By Daniel Hunter
More than 300 of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, investors and business experts will gather at Bloomberg’s London HQ today (Wednesday) to debate the progress and growth prospects of the British economy over the course of the next parliament.
Entitled SUMMIT: The Future of Growth, the event has been created by the campaigning company Seven Hills and brings together some of the top thinkers and champions of British business. Speakers include:
• Sherry Coutu CBE, angel investor and entrepreneur
• John Cridland CBE, Director-General, CBI
• Justin King CBE, former CEO, Sainsbury’s
• Dr Mike Lynch OBE, founder, Autonomy
• Manish Madhvani, co-founder and Managing Partner, GP Bullhound
• Jim O'Neill, former Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management
• Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State, DEFRA
• Sarah Wood, co-founder and COO, UNRULY
SUMMIT: The Future of Growth will centre on the launch of Growth Britannia: Trading Places, a new report produced by Seven Hills that investigates Britain’s changing economic role in the fast-moving global economy.
Featuring contributors ranging from digital pioneer Baroness Lane Fox to star investor Eileen Burbidge, Growth Britannia maps Britain's commercial role and relevance in the light of the recovery from recession, the increasing stock of fast-growth companies and the influx of venture capital to London from around the world.
Key themes are:
• Trading places – defining Britain’s future role in the global economy
• The Momentum Economy – from food to FinTech, the new industries redefining the UK economy
• From Start-up to Scale-up – confronting the challenge of how to turn a record number of new businesses into a scale-up revolution
Michael Hayman MBE and Nick Giles, the founders of Seven Hills and creators of SUMMIT: The Future of Growth, said: “The surge in new business creation and self-employment over the last few years has led many observers to suggest that Britain is recovering a commercial vitality that has lain dormant since the recession.
“SUMMIT is about bringing together and celebrating the businesses that are restoring Britain’s place at the vanguard of global innovation and entrepreneurship by creating a 'Davos for the disruptive' right here in London.”
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, who will be speaking at the event, said: “If small businesses are the backbone of the economy, fast-growing scale-up companies are the muscle that will power it forward. These innovative companies often fly under the radar, but our future success depends on theirs.
“These businesses need confidence and capital to go from strength-to-strength.
“Schemes like the Business Growth Service and UKTI’s export support for medium-sized companies are helping, and must be developed further. We also need more finance options to match their growth ambitions, so we want to see the next Government publicly get behind a UK private placement market.”
Another speaker, Lord Young of Graffham, said: "What we need above all else is a flourishing Mittelstand in the UK, a solid core of middle sized, often family owned companies that will provide continuity and stability to our economy. A fundamental difference between German and British industry is our lack of Mittelstand and that has nothing to do with our character or nationality. It is simply a function of past government policies, particularly inheritance taxes, which wiped out so many of our medium-size companies."