Leading British businesses and entrepreneurs back International Festival for Business 2014

Sir Bob Kerslake and Sir Terry Leahy among first ambassadors championing the global business programme

The first entrepreneurs and businesses to become ambassadors for the International Festival for Business (IFB) 2014 have been announced today.

Running in Liverpool from June to July 2014, the 50-day programme will provide a range of events, seminars and networking and investment opportunities for thousands of companies across the world with the goal of connecting UK businesses to new markets, products and partners in order to “promote economic growth”.

Key ambassadors announced for 2014 include head of Home Civil Service and secretary at the Department for Communities and local government Sir Bob Kerslake alongside former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy.

Many fast-growth businesses featured in the Accelerate 250 are championing the festival with Paul Lindley of Ella’s Kitchen, Henrietta Lovell of the Rare Tea Company and Julie Deane, founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company among those named as ambassadors.

UK business organisations including the British Chamber of Commerce, UKTI, UK Business Angels Association and the Confederation of British Industry are also supporting the event.

Said to be a “key date in the UK and international business calendar” the IFB will focus on key areas of commerce such as professional and financial services, manufacturing and science and technology.

75,000 delegates have already confirmed their attendance following the success of the Accelerate 2013 which was intended to “act as a springboard” for the 2014 event.

The first IFB ambassadors include:

  • John Allan, national chairman, Federation of Small Businesses
  • Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive, Manchester City Council
  • Lord Derby, owner Knowsley estate and Safari Park
  • Sir Bob Kerslake, head of Home Civil Service and Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and local government
  • Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO, Tesco
  • Phil Orford MBE, chief executive, Forum of Private Business
  • Russ Shaw, founder, Tech London Advocates

Max Steinberg CBE, chair of the International Festival for Business 2014, said:

“The [Festival] will be a fantastic opportunity to position Britain as a global business force. It will champion everything that is great about British industry and will enable business leaders to forge lasting international connections.

“With the backing of the UK government and such reputable business leaders, IFB is set to follow the legacy of the London Games to be the greatest global showcase of 2014.”


(will not be published)