Each Conference will have different speakers and will be added throughout the year. Here's a taster of some in no order...
Kate Hardcastle is regarded as one of the UK’s leading Commercial & Marketing experts. She is a keynote speaker at many industry events and has worked extensively across the UK and Internationally, including Australia, Dubai, China and USA.
Quite simply, Kate is a one-woman business phenomenon, regularly sharing her expertise on SKY, ITV and BBC TV and radio - winning over 20 national business awards in the process. We are pround to bring her back to her home town for KBC '12.
Kate has a proven track record in helping businesses to achieve their potential and engage with their customers. Her message is simple: You need to be switched on to your customers' needs through the 5 key areas of a business – the vision, the commercials, the brand, the people and the proposition.
Gareth Davies co-founded FrogTrade Ltd in 1999 when he developed Frog from a spare bedroom in his house. He self-funded FrogTrade Ltd by re-mortgaging his house; the company has grown from 2 to 90 employees since then and is now worth more than £10 million.
Gareth is an inspirational and visionary leader and his belief that the successful use of technology is about people, has guided the development of the UK’s market leading learning platform used in over 600 UK schools, 40 schools internationally and 10,000 schools in Malaysia.
Frog has transformed education around the world for over 12 years. They are one of the only learning platform providers in the world to invest heavily in new technology. In 2012 Frog released upgraded software designed specifically for tablets. This technology is now connecting 6 million users across 10,000 schools in Malayisa in partnership with organisations like Google, Microsoft, Stanford University and the Khan academy. This is just the start of the next leg of Frog’s incredible journey.
Gareth Davies is a modern day 'no bull' business leader. Outspoken and opinionated, he speaks about the remarkable Frog story from where he started, the success, mistakes and barriers that he came up against making Frog a market leading multi-million pound international business.
Mike founded Stores Direct from the back of his old Vauxhall Corsa. Now, Stores Direct, headquartered in Huddersfield is one of the UK's largest online retailers of heating, sanitary ware, indoor & outdoor furniture and associated products.
Such has been Mike's success that Stores Direct were ranked no. 45 in the annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100.
The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 is a business league table which ranks Britain's one hundred private companies with the fastest growing sales over the last three years. Other winners of this award include Carphone Warehouse, ARM, Ella's Kitchen and Innocent.
Mike's journey and his insights into business are remarkable. Learn how selling out of the back a battered Vauxhall Corsa eventually led to meeting Sir Richard Branson.
Nikki Hesford is a 26 year old Award-Winning entrepreneur, single mum and ex-glamour model now owning the Miss Fit group of brands that include clothing, lingerie and swimwear for big busted women. From starting her business in early 2008 the company has flourished to include several brands that are supplied to the high street as well as white-label manufacturing of fashions for large chains and Nikki will be opening a small 'British Made' factory in Kirkham in the Summer of 2012 with a capacity of around 1000 pieces per week, and taking a dozen people off long term unemployment benefits.
Her journey into business has been a turbulent one, growing up in a deprived area of Rochdale, moving out of home at 16 and having a child at 17 she embarked on many small ventures to put herself through university before launching Miss Fit UK in early 2008 when aged just 21. Many hurdles would ensue, her first manufacturer would be imprisoned for fraud after being paid £8,000 and without the support of the banks she would found her business on personal credit cards and loans, which has led to the company it is today.
Now a sought after Speaker and Start-up Mentor, she has gone on to have numerous business successes to include Lancaster Playschemes (an OFSTED childcare establishment that was set up and sold within 6 months) and The Big Bra.com (a new online shop selling 'Everything the Big Busted Woman Could Need'). All of her businesses have been a financial success and she continues to share her experiences, tips and advice on various speaking platforms and through her forthcoming business book due to be published in December 2012.
Kirsty Henshaw delivered one of the best pitches ever seen on Dragons’ Den when she appeared on the Den with her passion, commitment and gritty determination to succeed. Kirsty became one of the youngest entrepreneurs to receive investment on the show when she secured a £65,000 investment from Dragons, Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne in return for a 30% stake in her healthy frozen dessert business - Worthenshaws.
The range of dairy-free, nut-free and sugar-free frozen puddings has now been rebranded to Worthenshaws 'Freedom' and launched across the UK in all major supermarkets in September 2010. The rebranding will enable Kirsty to plan other healthy products to complement the dessert range. Peter Jones has staked his reputation on Kirsty going on to sell millions of her desserts each year. This looks highly probable because Kirsty's product is innovative and offers a solution to a clear niche in the food market.
Kirsty was inspired to create her range of frozen products by her 4 year old son Jacob who has a serious nut allergy and is intolerant to dairy and gluten. She began experimenting with a little ice cream maker from Argos in her tiny kitchen at home and convinced she had a recipe that children and adults would enjoy as a healthy alternative to ice cream she approached a local ice cream manufacturer to produce the products in larger quantities.
Kirsty’s knowledge of the health food industry comes from her parents who run a health food shop. Growing up in such an environment helped her devise her own strategy and gave her the confidence, drive and passion for hard work that is so important for any entrepreneur. In addition, Kirsty did performing arts at school and amateur dramatics although she maintains these skills could not prepare her for the ‘surreal’ experience of appearing on Dragon’s Den. An inspirational, confident and ‘can-do’ young woman, Kirsty talks about her entrepreneurial journey so far.
She emphasises the importance of building great relationships with the people around you and knowing your business model inside-out. Kirsty is currently focused on building the Worthenshaws Freedom brand and consolidating her position as one of the most inspirational young businesswomen in the country.
Mark Ridgway OBE
Mark Ridgway is Managing Director of Group Rhodes, a Wakefield based group of six engineering companies serving the aerospace, metal-forming, precision engineering, environmental, heavy ceramics and oil and gas markets.
The Group is one of the UK’s leading specialist equipment manufacturers. In 2010 the Company won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for the development of Superplastic Forming and Diffusion Bonding machinery and became Yorkshire Exporter of the Year 2011.
Mark has a long-standing commitment to UK manufacturing. He is a Council member of the Metalforming Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (MMMA), and currently holds the position of Vice President and Chair of the External Affairs Committee of the Manufacturing Technologies Association, representing the MTA’s activities in political and economic arenas.
Mark also sits on UKTI’s Advanced Engineering Sector Advisory Board, which covers the UK aerospace, automotive and engineering sectors. In 2008 and 2011 Mark Chaired UKTI’s India Initiatives, focused on developing trading links between the two countries, and in 2010, as Interim Chair of the Board, Mark managed a similar exercise focused on the Chinese market.
Mark represents manufacturing businesses the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). He served as a Director of first, the Wakefield District Development Agency from 2004 to 2011. He now Chairs the Wakefield Enterprise Partnership.
Currently he is the UK’s Advanced Engineering Sector Champion for the London 2012 Olympics, his role being to encourage business engagement within this sector and to develop a business legacy. Mark himself ran internationally as a student and held several Yorkshire distance titles.
Mark was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2011 for Services to Industry. He holds an MSc in Manufacturing Leadership from Leeds University Business School. In 2010 Mark was proud to be appointed a 'Yorkshire Patron'.
Mark is a Panel Member at the Wakefield Enterprise Partnership Board Q&A Summit, taking place at Wakefield Business Conference: http://wakefieldbusinessconference.co.uk/seminar-wakefield-wep.php
Prof. Mark Cleary
Vice-Chancellor - The University of Bradford
Professor Mark Cleary took up office as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford in June 2007. He took his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Jesus College, Cambridge, in Geography. From 1980-1989 he was a Lecturer at Exeter University before taking up a post at the University of Brunei Darussalam and subsequently lecturing at the University of Waikato, New Zealand (1992-1994), he joined the University of Plymouth in 1994. He became Professor of Human Geography in 1999.
His main research interests are in human geography and development studies and he has worked on issues of environmental change and regulation (rainforest management; indigenous land rights; marine management) in South-East Asia generally and in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam in particular. He has published six books and over 100 academic papers.
Professor Cleary is a Trustee of the National Media Museum. He is a member of the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission, a Board member of the Equality Challenge Unite and chairs the Higher Education Race Forum. He is also a member of the HEFCE Leadership, Governance and Management Committee.
Professor Cleary will feature on a Q&A Panel at Bradford Business Conference with leading Bradford companies, including Pace, Sovereign Healthcare and Bombay Stores.
Director of Executive Education and Associate Dean Employer Engagement
Bradford University School of Management
Julian spent 16 years with tour operator, Eurocamp, principally heading up the sales and marketing function as Group Sales and Marketing Director and was one of four directors to take the company through a £32m management buy out and £60m stock market flotation. In 1994 he was asked to set up the marketing for Britain's biggest museum development, the £42.5m Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. This he did, leaving in 1997 to set up a consultancy business specialising in marketing and strategy for service industry companies as well as developing a substantial post-graduate and executive education teaching portfolio.
Julian was appointed Director of Executive Education in April 2007 and is responsible for developing leadership and management programmes, nationally and internationally. Locally, his clients include Morrisons, Pace & the Skipton and Bradford Teaching Hospitals.
Julian graduated in Geography from the University of Leicester and has an MSc in Tourism Management from Manchester Metropolitan University. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Marketer. He has been a main board executive director of Eurocamp plc (now known as Holidaybreak) and a main board non executive director of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) and AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators).
Julian will be hosting a Business Clinic at Bradford Business Conference.
Ian Taylor is Managing Director and owner of Media Displays Ltd.
Ian left school at 16 to join the Royal Air Force. After serving 5 years he embarked on a career in Sales and Marketing. With a passion for sales and marketing, Ian worked his way in to a senior executive role as Vice President of Convergys Corporation, working internationally. In 2002, Ian joined a business process outsourcing company as Managing Director, with a team of 30. He subsequently led a business expansion programme, where within two years he created 620 new jobs and generated profits of £3.2 million per annum. In 2004, Ian embarked on a new venture, starting a media company from his base at Wakefield, designing, building and deploying mobile digital out of high vehicles.
In 2010 he was approached by the BBC and asked if he would like to apply for Dragon’s Den, from 4800 applicants Ian became one of 120 successful Entrepreneurs, who entered the Den. In May the filming commenced and 2 hours 5 minutes later, he walked away with an “offer” from James Caan, not realising just how much this would change his life and business. In September 2010 the BBC broadcast the programme and the rest is history.
"I went in to the Den with my eyes wide open, realising that this was going to be one of the toughest fights of my life and I’ve had some tough times, but grit, determination and pure 'Yorkshire' straight talking 'honesty' made a tremendous difference".
In May 2011, Ian was appointed to the Board of the Wakefield Enterprise Partnership.
Ian is a Panel Member at the Wakefield Enterprise Partnership Board Q&A Summit, taking place at Wakefield Business Conference: http://wakefieldbusinessconference.co.uk/seminar-wakefield-wep.php
Joanne Roney OBE
Joanne Roney OBE is Chief Executive of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. She took up her post in July 2008. Wakefield is one of the five metropolitan districts in West Yorkshire and the Council was rated as four star ‘excellent’ by the Audit Commission in 2009.
She is a member of Wakefield Together, the local services board and Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership. A passionate advocate for the importance of skills for local and regional economic development she is the lead Chief Executive in the Leeds City Region’s Employment and Skills Board.
During her time at Wakefield, Joanne has made progress with the regeneration of the district despite the economic recession and saved £30m over 3 years from Council through major service changes and efficiencies. However, the Council still faces further significant financial challenges in the years ahead.
Prior to joining Wakefield Joanne was Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Community Care at Sheffield City Council (1999 – 2008) and was Director of Housing at Kirklees MBC. Joanne grew up in Birmingham where she started a career in local government in Birmingham City Council working her way from commencing work as an apprentice.
Joanne holds an MBA from the University of Birmingham, and is a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Housing, as well as a member of Regional Council for the Princes Trust.
In 2009 Joanne Roney was awarded an OBE for her services to local government.
Joanne is a Panel Member at the Wakefield Enterprise Partnership Board Q&A Summit, taking place at Wakefield Business Conference: http://wakefieldbusinessconference.co.uk/seminar-wakefield-wep.php
Cllr Peter Box CBE
Leader of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
Councillor Box became Leader of Wakefield Council in August 1998, having been elected in 1982. He has led the transformation of Wakefield MDC into a modern and efficient authority. The Council is now a 4 star “Excellent” authority and in 2006 was voted Britain’s “Best Small City for Business”. In 2010 Peter was awarded a CBE for Services to Local Government.
Councillor Box’s political career has also seen him Chair the Employment & Economic Development Committee from 1987–1990. In 2005 Peter retired from a professional career as a Probate and Trust lawyer.
Peter was Chair of the Regional Assembly for Yorkshire and the Humber from 2002-until its abolition in 2009 and Chair of the English Regions Network from 2008-2009. He is a former member of the Government’s Northern way Steering Group. He is a Chair of the Local Government Association’s Economic and Transport Board and of the Leeds City Region Leaders’ Board. He sits on the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and also serves on the Young Person’s Learning Agency.
Having been raised in Castleford Peter is an especially strong and keen supporter of two of its key cultural symbols: Castleford Tigers rugby league football team and Henry Moore. Peter’s passion for the district’s cultural offer has seen him champion and lead the development of The Hepworth, dedicated to Wakefield’s other international giant of modern sculpture: Barbara Hepworth. He is also a Trustee for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the National Coal Mining Museum, two of the District’s most iconic attractions.
Cllr Box is a Panel Member at the Wakefield Enterprise Partnership Board Q&A Summit, taking place at Wakefield Business Conference: http://wakefieldbusinessconference.co.uk/seminar-wakefield-wep.php
Sarah Dunwell is co-founder and the Chief Executive of The CREATE Foundation.
Create is an award winning Social Enterprise. As a not-for-profit company they are committed to developing innovative training and employment opportunities for people who have been homeless, marginalised or vulnerable. Working in Leeds, Doncaster, Sunderland and Manchester, Create staff and volunteers are motivated and driven to rebuild their lives: wanting a hand up, not a hand out. Running businesses as diverse as outside catering, cafés and retail Create offers people a real commercial workplace to develop their skills, getting a foot back on the ladder of making a meaningful contribution to society.
Responsible for driving the business to deliver on its commercial and social impacts, Sarah is a well balanced entrepreneur. General management skills were developed early in her career in the tough retail and customer service companies at senior management level.
Sarah has spent the last decade running highly successful small business units in catering and food retail. A recent winner of the Forward Ladies’ Yorkshire Businesswoman of the Year and an alumni of the Goldman Sachs’ Business Growth Development Programme, Sarah now applies her skills to ensuring that CREATE delivers on its vision.
Together with wife Janet, Dean set up greetings card retailer Card Factory in 1997 and built a business empire consisting of over 500 shops nationwide – an achievement that saw him named Ernst & Young North and Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year in June 2009.
Dean became Chairman of Huddersfield Town in June 2009, having joined the Board of Directors as Chairman-elect in April 2008. In March 2010 Dean became sole owner of Huddersfield Town and on 8th April 2010, Card Factory was sold to private equity group Charterhouse.
Dean will offer delegates a forthright insight into how starting selling greetings cards from the back of an old van lead to the mind-boggling sale of Card Factory and then owning the football club he has supported man and boy.
Dean is a true entrepreneur, an icon of enterprise and a real entrepreneur's champion who started his business with very little and grafted his way to achieve astonishing success.
A Q&A format will allow for a more interactive seminar and allow Dean to share the secrets of his success in a two way format.
Claire O'Connor is the creator and Managing Director of Halifax based babyballet Limited.
Claire’s dedication and drive throughout launching and developing her multi-award winning company whilst raising a young family has been exemplary.
Spotting a gap in the dance-industry market, Claire has turned her dream to build a platform to provide fun and non-competitive dance classes for pre-school children into a international franchise business and leading UK children’s brand.
Claire launched the company in September 2005 and was clearly onto something as there are currently 35 franchisees now operating across the UK delivering 721 classes per week, teaching an astounding 6,290 children! babyballet Halifax itself teaches over 800 children every week.
Her first class was at a local pub with a play area and was full within weeks.... From here, Claire did some research, remortgaged the house, sold the car and babyballet was born!
Nick Hill is Mr Presenter, THE person businesses turn to when they want significant performance improvements in the ability to influence employees, prospects and customers towards business outcomes. For many years, Nick has worked with people from companies like O2, VION, DLA Piper, HSBC, Allen and Overy and many small business owners to help them improve their personal confidence, presentation style and sales effectiveness through the use of a set of unique tools that guarantee 'immediate performance improvement' for those who choose to use them.
These skills have taken him all across the world working with people in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Columbia, Malaysia and UAE. 2012 will see more of the same as already he is booked to go out to Las Vegas, Dubai, Qatar and Canada to deliver some of his now 'famous' courses that were first delivered here in West Yorkshire. Not bad for a lad from Batley, eh?
For the most part of his career Nick worked in London in the fast paced world of IT recruitment sales as a consultant and sales manager before a position with National Employment Panel Ltd (NEPL) focusing on testing labour market policies in the UK brought him back to Batley, in 2006.
It was with NEPL that Nick trained to become a Certified Traner in 'advanced communication skills' training & behavioural improvement processes and techniques using NLP (neuro linguistic programming). These fascinating and 'highly advantageous' skills prompted him to look at how these skills could be enjoyed by business people to accelerate their personal growth and Mr Presenter was born. The rest, they say, is history.
In his spare time Nick is a keen musician and writer. By the time he takes to the stage in April he'll be a Dad (for the first time) so if he looks tired, its not the jet lag that's caused it........
LL BUSINESS IS SHOW BUSINESS (well - it is in 2012 if you want to survive)!!!
If you aren't aware of her, Nicky is probably not what you expect. The accent certainly isn't queens English – and she has ...well – "a way with her". Her story reads like a blockbusting film – and she reckons there is no doubt there is a destiny to how she landed in the place she's in – and that her purpose in life is exactly what she's doing.
She will describe herself as "The UKs number 1 sales assistant – ranked in the world"….she jokes – but you know what – she probably is.
She laughs and says if she'd been given a quid for everytime someone asks "how do you do that???" – she could liberate every supermarket trolley in England!!!
Some of the 'sales transformations' she has undertaken in the past 2 years have been seen as nothing short of a miracle in many guises. From airport lounges to kitchen pans, walking gear and legal services to dental insurance.
SELL??? – To triple sales literally overnight is not unusual in Nickyworld.
"The world got stuck on the phrase 'customer service' - that's not the same as SELLING in the first place ....part of the reason we are in the **** we're in is because nobody ever SELLS anything to anyone anymore - in show business every nuance is considered , the music, the costume, the magic words - the character is understood. We have a lot to learn from those components."
Nicky has effectively rewritten the books on 'introducing' new money and new people into companies... and without ever once dropping her unmistakeable Yorkshire accent; she now flies between here and the US to work with both lone business owners and the largest conglomerate.
*** PLEASE NOTE - NICKY OCCASIONALLY USES STRONG AND EMOTIVE LANGUAGE - STAY AWAY IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 OR EASILY OFFENDED ***
MD 4Networking: Author, Speaker, Genius
6 years ago Brad delivered pizzas to keep his start-up business afloat – now he delivers hilarious, inspiring, laugh out loud talks on life, business and motivation.
Never one to toe the conventional line, Brad used the motivation of £25,000 of personal debt and many people telling him “it'll never work” to build the world's fastest growing business breakfast network – now a multi-million pound international business.
Please don't underestimate Brad. The jeans, tshirt and Manc accent conceal an energy and incredible ability to make things happen that is truly infectious and will hugely inspire you.
BOXROOM TO BOARDROOM - How to go from £25k in debt to multimillion £ business.
TO SELL MORE, SELL LESS - The way to create the conditions where people buy.
THERE IS NO CAVALRY - How success is down to you and what you do.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON - Even the shitty* stuff, as you will hear.
Sometimes you have to ignore the so called experts and swim against the tide of the establishment. Sometimes you have to risk it all to make it right. As MD of over 300 linked business breakfast groups, 4Networking, Brad did both. In political terms, so that a layman can get their head around it, 4Networking is the mainstream of business networking – they've stripped away the bullshit from it.
You'll never be the market leader copying the market leader… so it's a network that is different, not for the sake of it, but because different works. 4N IS the fastest growing business breakfast network in the world.
“You can't call a business book Get Off Your Arse!” Brad did, and it's the highest rated business book on Amazon, selling over 10,000 copies.