The event was introduced by Professor George Feiger, Executive Dean of Aston Business School, and attended by over forty business owners from the 10,000 Small Businesses Midlands alumni and CBI membership, who also heard from Professor Mark Hart, Programme Director of 10,000 Small Businesses in the Midlands and Richard Butler, Regional Director of the CBI.
John Cridland’s presentation, followed by a question and answer session with the audience, covered a range of issues including the classification of SMEs. His speech highlighted a desired shift from the focus on start-ups to the scale-up agenda, business support beyond the start-up phase and for mid-size businesses, access to finance. He also emphasised the need for policy makers to tackle the skills shortage, and possible future debate about devolution and the EU referendum.
Aston’s Centre for Growth and the CBI plan to follow up the event with future opportunities for collaboration.