. Chutney and Chat is an award-winning forum, part of the ‘Pathway Group’ community. Since its debut launch in December 2015, the forum has now become a valuable platform for almost 1000 members; all of whom are business owners and professionals, based nationwide. My passion lies within supporting the growth of businesses and individuals; and the success of Chutney and Chat is testament to this. As well as hosting networking events, liaising with keynote speakers, and promoting local businesses, i have managed to build a trusted business community. This has facilitated professional introductions, and served as the basis of long-term business relationships. Once a novice to the business world, i appreciate and understand the importance of hard graft and perseverance. I am known by many, for my highly motivated and resilient nature, and stand by the ethos of ‘there always being a way’. Through my experience, i have developed valuable leadership, coaching, and interpersonal qualities. I continue to share my skill set through public speaking, and continual social media engagement. With colossal plans for the months to come, and no signs of ‘slowing down’, i try to be a reliable mentor, associate, and source of inspiration.
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Edward Van Der Kleijn
International Sales Director, Blam
Manufacturing & International Trade 13.45 - 14.15
3D | Dutch | Direct | Delivers
High-Energy, High-Intensity Sales & Marketing Activation Specialist Using Proven Methods to Generate 7 Figure Sales Results. 
Find New Customers and Get Your Customers to Spend More, Spend More Often and Stop Them Buying from the Competition.
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Chloe Stephenson
Tech Leader, Co-Founder/Director- Technology at Jobu London
Innovation & Technology 10.00 - 10.30
I have over seven years experience recruiting in the Technology space, starting my career in Sydney before returning to the UK in March 2014. 
Last year, I decided the time was right for me to set up my own recruitment agency called Jobu and we cover both Creative and Technology recruitment in predominantly the London market. This year, I plan to expand Jobu to various areas in the UK including Birmingham (my home town), Manchester and Bristol. My specialist space is Technology for both contract and permanent hires covering some of the following roles- Front and Back End Developers, Mobile Developers and QAs. It has been through open and honest relationships, I have gained a greater insight into the world of technology and ultimately, what it takes to be a successful tech recruiter. I very much look forward to 'talking tech' with you all at the event today.
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Jamil Shabir
Award Winning Entrepreneur, Search Marketing Sales & Marketing 11.30 - 12.00
Sales & Marketing 11.30 - 12.00
After the realisation that male modelling wasn't going to work out for me. I embarked on a journey to find my true calling in life. 
Who would have thought that it would be as a Digital Marketer? I'm a highly ambitious search marketing professional having worked in the industry since the early days of the web and before Google was the defacto search engine, that's a long time, some would even say prehistoric! I've had many roles in my digital career; business development manager, web designer, search marketer and finally the founder of Bootcamp Media, a Multi-Award Winning Web Design, Google Search and Digital Marketing Agency, helping clients to achieve success online, which means I like my clients to win and win big!  My experience over the years has enabled me to put together a successful group of people that have a unique ability to manage complex marketing projects and challenges, and guess what, they also like to win! Our multi-award winning team at Bootcamp Media can help fill in any gaps in your digital marketing strategy from SEO, PPC, CRO and Social Media Marketing. So what is it that we can do for you? Review your Online Marketing Strategy. Assess the Performance of your Website. Identify areas of your online marketing that can help you Generate New Leads/Customers. I can do all this for FREE within our First Initial Consultation. What do our clients say about us? I was very impressed with his immense knowledge and his impressive ability to communicate 'technical stuff' in an understandable and interesting manner. Others had recommended Jamil and I can understand why!" Heidi Blakeway. Please view more recommendations below.  I enjoy connecting and meeting new people, so if you want to discuss business, marketing, Star Trek or Star Wars, then, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or call our office on 0121 630 2350.
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Mark O'Sullivan
Award Winning Serial Entrepreneur and Investor
Manufacturing & International Trade 13.45 - 14.15
I love what i do across all of the different businesses i am engaged in - I am a positive, driven and ambitious entrepreneur that loves to network and develop new partnerships.
A senior business manager with over 20 years experience i have learnt a huge amount throughout my career to be utilised to benefit companies in their strategic aims and objectives. My aim over the next 12 months is to develop more in the tech industry and to improve all businesses i am working with in meeting their bottom line expectations. Business can be challenging but if you work with me the risks will be reduced massively and we can laugh and have some fun on the way whilst working together to meet the plan we will set - Contact my PA Rebecca Marsh at rebecca.marsh@banabay.com or on 07435323135 if you have some queries with your business which you would like to discuss.
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Jason Pitt
CEO Made in Group, Championing Manufacturing and Engineering in the Midlands.
Keynote Speaker 10.30 - 11.00, Manufacturing & International Trade 13.45 - 14.15
Having had a successful career in publishing for more than 15 years, I have been involved in a number of successful publications.
I was also the youngest director in the UK to achieve Investors in People. In 2009 with the help of venture capital investment I began to diversify away from traditional publishing into areas I had an interest in. Other projects I have been involved in are co-founding Made in the Midlands and Pressvine, which is a public relations application. I am now head of First Orchard Limited, the group that owns a majority stake in both businesses. I have a passion for nurturing creative talent and making a difference in both the business community and wider community. For me being a successful business person is not about how much money you make but rather the positive impact you have on those around you. In the words of Einstein "Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value".
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Maz Ifzal
Public Speaking Coach and Trainer, Create Effective Messages That Resonate With Your Audience Women in Business 10.45 - 11.15

As a Public Speaking Trainer and Coach, I teach my clients to share their passion and reveal their inner speaking champion. I have a passion to encourage individuals to find their voice and impact others with their message.

I help individuals who are nervous about public speaking to develop their own messages, acquire powerful presentation skills and overcome their fears so they can attract the clients they want & create the business & lifestyle of their dreams. I teach how to become a brilliant, authentic, engaging speaker through my unique blend of expertise in public speaking coaching and performing arts secrets. I teach clients how to use public speaking as a powerful tool to grow their businesses, step into the speaking spotlight without fear and empower their presence in the public or corporate eye. Over-time I have developed a profound understanding the different aspects needed to deliver powerful, persuasive presentations. Everyone is unique. Everyone deserves to be coached and supported as a human being and as a public speaker that exactly suits their unique needs, challenges and consciousness. I have an instinctive ability to find the underlying source of a speaker’s stumbling blocks and I Coach to dissolve those blocks. WHAT MAKES ME DIFFERENT: I cover all 3 aspects of effective communication: 1. What to say – create your magnetizing message 2. How to say it – powerful presentation skills, both in writing & speaking 3. Allow yourself to say it – overcome your speaking fears so that you can speak with confidence and ease in any situation, any time and anywhere.
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Phil Oldershaw
Presenter / Host / MC of Social & Corporate Events
Keynote Speakers MC and Compere
I am a natural entrepreneur that can inspire, motivate and lead a team consistently ensuring exceptional results while delivering a fantastic customer experience. 
A genuine ability to entertain people and foresee needs ensuring that customers are attracted, and retention is guaranteed. I am highly skilled within; catering & hospitality, people development, licensing, brand development, new media and event management. I am keen to learn and enthusiastic about sharing my knowledge to grow others. My optimism, charm and flair radiate with passion to ensure overall success for all. I invest energy to put people at ease and deliver warmth, emotion and clarity, which radiates within a business, an event or in company. I have knowledge within both PLC and independents. I am also an all-round versatile presenter with experience within various fields of business and entertainment. At every event, large or small, I am able to connect with the audience bringing; charisma, warmth, fun, passion and an awe-inspiring energy. I’m admired and respected for my ability to deliver on every occasion using my own unique style. Key strengths sit within live formats where quick thinking, wit and the ability to manage smoothly is called for as change happens. My forte sits within: TV & Radio Presenting, Live Stage Events, Live Interviewing, Gala Dinners & Charity Auctions, Food Festivals and Demos, Corporate Launches & Presentations, Product Launches & Openings, Exhibition Hosting, Awards & Fashion Shows, Guest Speaking, Motivational Speaking & Lecturing, Voice Over Artist and Commercials/Adverts.
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Kelvin Osondu
Education & Training 12.15 - 12.45
Kelvin Osondu is a passionate writer, coach, and business strategist. His main purpose in life is to help improve the quality of life of individuals across the world.  From assisting coursemates at university to helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses, Kelvin believes in adding value to anyone he meets.
Rebecca Simkiss
Co Founder of SimkissGuy Recruitment
Women in Business 10.45 - 11.15
Rebecca Simkiss is co-founder and joint managing director of multi-award winning SimkissGuy Recruitment and has spent the last 15 years working in the city as an office support and graduate recruitment specialist.
Rebecca has developed an outstanding reputation across the region as a recruitment expert, supporting countless PLCs, SMEs, growing enterprises, and public and third sector organisations. Rebecca’s extensive portfolio of clients and thousands of candidates verify her drive and passion to offer nothing less than exceptional service to all, and to raise standards in the recruitment industry. Rebecca is incredibly passionate about promoting Birmingham as a fantastic place to live and work and is a big believer in doing all you can to give back to the city. She is Vice-Chair and Trustee of local charity LoveBrum, Chair of the Regional Advisory Board for The Access Project, a founding board member of West Midlands Women’s Voice and former Chair of BPS Birmingham Future – where during her tenure she created the Future Leadership Development Programme in partnership with Aston Business School. Alongside this Rebecca is a trained Thomas International Personality Profiler, TEDx host, UK Corporate Governance practitioner, and a mentor to a number of young professionals across the city. Keen to retain talented up and coming professionals in the region, Rebecca regularly delivers talks on aspiration, personal brand and leadership, as well as hosting sessions on CV presentation, effective applications and interview skills for 6th Form, College and University students around the West Midlands.  Rebecca’s awards to date include a Fellowship from Birmingham Metropolitan College in acknowledgment of her contribution to mentoring and 2017 Businesswoman of the Year at the Birmingham Awards. In 2018, Rebecca was a finalist at the IOD Director of the Year Awards in recognition of her commitment to CSR, and in November 2018 was awarded Woman of the Year at the City of Birmingham Business Awards. A big believer in the value that can be gained from creating positive business connections, Rebecca is the founder of seven successful networking events in the region; including the incredibly popular Colmore Curry Club.
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Simon Washbrook
Techpreneur and Marketing Guru

Sales & Marketing 11.30 - 12.00

Popcorn was born from frustration, before starting the company Simon (popcorn Founder) had worked in marketing roles for corporate beasts and had gone on to establish a successful Marketing Company specialised in delivering Email marketing campaigns for SME’s.

Yianiss Maos
Founder Birmingham Tech Week
Innovation & Technology 10.00 - 10.30
Yiannis is the Founder of Birmingham Tech Week, a community initiative designed to inspire the next generation, celebrate success and create an environment where people can collaborate.
Birmingham Tech Week launched in October 2019 and saw 5,000 people attend more than 60 events. This achievement raised the profile of Birmingham’s technology scene and saw Yiannis get recognised as Outstanding Individual of the Year at the Silicon Canal Awards. Prior to this, Yiannis was the Co-Founder & CMO at Hyve, a Brand Advocacy Platform. He has over 15 years experience in Marketing, Customer Experience (CX) & Innovation. His career started at B2B SaaS company Rant & Rave, where he helped them grow from challenger brand to a market leader that eventually sold for £45m. Following this, he was chosen as the UK Chair for the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) which is the largest community of CX professionals in the world. Yiannis is a seasoned speaker and has spoken at many of the top business schools including Warwick, Henley and Aston, and has been invited by Salesforce, HubSpot, Google, NatWest and The Media Trust to speak at their events. During his career, he has also been named Central England’s Entrepreneur of the Year, awarded a place on the prestigious Marketing Academy and selected to take part in Innovation Birmingham’s high-growth start-up programme.
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Andy Moore
Chairman, CEO, Director & Non Exec, Entrepreneur, Business Angel, Advisor, Coach and Mentor.

Banking, Finance and Funding 09.15 - 09.45

Very experienced Chairman, CEO, Director,Non-executive Director,PLC and Private Companies, Entrepreneur,Business Angel, Business Advisor and Mentor,Turnaround expert. 

Sonia Hallaith
Entrepreneur, Women's Business Coach
Women in Business 10.45 - 11.15
Founder of International Women’s Club
1-2-1 Coaching Sessions
Women’s Networking Events
Business Mastermind Program
Richard Holling
Start-Up Financial Services
Banking, Finance and Funding 09.15 - 09.45
An experienced business executive with 30 years of business and financial services experience. Richard has worked as a consultant, sales executive and manager for several major international companies.
In 2018 he changed focus and started to work with startups and SMEs. In 2019 he formed Berkshire Dales, which offers SMEs advice on getting the right business finance, and other consulting services. The experience allows him to provide practical and actionable advice to business of all sizes. He is also mentor for Santander Bank’s Female Founders programe. Richard is an active networker and stays current by attending business events every week. Outside of work he has a teenager daughter, lives with 4 British Native ponies and is an avid boardgame geek. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhollingfintech/
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Sarah Hall
Women Property Investor

Women in Business 10.45 - 11.15

Sarah is a seasoned property investor and landlord of ten years. In 2019, after a successful career in the corporate world of banking, sales and marketing, Sarah saw a gap in the market for quality property sourcing and armed with her industry know-how, experience and entrepreneurial spirit, she launched her business.

She decided to move back to the UK from her home in the Middle East and focus on property investment full-time.    It was whilst living in Dubai that Sarah experienced first-hand how difficult it can be for expats and foreign investors, trying to source UK property from a distance. She saw how lack of local knowledge and just not having boots on the ground can make a huge difference to an investor’s ability to make a good decision. The first seeds of an idea were sown and it was this that inspired her to set up her ‘Property Finding Service’, helping to take all the worry and hassle out of what can otherwise be a hugely time-consuming process. She now, along with her team of industry experts, provides investment support and excellence through Bentley Rose Investments.    Although historically the property investment world has always been a playground for men, times are changing and figures show that more women than ever are taking the plunge and investing in property. Sarah encourages women to join the industry, she says “it’s so refreshing to see more women are getting on board and recognising that owning a portfolio is simply another way to boost your income further and utilise your talent, skill and ambition.”   Her advice to budding investors is “start as young as you can, I started my portfolio aged 23. As a young person, your strongest asset is time.” She believes that by getting into property investing from a young age, you gain the ability to leverage the market and build your savings over a longer period of time. She also advises that “If you’re living at home with your parents and can save enough for a deposit take the plunge and invest it. When you are younger you have less commitments, more flexibility in life and can take more risks”   The entrepreneur loves the independence of running her own business and the security that property has given her. So, whether you’re based in the UK or an overseas investor, Sarah and hub of in-house specialists at Bentley Rose Investments can help you to secure your financial future through property investment. No investor experience is too little, as they offer you help and guidance through the process with expert advice and support throughout the timeline of your investment. 
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Charlene Wall
Health and Wellbeing Guru

Women in Business 10.45 - 11.15

Anita Champaneri
MD of Delicious PR, Dine Hub & Birmingham Rum Festival
Retail & Hospitality 13.00 - 13.30

MD of Delicious PR

Birmingham's leading PR & Events agency specialising in the city's food drink & hospitality sector. Driving the @MFDHawards. Ambassador @LoveBrum

WINNER: Most Outstanding PR Agency for the Hospitality Industry 2019 - Birmingham SME News’ 2019 Business Elite Columnist for Dluxe Magazine. Presenter of the Delicious Food & Drink show on Solihull Radio. Organisers of Birmingham Rum Festival 2019. Former Vice President & Executive Committee member at Asian Business Chamber of Commerce Clients we have worked with : Tim Hortons, Jacques, Rozu, Audley Villages, Kuula Poke, Jamaya, Thai Express, Siamais, Aluna Cocktail Bar, Zen Metro, Hotel du Vin, El Borracho del Oro, Colmore Club, Sabai Sabai, The Boot Inn, Payal Events, BYSA, Word 360 Translation Services, Town Hall Symphony Hall, Birmingham Airport, Indico Street Kitchen and Varanasi.
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James Brown
FinTech COO & Lecturer; Strategy & Innovation for Startups and SMEs

Innovation & Technology 10.00 - 10.30

James is Chief Operating Officer at Koin Rewards, a fintech start-up supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, rewarding consumers for looking after the future of humanity, nature and the environment.

Purpose-driven to deliver greenfield innovation for a responsible, transparent and sustainable future, the thread that stitches together James’ 20 years of experience across retail, telecoms, the public sector, and fintech, is a passion for continuous improvement, innovation and making experiences better for users.   This mantra includes continually developing one's self, which is why James has decided to spend his spare time studying for a second degree, a BSc in Mathematics and Physics, with plans afoot for an MSc and Ph.D.! James also holds roles at the University of Gloucestershire, where he lectures on e-business, strategy and innovation whilst also designing a new degree in e-business, and the Royal Agricultural University, as Entrepreneur in Residence, providing guidance on how to launch a business.
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Naeem Arif
Vice Chair of the Midlands Retail Forum

Retail & Hospitality 13.00 - 13.30

Customer acquisition and retention remain big challenges for many businesses. We help organisations better connect with their customers so they never lose a customer again.

In an age of personalisation and experiences, SMEs should focus on being unique. Excellent customer service is how SMEs will dominate the marketplace; customers will remember your service much longer than your price. I am a big advocate of putting the Customer First in everything you do, as repeat customers are way more profitable than new customers. Following the era of “value for money” and “brand identity”, customers now demand personalisation and experiences. Faceless corporates are finding it harder to maintain the attention of their customers these days; an independent coffee shop can challenge the likes of Starbucks, just because of the way they make their guests “feel”. ► ABOUT ME I am a multi-award winning Entrepreneur and Management Consultant, known as the Customer First Enabler. With over 27 yrs of experience as a Management Consultant and Business Owner, I have knowledge and experience in Business Transformation, Customer Experience, and Retail/Hospitality. I have been regularly featured in magazines such as Retail Gazette, Modern Retail, and Customer Experience Magazine, as well as recently being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. I have asked for my expert opinion by BBC radio on multiple occasions. I am the proud author of 6 best selling books, recent titles include 'Customer First' and 'Customer Experience', previous titles included SAP Configuration & Design. ► POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY Chair of the Midlands Retail and Hospitality Forum Committee member of the Chamber of Commerce (Sutton Coldfield) Trustee Ecogen Foundation. ► RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS Naeem backs up real experience with qualifications Including an MBA, CCXP, Prince2 and Agile. ► TECHNOLOGIES I WORK WITH SAP ERP, ECC 6.0, Financials Certified Zoho CRM ► BOOK A CALL WITH ME https://calendly.com/naeemarif
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Mat Bullock
Social Media Guru

Sales & Marketing 11.30 - 12.00

Mat Bullock is a true serial entrepreneur, being self-employed since the age of 16, he has created and operated numerous business in his career as well being an award-winning professional DJ playing in front of 10’s of thousands of people all over Europe & the UK.

In all his ventures he has always taken the reigns in marketing, being innovative is at his heart so when Facebook came across his radar back in 2007 he was one of the first businesses to start a business group page in Feb 2008 called Roadhouse Bar. He then continued using and understanding Social Media in all his business marketing projects. In late 2016, he created Social Command, a business to help people succeed in the world of social media. In 2019 the software he used to help clients (finding content, posting/scheduling and the world famous banner adverts) was released to the public, with the idea that clients help themselves to organising their social media with the help and support of social command. www.socialcommand.co.uk
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Dr. Cheryl Whiting
Director of Veda Education and Training Consultancy Ltd

Education & Training 12.15 - 12.45

Dr. Cheryl Whiting has been our Business Growth Network event partner for Gloucestershire since 2018, and uses her extensive leadership, team building and networking skills to bring together businesses from across, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Gloucester.

Cheryl is Director of Veda Education and Training Consultancy, a well-credentialed and experienced educator with a career that spans clinical, academic and commercial sectors. An expert in adult education and training Cheryl offers independent advice on training and development initiatives within the workplace, and also designs and delivers customised in house training programmes. In addition, Cheryl offers a number of workshops designed to enhance professionalism and develop training and presentation skills. You can learn more about Cheryl and the work of Veda Education and Training by visiting her website www.vedaconsultancy.co.uk
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Will Percy
Director of Learning and Development / Co-Founder. at Zeng Associates, LLC.

Education & Training 12.15 - 12.45

An educator at heart, I have a passion for helping others to develop and for creating systems that help organizations to grow a culture of learning and coaching.

An accomplished executive coach, I love the opportunity to help individuals grow and to provide training solutions to further both executive and coaching development. Having chaired and served on education advisory boards for Apple, throughout Asia Pacific, I strongly believe in the purposeful and considered use of technology to transform coaching, learning and teaching. Beliefs that form the foundation of the innovative Compass Suite, supporting coaching and executive development. With over a decade in China I continue to be passionate about the development of both Sino-Foreign partnerships and bilingual education. Over the years, I have been at the forefront of both education and technology developments to facilitate student lead enquiry and faculty development. I now bring my insights from this to the wider corporate world and developing technology and training solutions that build a foundation for success at an individual and organizational level. A connected educator and entrepreneur, I am passionate about fostering global connectivity and helping organizations connect and learn from each other. particularly I specialize in the development of research driven coaching solutions, based on Confucian philosophy, that move beyond an individual focus to help teams and organizations evolve to thrive in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous global markets.
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Simon Bateman
Delivering Cloud and Big Data Solutions at Offsite Servers Limited

Innovation & Technology 10.00 - 10.30

Director of Offsite Servers Limited, trustee and charity secretary of RSVP and a member of Birmingham China Town Lions Club.

I am passionate, and driven to inspire organisations to embrace new innovation and technology. Secure Offsite, Cloud, Server specialist. A qualified GDPR Practitioner and an IT / Technology security specialist and all round computer / IT fixer. Outside work, I am a prize winning brass player, (specifically a Flugel Horn) a trustee and company secretary of a charity (RSVP) in Birmingham, member of Birmingham China Town Lions, owner of Poppy (AKA ‘Puppi’) the dog (a black cockapoo), a very keen car enthusiast, an avid music listener, a member of the National Trust, a keen interest in period property and all things vintage. Twitter @simonbateman
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Steve Ackroyd
Helping SMEs recruit staff with fixed cost recruitment services and expert knowledge. Recruitment | Honesty | Expertise

Education & Training 12.15 - 12.45

I have been a job seeker, a hiring manager and a recruiter, my 20 years of job hunting and 8 years in recruitment have taught me a lot.

I am passionate about using my knowledge to help people get good jobs and companies to get good people. This led me to setting up my own recruitment company called The Job Guru. The Job Guru is specifically aimed at supporting small and medium sized businesses to find the right people. We use a fixed fee recruitment model, which enables us to provide a better recruitment service for a fair, fixed cost
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Nazia Yaqub
Relationship Manager at Signature Property Finance Ltd

Property & Construction 14.30 - 15.00

14 years of experience within the finance sector working as a Business Manager for a high street Bank.

I required a change and decided to follow my passion which is property finance, I read how Signature Property Finance assists clients with short term property finance and I was intrigued, I joined Signature 2 years ago and I have never looked back since, as a Relationship Manager I work very closely with direct clients as well as introducers supporting and maintaining the relationship to ensure a fast and efficient service throughout our lending process. I also underwrite all cases from start to finish. I enjoy networking and speaking everything property as well as sharing information on how I can assist my contacts in reaching their property goals. In a nutshell I really do assist Signature Property Finance "bridge dreams"!
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Robert Sugar
Visualisation expert, data scientist: smart cities, 5G, maritime. Space entrepreneur, futurist
Banking, Finance and Funding 09.15 - 09.45, Innovation & Technology 10.00 - 10.30
I am a trained Physicist and veteran of the data and gaming industries. Urban Hawk Limited is my latest spin off from the foundations of the past.
Fusing the variety of my team’s and my own collective scientific and commercial skills to a specific focus on spatial situational awareness and its real-time applications for end-user requirements, both short and longer term. From zero to post revenue, studio with private and public sector clients in Rail, Maritime, Smart Cities across Europe, already recognised in the industry in 18 months. My first venture - at the age of 22 - was Mithis Entertainment, the designer and developer of “Nexus: the Jupiter Incident” and the WW2 naval game “Battlestations: Midway”. Has consulted on a number of visual schemes for VR, and space based satellite imagery projects. I founded Crocotta R&D in 2013 in the UK and captained the company to success in a range of applied science contracts. Milestones included a revolutionary breakthrough for Pharmaceutical Microscopes and a visualisation initiative for the EDRS launch at the European Space Agency (ESA). Ongoing work with sister company, N-Ware, enabled consolidation of other core contracts in data management, notably with blue chip clients like BMW and Siemens. I was born in Hungary, where I retain a strong network of academic and commercial contacts. I am currently based in Bristol, with commutes to London, Birmingham and the continent or wherever the work takes me. A registered assessor for Innovate UK, I am frequently called upon to examine the merits of new proposals that advance the course of science and business in the UK and Europe. A father of three, I enjoy taking my family for walks so that the work / life balance is applied and I can keep fit! Active in my local community (recently appointed skills adviser for West of England and a frequent guest of the great and good at Westminster), I also enjoy reading, watching and even writing science fiction.
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Paul Mahoney
Property & Investment Thought Leader |Assisting Others to Better Themselves | Award-Winning Speaker | Best-Selling Author | Serial Entrepreneur | Investor | Bad Golfer
Property & Construction 14.30 - 15.00
Paul is passionate about property investment as a vehicle for financial freedom.
He has extensive experience as a corporate executive, founder, CEO & trusted advisor in financial services, property & construction in Australia & the UK. He has spent well over a decade studying the latest financial techniques and investment strategies and he has recently embarked on an Executive MBA in an effort to better contribute to Nova Financial, his clients and the UK Financial Services & Property industries as a whole. Paul has applied his qualifications and experience to founding Nova Financial. Our Advisory Panel have over 100 years of combined experience in the UK property & financial services industries. We assist clients to make the right investment decisions in preparing to achieve their lifestyle & financial goals. We have extensive expertise in buy to let property investment and mortgages. Paul is the acclaimed author of Amazon #1 best selling book, The Property Pension Plan, keynote speaker and property expert/commentator. He is regularly featured in leading publications including news, radio and TV and he presents at 20-30 events a year across the UK and Australia. He is featured on the Expert Panel of Property TV Sky Ch189 - Property Question Time and he hosts a TV show (also on Sky) and Podcast called Proper Wealth which focusses on wealth creation strategies inc Property Investment.
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John Howard
Property Developer and Author
Property & Construction 14.30 - 15.00
I have been a property professional for over 40 years with proven acumen and instinctive interpretation of the industry. 
My proficiency stems from the sale and purchase of over 3500 houses, apartments and developments within the UK. With a rental portfolio similar to many investors through my numerous property companies, my experience is vast; from buying traditional houses, hotels, large scheme developments to running property businesses providing an all-encompassing understanding of the property world. I've got a dedicated, balanced, yet sharp awareness of all the business operations that I'm involved with and my skills form the top-line of my career to date. Having worked in residential and commercial property for many years, I have formed many partnerships with industry leading contacts adding breadth and reach to my expertise and knowledge. As part of my commitment to the industry, I also share my frank knowledge by providing free property advice via my websites. As one of my experienced business partners said, “The Advice you get might not be what you want to hear but it is probably right!” I have a strong public profile and is often invited to speak at numerous functions and seminars. The most recent engagements include headlining at the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce business meeting and Auctioneer at the Conservative Dinner for Ben Gummer MP. With appearances on Sky news, local and national television as well as interviews and opinions in the press.
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Naomi Aly
I work with proactive business owners, event managers & assistants to create bespoke events to reach a goal.
Retail & Hospitality 10.00 - 10.30
Aluna and Siamais are independent, family run restaurants and cocktail bars based in Birmingham & Bristol. 
We provide the opportunity for successful businesses to utilise the venues as a method to reach a goal they may have through a series of conversations that truly allow us to unlock what the client wants & needs. As Business Development Manager, I get to work across all three sites supporting our clients in creating their event vision to reach their objective as a company. Usually my clients are proactive and successful but are looking to: - improve client appreciation to ensure retention within their industry -support and celebrate staff as the company may be suffering with a high turnover - drive the growth of the company in order to retain or become market leaders With my effective organisational skills and creative mindset, I am bringing to life what our clients want to achieve alongside project managing events & opportunities within the company. Telephone Number: 07904947916 Email Address: Naomi@aluna.uk.com
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