New for 2017 is the Women in Enterprise Village. This mini-hub acts as a dedicated space to promote positive female role models and raise awareness of issues facing women in business.
Organised by Frances Day, self-titled “Chief Bird” of the women’s enterprise group Bird Board, this zone shines a specific spotlight on stands promoting businesses and organisations owned by women.
There will also be a series of clinics run throughout the conference focused around developing opportunities for women in business to network and share ideas, either directly or through YEN Expo partners.
Bird Board Discovery Day is a two-and-a-half hour networking session where women are encouraged to take their business mask off at the door and to “simply be you”.
Bird Board is a group of women business owners and leaders who help and advise each other in a confidential and supportive environment. It offers an opportunity to connect with female business leaders at Board Level, with members helping each other with their business and personal challenges in a structured way to reach their end goals more quickly.
Frances says: “We help you to focus on working on the business, not in it. It’s like having a collective of business coaches with a broad spectrum of great experiences, which you probably won’t get from your family and friends”.
After the networking session Frances also tells her own success story in a separate Speakers Corner Business Clinic: “An Overnight Success?”
She’s run seven different businesses and Bird Board is her latest baby. During the financial crash around 10 years ago, she set up her own marketing company. Although the odds were stacked against her, she decided to “just to do it anyway”. She talks about the choices she made to drive the businesses forward and what lead her to the road that she now travels – “mostly the M62”.
“Ask The Expert” Business Support
Another new feature of this year’s conference is an Ask The Expert area which gives delegates access to business advice from prominent support organisations.
• Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership
• The Department for International Trade
• Invest in Bradford,
• Enterprise Europe Network,
• AD:Venture – the EU-funded business growth support group*
• West Yorkshire Police
• West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.
Just pop along, book in for a session and see if you can resolve some issues on the spot!
The AD:VENTURE programme delivers ERDF(European Regional Development Fund) funded growth support to existing businesses in their first three years of trading and to people planning to start a business within the Leeds City Region
YEN Expo 2017 is hailed as the most interactive yet with technology and innovation very much in the spotlight. An exciting new facility is the Tech Expo zone showcasing around a dozen tech-focused business stands and a seated area for tech clinics.
YEN is delighted to host this feature alongside partners, industry experts, businesses, community leaders and policymakers who are working together to shape our evolving digital future, not just in Bradford, but globally.
YEN Director Sheraz Malik says: “Digital technologies are transforming the way we live and do business. They have become a necessity in the age of technological revolution.
“Cities are at the forefront of that digital revolution and we recognise the power and promise of technology to transform enterprise, promote economic and social well-being and allow cities to compete in the 21st century.”
Sharing the Tech Expo zone is an Innovation Showcase, where businesses display their latest upcoming products and ideas. As well as film and television paraphernalia, highlights include 3D printing and textile resources from Bradford College and exhibits by Bradford-based community arts organisation and “Arts Regeneration Mavericks” Brickbox.
A very special guest in this area is urban farming social enterprise Growing Better – who won themselves a free place via a YEN Facebook competition with their ideas for an imaginative exhibition stand.
Leeds-based Growing Better CIC uses urban farming experiences to support people with mental health challenges. The project grows microgreens in a shipping container using hydroponic and vertical farming techniques, which they then sell to top local restaurants to sustain their work. Their unique exhibition stand features a working hydroponic system with growing microgreens for visitors to taste.