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New enterprise festival offers £10,000 investment opportunity, and chance to influence Westminster charter

Some of the speakers at the Norwich Enterprise Festival. Clockwise from top left: Rebecca White, founder of Your Own Place, Peter Wilson, Chief Exective of the Norwich Theatre Royal, Emily Groves, MD of Indigo Swan, Simon Coward, MD of Hethel Innovation Ltd, Rebecca Lewis Smith, MD of Fountain, and James Kilpatrich, who holds executive and non-exec roles in a series of private companies. Picture: Various

Some of the speakers at the Norwich Enterprise Festival. Clockwise from top left: Rebecca White, founder of Your Own Place, Peter Wilson, Chief Exective of the Norwich Theatre Royal, Emily Groves, MD of Indigo Swan, Simon Coward, MD of Hethel Innovation Ltd, Rebecca Lewis Smith, MD of Fountain, and James Kilpatrich, who holds executive and non-exec roles in a series of private companies. Picture: Various

Various

A new business festival will take place this month, aimed at strengthening the voice of the 8,000 micro businesses in Norfolk.

Business owners and their families are all invited to the festival, to bring those on the front-lines of start ups together.

The event will see micro businesses creating a business charter to be sent to Westminster, outlining the support the region’s business community needs at a higher level.

There will also be the opportunity for one of the businesses to walk away with £10,000, having stood before a Dragon’s Den style panel of Angel investors.

George Freeman, MP for mid Norfolk, is one of the organisers of the festival. He said: “This festival is about celebrating and promoting the small businesses in Norfolk, set up by the community, for the community. MPs and business leaders will be at the event but we will be listening to what the micro business owners are saying, instead of standing on a podium speaking to them.”

He added: “The festival format is very different to the usual business conference. It’s informal - for families, entrepreneurs in shorts and t-shirts. We’ll have people buying and tasting each other’s produce and sharing experiences.

“They’ll be discussing and launching a manifesto for what they need from government.”

Business owners who need advice on everything from start-up financing to international sourcing can also head to The Surgery, which will see experts from New Anglia’s Growth Hub have one-to-one meetings with individuals.

Mr Freeman added: “Norfolk’s micro businesses have been neglected by the big business organisations. We have over 8,000 micro businesses in Norfolk, only 2,000 are in networks. Others say they don’t have the money for expensive subscriptions, or the time to spend days at a boring conference. This is a festival, with a purpose. It’ll be huge fun, and it’s free.”

Entrepreneurs speaking at the event range in expertise from social enterprise to digital marketing.

The event will be held on September 22 at the Westacre Theatre in West Acre.

Tickets for the festival are free but limited, with registration available through the festival’s website: norfolkenterprisefestival.co.uk.

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