More than 50% of Leicester Business Festival (LBF) 2023 event slots have been applied for.
Organisers are aware many businesses leave it until late in the summer to apply but this year slots have been reserved earlier than ever so spaces are becoming more and more limited.
LBF takes place from 6-17 November 2023 and is a fundamental date in the business calendar. With up to 80 events set to fill the festival fortnight which will support and enhance business opportunities locally and shine the spotlight on the area as a place to invest nationally.
Helen Donnellan, Director of Research and Enterprise at De Montfort University and LBF partner, said: "We are pleased to see the incredible interest so far in the number of businesses submitting their event ideas. September will be when the application form close which means now really is the time to apply.
"Over the years, popular events have covered a wide range of topics including GDPR, mental health, business finance, property investment, recruitment, and skills development. The key really is that the event is current, interesting and people can take something away which will help them move forward.
"We always look forward to collaborating with local businesses during the festival and learning more from the expertise that is on offer."
Ultimately, LBF is run by and supported by businesses for businesses, with the hope of strengthening the local economy and generating inward investment. The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity (STWLC) is one of the organisations supporting this year.
The charity is based at Friar’s Mill in the heart of Leicester city centre and provides interest-free loans to the value of £20,000 to new and existing businesses in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to aid start-up or development.
After a successful pilot in 2021, last year STWLC received 234 applications totalling over £1 million in grant requests. They are currently welcoming applications for grants of up to £5,000 from businesses within the county.
To be eligible for the business grant, available up to £5,000, applicants must be over 18 and under 45 years of age, a resident in Leicestershire or Rutland and operating their business from within this area.
Lucy Womack, Chair of Trustees at Sir Thomas White Loan Charity (STWLC): "It is our second year of partnering with LBF. Last year we felt that the benefits were endless, and they extended beyond the festival fortnight. These included commercial insight and getting on the radar of a variety of people from those with ideas to those businesses growing.
"This year we are also taking the opportunity to put on an event about seeking advice and support when starting or developing a business. We are running an event as we want to reach out to even more people and support the region to be even better at business."
Events can take any shape from a small workshop or seminar to a tradeshow or conference. Hosting an event enables businesses to reach people who they may well have not considered or had the chance to meet.
Events can happen in business locations or at a pre-arranged venue. At previous festivals there’s been an impressive range of venues, from Winstanley House and MIRA Technology Park, to Twycross Zoo and Bosworth Hall Hotel, with countless events taking place across Leicester city centre, and the surrounding districts.
There are still also opportunities to partner with the festival; more information is available on the website. So far, the festival is being supported by De Montfort University (partner), Pattersons Commercial Law (partner), University of Leicester, Everards of Leicestershire, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, Leicester Hospitals Charity and TheMusicLicence, by PPL PRS Ltd (music partner).
Posted on Wednesday 16th August 2023