Former Tesco CEO among ambassadors for International Festival for Business 2014

The International Festival for Business 2014 has launched its ambassador programme, which includes former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy, Sir Bob Kerslake, Phil Orford and Lord Derby.

Former Tesco CEO Terry Leahy is an ambassador for the International Festival for Business 2014
Former Tesco CEO Terry Leahy is an ambassador for the International Festival for Business 2014

The full list of IFB ambassadors includes 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 and Russ Shaw, Founder, Tech London Advocates.

Also joining the ambassadors are a group of founder CEOs of some of the UK’s fastest growing entrepreneurial businesses, including Paul Lindley, CEO, Ella’s Kitchen, the multi-award winning baby food brand; Henrietta Lovell, founder of the Rare Tea Company, which was named best online retailer at the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2009; and Julie Deane, founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company, an award-winning business that in just five years is turning over £12m and employing over 90 people.

They join leading business organisations in their support of the festival, including the British Chambers of Commerce, UKTI, the Confederation of British Industry and UK Business Angels Association.

Building on recent figures from the Office for National Statistics that showed Britain exported a record £78.4bn of goods between April and June, the IFB will play a crucial role in achieving the government’s ambition to promote economic growth, rebalance the economy and double UK exports by 2020.

Fifty events attracting 75,000 delegates have already been confirmed for next year’s festival and, with ten months left to go, there is expected to be more than a 100 world-class events running back-to-back in June and July 2014.  

IFB 2014 will be a global showcase for great British industries and sectors and will connect UK businesses to new markets, new products and new partners. It will be a key date in the UK and international business calendar and will be an opportunity for those businesses accelerating in their sector to show what they are doing to boost economic growth.

The festival will focus on key areas of commerce that are transforming the business landscape of Britain and beyond, including: manufacturing, science and technology; maritime, logistics and energy; knowledge, professional and financial services; higher and further education and research; low carbon and renewables; cities, enterprise and urban business; knowledge, creative and digital.

Max Steinberg CBE, chair of IFB 2014, said: "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."

John Allan, national chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: "It’s vital that Britain’s small businesses receive the encouragement they need to start operating internationally. Next year’s International Festival for Business will play an important role in selling Great Britain and its businesses to the world."

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