UpRisers have their say at British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference

UpRisers have their say at British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference

March 6, 2015




Earlier this month two UpRisers Katrina Patel and Sarah Gbeleyi, from the current Manchester Core Programme attended the 2015 British Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Conference with guests that included Senior Cabinet Ministers and Opposition Spokespeople including Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chuka Umunna, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

A big, huge thanks to Louise Timperley, Head Skills and Employment and team at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce for inviting the Manchester UpRising to attend this fantastic event.

Here’s what went down, according to Katrina (pictured taking to the podium below), includes Prime Ministers, visions for the future, top business leaders and a killer pudding.

Victoria Turnbull, Greater Manchester Programme Manager.

On the 10th February, Sarah Gbeleyi and I caught the 5:55am train from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston (yes, I got a large latte from Starbucks) for the British Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference, which was focused on the ‘Business Plan for Britain’ inviting politicians, and business leaders from around the world to discuss and debate the future of Britain’s business community.

Throughout the day there were talks from the Prime Minister, David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, Labour MP, Ed Balls and words from Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne! They each discussed the governing parties’ plans for investment in business in the run up to this year’s election; each party promised huge injections toward business start-ups (which is great news for all those budding entrepreneurs!)

Fuelled by coffee and great biscuits, the day also staged numerous debates and panel discussions with business figures and politicians including Margaret Mountford, Hotel Chocolat’s Angus Thirwell, Mind Gym’s Octivius Black, and Danny Longbottom from BT Business voicing their thoughts on future plans for businesses. There was much discussion around apprenticeships and business training for the youth generation, which Sarah and I were all for! I have to credit Sarah for volunteering a question (very clearly I must add) in front of hundreds of industry experts!

During lunch (I must recommend to anyone that visits the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre  that the dark chocolate orange dessert is to die for), we had the opportunity to network with other youth groups and business owners, including Q, an UpRising alumni from the London cohort, who outlined his UpRising experience to Sarah and I. We’re in conversation of getting him up North for a Q&A!

Overall, it was a really interesting day, and a great opportunity to hear, first hand, the plans for business in Britain, which has turned focus to our very own Manchester! If any of you are interested, have a read into the ‘Northern Power House’, which was a technology-based collaboration with start-ups and the government. Hearing from different leaders and political figures was definitely inspirational, and also interesting to hear the different journeys that people take.

Reflecting on my trip to the British Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference, it has changed my direction for my UpRising social action campaign; following the discussions and announced investment in the future generations and skill enhancement, I would like to lead a social action campaign around youth employment and potential work for the upcoming generations in the Greater Manchester community.