Please note this is the conference agenda for last years 2021 event. The conference agenda for 2022 will be updated here very soon.

9.15am

OLI BARRETT

Opening remarks by the event host.

HANNAH PREVETT

Co-host

Voted as one of GQ’s Most Connected Men, Oli is often referred to as the hardest-working man in networking and even earned an MBE for his business activities. A serial co-founder, Oli has helped to start numerous ventures, facing every challenge you have.

Commercial Business and Technology Editor at News UK and a regular feature writer for The Times, Sunday Times. Hannah is also the host for the The Times CEO Summit and Launch Editor of Elite Business.

COMMERCIAL BUSINESS GROWTH

9.30am

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: PIERS LINNEY

Although often referred to as an entrepreneur and a TV personality following his appearances as an investor on the prime-time BBC show ‘Dragons’ Den’ and the Channel 4 series, ‘The Secret Millionaire’, Piers also has an impressive professional background in law, investment banking and fund management.

10.00am

PANEL: Opportunity in adversity: the importance of mindset in a challenging climate

Marko Ilincic
Marko Ilincic, Group chairman of Vistage
Nick Dormon
Nick Dormon, MD of Echo
Joshua Wintersgill
Joshua Wintersgill. Founder of Able Move
Saasha Celestial-One
Saasha Celestial-One, Co-founder of OLIO

The last twelve months have been full of uncertainty, and the challenges to business aren’t over. But that doesn’t mean you need to put your growth plans on hold. Our panel discuss their experiences of growing a business during a downturn and seeing opportunities in unlikely places.

  • Managing mindset: the importance of optimism and drive
  • Growth strategies: steering your business in a difficult climate
  • Mitigating commercial risk
  • Sales and marketing: how to maximise impact of outreach

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

10.55am

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: MICHELLE OVENS CBE

Founder of Small Business Britain, championing the U.K.’s small businesses. She also works closely in advising both government and the private sector on small business policy and engagement, and is a regular presence in the national media. Michelle was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours 2021 for Services to Small Business and Entrepreneurs.

11.25am

PANEL: Hype vs Reality: discovering the real digital opportunities for businesses

Pete Oliver
Pete Oliver, Managing Director, SME at BT
Biplab Rakshi MBA, BEng
Biplab Rakshi, Founder, Atomic Acquisitions
Kim Antoniou
Kim Antoniou, Co-founder of Kafoodle and CEO and Founder of Auris Tech
Melissa Snover
Melissa Snover, Founder of Get Nourished

Digital transformation is no longer a differentiator – it’s a must-have for every business. But every digital journey is different, so how can you make sure you’re taking the right steps for your business objectives? Our panellists look at the vast landscape of digital transformation, exploring emerging technologies and must- have digital offerings.

  • Believe the hype: how new technology is really transforming business operations 

  • Acting with agility: how to adapt to customers’ evolving digital demands

  • Fad or failsafe: choosing the right digital transformation journey for you

TALENT AND REGULATIONS

12.05pm

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: SUNNY DHAMI

Senior Director, EMEA Product Marketing & GTM for RingCentral, the leader in cloud communication solutions and is responsible for driving and delivering the messaging strategy, GTM, and positioning across the EMEA business and strategic partners.

12.35pm

PANEL: Workforce expectations are changing: how to adapt to the new normal

Joanna Dai
Joanna Dai, founder and CEO of Dai
Rachel Carrell
Rachel Carrel, CEO and Founder Koru Kids
Matthew Phelan
Matthew Phelan, Co-founder of The Happiness Index

The last year has brought enormous upheaval to the UK’s workforce, with a permanent increase in flexible working and a rising focus on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Here, our panel look at how businesses are adjusting to this new climate, from the logistical challenges of managing remote work to the shifting expectations around employee welfare.

  • Wellbeing and mental health in the workplace: a new perspective

  • Managing communication:  engagement and productivity alongside flexible working

  • The generation gap: understanding what drives different age groups

  • Keeping talent: rewards and perks in the workplace

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

2.05pm

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: SYMMIE SWIL

Symmie Swil, Head of SME Banking, Starling Bank, Symmie is passionate about empowering small businesses and a diverse range of entrepreneurs to achieve their full potential with easier and fairer access to financial services.

2.35pm

PANEL: Reality check: getting money into your business when you need it

Richard Bearman
Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Start Up Loans
Gary Turner
Gary Turner, Co-founder of Xero
Catherine Young
Catherine Young, Founder of ThinkRoom
Lucy Mullins
Lucy Mullins, Co-founder of StepLadder

Whether your business is back in growth mode, or still weathering the economic storm, finding the right source of finance for your needs is crucial. But with so many options available, how can you make sure you’re making the right decisions for the long-term financial health of your business? In this session, our panel talk us through the options and the factors that influenced their decisions – and the challenge to businesses in the here and now.

  • Thinking creatively about finance

  • Decision making: making the right choice

  • Financial health: short-term solutions vs long-term goals

  • Bounce-back loans: what next?

OVERSEAS EXPANSION

3.30pm

Keynote speaker: CARL STEPHEN PATRICK HUNTER OBE

CEO and Managing Director of Coltraco, recently awarded the Queen’s Award for International Trade and an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019.

4.00pm

PANEL: Boots on the ground or eye in the sky?

Anna Morsa
Anna Morsa, Group Commercial Director Genuine Solutions Group
Kerstin Robinson
Kerstin Robinson, co-founder, Nix & Kix
Rashida Abdulai
Rashida Abdulai, Founder and CEO Strand Sahara
Natanel Bigger
Natanel Bigger, CEO of Monpure

Is it always necessary to have a physical presence in the region you’re expanding into? Our panellists unpick the old advice that a successful overseas expansion needs boots on the ground to work, and the opportunities now available to business to manage their international expansion differently.

  • Growing your business without a global workforce

  • Planning vs responding to opportunity

  • Pros and cons of expanding through third-party partnerships

  • Global trade and the digital economy

9.15am

OLI BARRETT

Opening remarks by the event host.

HANNAH PREVETT

Co-host.

Voted as one of GQ’s Most Connected Men, Oli is often referred to as the hardest-working man in networking and even earned an MBE for his business activities. A serial co-founder, Oli has helped to started numerous ventures, facing every challenge you have.

Commercial Business and Technology Editor at News UK and a regular feature writer for The Times, Sunday Times. Hannah is also the host for the The Times CEO Summit and Launch Editor of Elite Business.

COMMERCIAL BUSINESS GROWTH

9.30am

Keynote speaker: LARA MORGAN

A British entrepreneur who founded her first business, Pacific Direct, in 1991 at just 23, and has since maintained an impressive track record of delivering exceptional accelerated growth. Her investment strategy in wellbeing products primarily is pinned to improving life’s journey.

10.00am

PANEL: Planning and reacting: going for growth in a changing world

Abbie Morris
Abbie Morris, Co-founder and CEO, Compare Ethics
James Davidson
James Davidson, Co-founder of Tails.com
Jas Bagniewski
Jas Bagniewski, Founder of Eve Sleep
Eric Partaker
Eric Partaker, Co-founder of Chilango

It’s not an easy time to grow a business, but the opportunities are there for entrepreneurs who are ready to take them. Here, our panel share their stories of adaptation and resilience – from reacting to challenges to maintaining ambitious growth plans in adversity – and how it is possible to be a force for good in a tough climate.

  • All change: what to do when your commercial growth strategy hits a roadblock

  • Adapt to evolve: how changing course can be a big opportunity

  • Mindset and growth: how positive leadership is crucial to driving your business

  • Good growth: making a difference and a commercial success

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

10.55am

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: CHIEU CAO

Founder and CEO of Mintago, an employee financial wellbeing solution and co-founder of Perkbox, Europe’s fastest-growing employee experience platform to which he was responsible for building the Perkbox marketing, brand and culture from the beginning. He is also very involved in the entrepreneurial community through his investments, mentorships and non-exec board activities.

11.25am

PANEL: Exceeding customer demand: expectations vs innovation

Jay Richards
Jay Richards, Founder of Imagen
Gareth Owen
Gareth Owen, Co-founder of ROAST and MD of TIPI Group
Victoria Prew
Victoria Prew, CEO & Co-founder of Hurr
Jenni Young
Jenni Young, CMO of Tappit

The last year has proven that digital transformation is no longer a great differentiator: it’s a necessity. So how can businesses innovate to offer their customers something truly exciting? Our panel discuss the opportunities available, from customer-centric digital offerings to exciting transformative technologies.

  • Meeting customer demand: the first step in any digital journey

  • Online experience: building reviews, trust scores and online services into your digital strategy

  • Above and beyond: using digital to surprise and excite customers

  • Competitive edge: digital transformation that’s right for your business and your audience

TALENT AND REGULATIONS

12.05pm

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: CHARLIE MULLINS

A British businessman, and the founder of Pimlico Plumbers, London’s largest independent plumbing company.

12.35pm

PANEL: Talent, anywhere: broadening skill search horizons

Scott Mullins
Scott Mullins, Managing Director of Pimlico
Kate Cox
Kate Cox, Chief Marketing Officer at Moneypenny
Akshay Ruparelia
Akshay Ruparelia, Founder and Managing Director at Doorsteps.co.uk
Valerie Mann
Valerie Mann, Director of People at Elder
Noel McGonigle
Noel McGonigle, HR Director of Savills

Is it time to think differently about global talent? With the growth in work from home culture, an increasing number of corporates are expanding their global skills search and employing remote-working talent across the globe. Is it an option for SMEs, and what are the opportunities it brings to businesses?

  • The changing talent landscape: what it means for UK businesses

  • Finding the skills you need in a global, or pan-regional, setting

  • Managing remote teams: overcoming the challenges

  • Rewarding a diverse workforce: the importance of tailored perks

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

2.05pm

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: CIARAN O'DONNELL

Ciaran O’Donnell, Founder of VirtualFD and OwnYourNumbers. Ciaran started his business Virtual FD in 2010, on a mission to help new businesses who needed FD level advice, but weren’t ready for a full-time role.

2.35pm

PANEL: Putting a figure on it: the importance of forecasting

Jenny Knighting
Jenny Knighting, CEO and Founder of Nutcracker Agency
Paul Conway
Paul Conway, Business transformation at Bottomline
Phil Hobden
Phil Hobden, Head of Education at Capitalise
Deri Llewellyn-Davis
Deri Llewellyn-Davis, Founder of BGI Group

Financial forecasting is difficult at the best of times, but it’s even more of a challenge against the background of economic uncertainty. In this session, our panellists discuss the importance of forecasting, and how to balance realistic expectations and ambitious goals as you grow your business – as well as finding the funding to support your ambitions.

  • Flexible forecasting: financial planning for every eventuality

  • Finding funds: driving forecasts with the right finance

  • Right move, right time: making the right decisions for your business

OVERSEAS EXPANSION

3.30pm

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: ALLYSON STEWART-ALLEN

Chief Executive at International Marketing Partners LTD

4.00pm

PANEL: Spotlight on…Asia Pacific

Arne Mielken
Arne Mielken, Managing Director of Customs Manager Ltd
Anthony Goodwin
Anthony Goodwin, Founder and Chairman of Antal
Nohman Ahmed
Nohman Ahmed, Director and co-founder of Crep Protect
Chris Forbes
Chris Forbes, Co-founder of The Cheeky Panda

The region has been pushed as a significant trade opportunity for businesses post-Brexit, but how can British businesses grasp the opportunities and make the most of what the region has to offer? Here, our experts look at the governments trade deal and how it’s shaping our trade with the region.

  • Risk vs reward: Asian expansion in a challenging global climate

  • Demand for British business in Asia-Pacific: is it the right option for your offering?

  • Identifying barriers and how to overcome them

  • Understanding Asia-Pacific markets: cultural, linguistic and legislative

    challenges