With just under a month to go we are proud to introduce some of our fantastic line-up of speakers for our ‘Business Support – What Works?’ conference on Friday 24th November 2017.

Check out their wide range of experiences and expertise below then click on the link to register for your place!

Mark Pawsey MP, Keynote Speaker

A Member of Parliament since 2005, Mark is passionate about his hometown of Rugby; playing a key role in the town’s preparations for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and helping to promote the town as a tourist destination.

A successful business owner himself, until 2008, Mark understands the challenges that SME’s face.

In 2017 he was elected to the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee and has also been a member of the All Party Groups on Manufacturing, Micro-Businesses, Packaging and Small Business. He also recently founded the All Party Parliamentary Group for District Councils.

Dr Jonathan Bone, Quantitative Researcher, Nesta

Jonathan’s research at Nesta focuses on two key areas: 1) understanding how entrepreneurship can be supported across Europe and 2) accessing the alternative finance market and how crowdfunding can be used as an innovative way of financing products and services. Jonathan has recently lead a research project exploring the landscape of business incubators and accelerators in the UK. Before joining Nesta, Jonathan completed a PhD in Evolutionary Biology at University College London, investigating the evolution of cooperation and punishment in humans.

Lee Currier, Entrepreneur Development Manager Birmingham,

NatWest Entrepreneurship Strategy Team

Lee is passionate about reconnecting NatWest with its customers and communities.  In Birmingham, Lee leads NatWest’s partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark, and bases himself with entrepreneurs and NatWest staff alike at the St Philips Place entrepreneurial hub.  With over ten years’ experience of enterprise within the banking sector, Lee coordinates localised support for entrepreneurship, as well as building relationships with business leaders in the private, public and third sectors to further support the city’s high growth, high impact entrepreneurial sector.


Professor Tim Dafforn

Professor Tim Dafforn is Chief Entrepreneurial Adviser at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Prior to this appointment he was Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Some of Tim’s career highlights include:

·         Entrepreneur in residence at BIS

·         Head of Policy and member of the executive at the Biochemical Society

·         Member of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) new ways of working strategy panel

·         Founder of Linear Diagnostics Ltd and Dioptica Scientific Ltd

His career includes more than 100 publications and a lifetime research grant capture of £10 million.

Craig Humphrey, Managing Director, CWLEP GrowthHub

Craig Humphrey is the managing director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub. He has a wealth of experience from working across both the private and public sector for more than 30 years.

In 2002 he took the role as the Leader of Rugby Borough Council which was extended in 2010 when he replaced the outgoing Chief Executive and became the first Executive Leader in country. He was praised by the then Prime Minister David Cameron for his strong and progressive leadership during a period that saw Rugby become one of the fastest growing towns in the country whilst at the same time cutting taxes and extending services.

Craig joined the Growth Hub in 2014 and his current role places him at the forefront of the growth agenda within Coventry and Warwickshire.

Lynne Miles, Deputy Director, What Works Centre

Lynne Miles is an Associate Director in Arup’s City Economics team, and a Deputy Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic growth. Her specialism is at the interface between economic, transport and planning policy: understanding what drives economic growth and regional economic disparities. Her work covers economic analysis, strategic policy advice, spatial planning and business case development and her clients include national and central government  bodies, transport operators, and property developers.


And many more!