The Leicester Business Festival (LBF) will return between 23rd October and 3rd November 2017 and, for a further 2 years, structured under a new community interest company and with thanks to the generous support of the festival’s headline partner’ Leicester Castle Business School.
Leicester and Leicestershire is the East Midland’s largest economy and in 2014, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership reported Gross Value Added of 3.9%, growing the economy to £19bn by 2015; a growth rate which outstretched that of London. With the economy predicted to grow to £23bn by 2020, Leicester Business Festival continues to play a critical role in the landscape Leicester and Leicestershire’s economic success.
LBF feeds this success by offering a unique combination of events that drive the strength, diversity, innovation and forward thinking culture of Leicester and Leicestershire’s business community forwards – it has become the platform to place the region at the centre of the UK’s business agenda.
Offering an extensive and wide-ranging programme of more than 120+ impressive events each year over a two-week period, LBF is currently the region’s largest business event. In 2016, 24% of the c.12,500 visitors were from outside Leicester and Leicestershire demonstrating the extent to which the festival is reaching far beyond the boundaries of the region and securing interest and investment from elsewhere in the UK and abroad. By business and for business, these events are hosted by the dynamic leaders of the business community and are programmed to showcase the developments and innovation coming out of the region.
Founded in 2014 by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), the festival’s core objective is to place the region’s activities on a national and international platform in order to attract inward investment that will facilitate economic growth. The vision of the LLEP was to bring individual local businesses together to facilitate collective growth.
LBF is the antithesis of a ‘top down’ organisation. The entire festival is developed by business, for business allowing partners and supporters to take the lead in organising events and collectively setting the agenda and programme each year alongside the supportive framework of the LBF infrastructure and delivery team. LBF truly is the demonstration of Leicester and Leicestershire’s business community as it is today; dynamic, diverse and driven towards economic prosperity. This ownership of the programme has played a critical role in the festival’s success to this point and with the support of likeminded partners and sponsors we are delighted to be able to continue to showcase Leicester and Leicestershire’s rising success, locally, nationally and internationally for the foreseeable future.
The inaugural LBF was hosted in 2015 with an aim to host just 20 events and achieve local community buy-in in to the concept. It succeeded in hosting 80 events, following more than 140 applications and attracted more than 7,500 visitors. With a market reach of around 12.7Million, LBF 2016 grew to 117 events with c.12,500 visitors and over 97% of attendees questioned said that their business benefitted as a direct result of attending LBF. Forged private and public sector partnerships and contributions from companies such as Horiba MIRA Technology Park, PWC and Brewin Dolphin, along with access to events such as TedX talks and ‘Gateway to India’, emphasise the fruits to be harvested by companies both large and small from involvement in LBF’s vision. Organisations with a national and international reach, such as Norton Motorcycles and Make it British outline the far reaching scope of the festival whilst of equal value, LBF is always mindful that 67% of Leicester and Leicestershire’s businesses are SMEs; the programme consequentially also saw events hosted by local media and marketing companies, the LOROS charity hospice, Exchange Bar, Be Happy Yoga Project and Big Difference Company to name but a few.