The West Midlands Growth Hubs have joined forces with the online platform Findit, the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Department for International Trade to hold its first event of the year called Business After Brexit: A New Chapter for the West Midlands on Tuesday, March 16 from 11am-12.30pm.
Former BBC2 Dragon’s Den panelist Jenny Campbell, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and top 40 business leader and former CEO of Porsche, BMW and Lamborghini, Kevin Gaskell, are among the keynote speakers who will talk about the challenges faced by the region’s SMEs in a post-Brexit and Covid-19 economy and discuss how to adapt and plan for a brighter 2021.
Before he was elected as West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street was managing director of retailer John Lewis and had high-profile economic development roles, working with local and national government.
Kevin Gaskell is a renowned business turnaround expert, serial entrepreneur and world-class team builder as well as a polar explorer and world record holding Atlantic rower.
Daniel Szor, founder and CEO of The Cotswolds Distillery Company Ltd in Shipston-on-Stour, will also be speaking about importing glass and botanicals from the EU and exporting its gin and whisky as well as how he prepared for the new EU rules.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who chairs the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), said: “Now we have the deal with the European Union that the West Midlands so desperately needed, it is important that businesses make the most of it.
“Whilst there remains plenty of challenges for businesses in the post-Brexit world, there are also plenty of opportunities that must be seized with both hands. That is why the West Midlands Combined Authority is so keen to support this event, and I am pleased to have been asked along as one of the guest speakers.”
Craig Humphrey, managing director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, said this virtual event was designed to open new markets and opportunities for SMEs in the West Midlands and discuss how to adapt and plan for the future.
He said: “Brexit poses some challenges to SMEs, but there is a great opportunity for the region’s businesses to take advantage of the changes as we prepare for a new relationship with trading partners.
“The end of the transition period has brought the reality of Brexit into sharp focus for any business moving goods to and from the EU. However, West Midlands firms are increasingly optimistic and are getting used to the new rules.
“SMEs have an opportunity to make the most of this new era and plan for their future and we hope the speakers we have lined up will provide them with the impetus to put their ideas into action and boost the regional economy.”
A series of EU exit support workshops have also been organised and more information is available at https://www.wmgrowthhubs-eusupport.co.uk/events
West Midlands Growth Hubs have joined forces to establish a single point of information about the free help available from the hubs and other local business organisations at www.wmgrowthhubs-eusupport.co.uk for companies to access tailored support and advice following the UK’s exit from the EU.
Pictured above: Kevin Gaskell