By Claire West

Accelerate 2013 taking place today in Liverpool as the forerunner of next year's International Festival of Business is boasting a stellar line up of speakers.

Accelerate 2013 is taking place at the Arena and Convention Centre and features stars from the world's of sport, business and even the military.

Headliners include; Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, Martha Lane Fox, co- founder of and former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick .

The quality of speakers shows the ambition of the 2014 International Festival of Business that will run next summer and present over 60 content rich events.

David Gillespie, Chief Executive of RBS England & Wales and NatWest Scotland gold sponsor of ACCELERATE 2013 said:

"We believe an important part of helping British businesses achieve their goals is through knowledge and empowerment. Our involvement in high profile, national entrepreneurial initiatives, such as ACCELERATE 2013 is a great way for us to help equip business leaders with the necessary tools, knowledge and information they need to succeed during difficult economic times."

IFB 2014 is already attracting international business leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and policy makers. The festival is an important element of the government’s strategy to double the UK’s export growth by 2020, and will feature a wide ranging programme of conferences, seminars, dinners, and exhibitions.

You can follow today's event via our Twitter feed @freshbusiness