Connect with us


High Profile Investors, Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders Back International Festival Business 2016



A group of leading innovators, investors and leaders from world-renowned brands have today given their support to the International Festival for Business 2016 (IFB2016).

This new cohort of Ambassadors for IFB2016, the largest business festival in the world, covers technology, venture capital investment and enterprise, reflecting Britain’s international appeal in these areas:

  • Eileen Burbidge, Partner, Passion Capital: Eileen is also Chair of TechCity UK and is HM Treasury’s special envoy on FinTech
  • Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners: Luke is also Chair of StartUp Britain and Co-Founder of the Centre for Entrepreneurs
  • Paul Lindley, Founder and Chairman, Ella’s Kitchen
  • Frank Meehan, Co-founder, SparkLabs: Frank is also Co-Founder and Chief Executive of SmartUp
  • John Mohin, Former Managing Director, Wedgewood
  • Keith Morgan, Chief Executive Officer, British Business Bank
  • Ciaran Quilty, SMB Director EMEA, Facebook
  • Sarah Wood, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Unruly: Sarah is also a visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge and in September 2015 sold Unruly to News Corp for £114 million

The latest group of Ambassadors comes from the forefront of the digital, creative, design, technology and venture capital sectors, highlighting Britain’s global standing in these industries and demonstrating the global growth opportunities that this offers British firms.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport found that the creative industries, at a value of £84.1bn, now account for just over 5 per cent of the UK economy, with a growth rate of 8.9 per cent, almost twice that of the UK average. The Tech Nation 2016 report released by Tech City UK also highlights the UK’s digital industries are growing 32 per cent faster than the rest of the economy.

Backed by HM Government, IFB2016 is the world’s biggest business festival and global marketplace where deals are done. Commencing on 13th June and running for three weeks, it will bring together thousands of global businesses, providing a platform for companies to connect and conduct international commerce.

The new Ambassadors join a first cohort announced in November 2015, representing the energy and environment, and manufacturing industries and featuring some of the UK’s best-known entrepreneurs and investors:

  • Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL, Founder, Cobra Beer
  • Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS, Vice Chancellor, University of Sheffield
  • Will Butler-Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Brompton Bicycle
  • Wayne Hemingway MBE,Co-Founder, Red or Dead and HemingwayDesign
  • Kelly Hoppen MBE, Interior Designer
  • Manish Madhvani, Co-Founder and Managing Partner,GP Bullhound
  • Juergen Maier, Chief Executive, Siemens UK
  • Ian Stuart, Co-Head of Europe, Commercial Banking, HSBC

The Ambassadors group represent the core three sectors that will be focused on at IFB2106; creative & digital, energy & environment, and manufacturing. The strength of these sectors has been reinforced this month through official recent figures.

Max Steinberg CBE, Chair of IFB2016, said: “The calibre of business leaders supporting the International Festival for Business 2016 is testament to the widely anticipated impact of what will undoubtedly be the greatest global business showcase of the year.

“Our Ambassadors have unrivaled business success records and will play a crucial role in championing the benefits of international commerce as well as ensuring the legacy and impact of the IFB2016.”

On being among the latest business figures to voice their support for IFB2016, Eileen Burbidge, Partner of Passion Capital, Chair of TechCity UK, HM Treasury’s special envoy on FinTech and Ambassador for IFB2016, said: “The UK’s digital industry is continuing to mature as investors are attracted to its diversity and standout sectors such as fintech. Now we need to broaden this success to feed the ecosystem and enable more cross-sector collaboration.”

Frank Meehan, Co-Founder of SmartUp and Ambassador for IFB2016, said: “The UK is an increasingly competitive destination for young talent and entrepreneurs. We need to capitalize on this reputation, and support these businesses to innovate and maintain the momentum. As we are already seeing in finance and education, the digital industry is going to truly transform our traditional sectors.”

HSBC and BT are the lead sponsors of IFB2016 – and the Festival’s commercial partners include ARUP, DLA Piper, DONG Energy, Heathrow, PwC, Siemens and Virgin Trains.


Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green



A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:

  • They arranged a carpool with their friends.
  • They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
  • They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
  • My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.

My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.

Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm

People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.

How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:

There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.

People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before

Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.

One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:

“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”

Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative

Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.

Cost and Simplicity

A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.

Green Weddings Are the Future

Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.

Continue Reading


Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?



Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.

Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.

Fulfilling a Genuine Need

Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.

Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.

After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.

Creating Opportunities

Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.

Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.

Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.

A Fundamental Foresight

Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.

However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.

They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.

Continue Reading