Businesses succeed internationally

Written by Theresa Griffin, British MEP, member of the Committee for Industry, research and Energy

Theresa Griffin is British MEP, member of the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy at the European parliament

Theresa Griffin is British MEP, member of the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy at the European parliament

In 2014, Liverpool, a dynamic city in the region that I represent, played host to the first International Festival for Business (IFB).  Over 50 days 70,000 people from 92 countries attended 415 business events . £300m worth of investment and export sales and 10,000 jobs were estimated to be generated over 3 years as a result of IFB 2014.

The creation of a second IFB is now underway, again in Liverpool, and there’s a wealth of opportunity, learning, connections and investments opening to European delegates with a focus on manufacturing, creative and digital, and energy and environment. These are all areas that I focus on as a Member of the European Parliament, so I am delighted that they will be the centre-points of the next conference.

I believe that there are four key factors for a new business to succeed: peer support and networks, seed funding, relevant and flexible investment and good mentoring. We need to make sure that access to these key strands of support is open to everyone considering starting a business or seeking to grow their business. From tech innovators to fashion designers – IFB 2016 is aiming to provide this international support available for all.

But it is not just new businesses and SMEs that the International Festival supports – last year, the organisers of IFB 2014, generated unprecedented results to businesses right across the world – and the Festival was heralded as a triumph by industry, sponsors, commentators and the primary funders themselves, the British government.

It has now been announced that Horasis, the global visions community organisation based in Switzerland, will open the event in 2016. Delegates will be able to attend a series of events and seminars that should kindle dialogue about how the world’s pioneers can create a sustainable future.

Debates will include driving the new wave of globalisation; re-thinking the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China; towards a more competitive Europe; the future of technology; the future of health; the future of geopolitics, the future of thought and advancing the new high-performance corporation.

In addition, having learned lessons from IFB 2014 the format has been changed and so that rather than 50 days, the event will take place over three weeks and will concentrate on the three sectors mentioned above. Also, running in parallel will be four themes: science and innovation; professional services; infrastructure and logistics and international business skills.

The Festival Director, Ian McCarthy, tells me that delegates, international buyers, investors, event organisers and service providers should be able to gain valuable competitive advantage by attending the events.

It is an international business event and support with booking recommended hotels and local services will also be available to delegates as well as access to an online community of support to enable businesses to grow and to do new deals. This can be accessed (free of charge) via, where the latest news about the festival is also regularly updated.

Talent, and talent at business, will be stifled in an unequal society. We need to break down barriers and create a fair society and equal opportunities for all.

IFB 2016 will be a valuable opportunity for businesses, leaders and professionals from across Europe and beyond to get together and help support a growing economy. It will also showcase the wonderful city of Liverpool internationally.

About the author

In May 2014, Theresa Griffin was elected to the European Parliament, as the top Labour Party candidate in her region, to represent the North West of England.

Theresa is a member of two Committees in the European Parliament. She is a full member and Labour Party Spokesperson for Industry, Research and Energy and a substitute member on the Transport and Tourism committee. 

Theresa has been an active campaigner at national and European levels for over 20 years. As a Liverpool City Councillor in the 1990s, she was lead member for Economic Development and Europe and was instrumental in bringing Objective One status and billions of pounds of investment to the Liverpool city region.






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