Business Support – What Works?

The UK's leading conference for business support professionals

Harnessing the Power of Productivity

  • Hear from the UKs leading professionals on Business Support and receive expert advice

  • Meet colleagues from around the country to swap and share helpful stories and tips

  • Take away a wealth of knowledge and new insight to boost business growth in your area

  • And much more!

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When and where?

Harnessing the power of productivity
Business Support - What Works?


Andrew PatersonDeputy Director at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy
Andrew Paterson heads up the Business and Local Growth Analytical team in BEIS. He leads for Government on the evidence and analysis underpinning Local Industrial Strategies, SME policy (including Growth Hubs, business advice and the Business Productivity Review), the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and future sectors. As part of this, he represents the UK on the OECD’s Local Economic and Employment Development Committee, the funder’s group for the What Works Centre and the Enterprise Research Centre, and the advisory panel for the Productivity Insights Network. Andrew has worked in both policy-making and analytical roles, designing and implementing different approaches to local growth in the UK for more than a decade, and has previously worked in HMT, FCO, and MHCLG.
Jacqueline Moore on behalf of Paul UppalOffice of the Small Business Commissioner
Paul Uppal was born June 1967, in Smethwick, Birmingham. Paul graduated from the University of Warwick with a Second-class honours, upper division degree in Politics and Sociology. After graduating from Warwick University, he went on to run his own small business in the construction and real estate sector for over 20 years. In 2010 Paul was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wolverhampton South West and was also elected Chairman of the All Party Urban Development Group. In September 2012 Paul was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to David Willetts at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. In 2013 Paul was on the Number 10 Policy Board which advised Prime Minister, David Cameron at the time. In 2017 Paul swapped Westminster for a job helping small businesses and was appointed the role of the UK’s first Small Business Commissioner.
Dr Jacob SalderResearch Fellow at Birmingham City University
Jacob Salder is a research fellow in the Centre for Enterprise Innovation and Growth at Birmingham City Business School. He joined in 2015 from the University of Birmingham where he completed his PhD in economic geography, researching regional economic governance and the development of firm-based networks.
Jacob has a specialist background in economic development having worked in local government, non-government organisations, and Regional Development Agencies for several years prior to entering academia. His role in CEIG is research focused on SME development in the regional context within the UK, specifically on development and growth within the West Midlands.
Professor Stephen RoperProfessor of Enterprise, Director of Enterprise Research Centre, Warwick Business School
Stephen Roper is Professor of Enterprise at Warwick Business School and Director of the Enterprise Research Centre. Stephen has over 30 years’ experience of researching issues related to innovation and innovation policy in the UK and internationally and has published widely in both areas. Stephen regularly acts as a consultant for OECD and the World Bank on issues related to small business development and innovation policy including projects in Austria, Abu Dhabi, Mexico, Israel, Columbia and Poland and a number of the Balkan countries over the last four years. Stephen is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the RSA.
Rebecca RileyBusiness Development Director, City-REDI, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham
Rebecca has been helping practitioners and policy makers make decisions and develop solutions for nearly 20 years, by providing evidence and research to impact on policy and strategy. Her research areas include economic development, skills, monitoring and evaluation and the application of economic forecasting.

She has designed and led information and intelligence services for a wide range of clients, providing bespoke advice and guidance, regular briefing services, commissioning, managing brokerage services for collaborative research, shared on-line research and information portals and network events.

She operationally leads City-REDI, a research institute focused on developing an academic understanding of major city regions across the globe, to develop practical policy, which better informs and influences regional and national economic growth policies. She focusses on collaboration, networking and partnerships to improve decision making.

Professor Nigel DriffieldProfessor of international business and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor, Warwick University
Nigel Driffield is Professor of International Business at Warwick Business School, having held a similar post at Aston Business School for 10 years which included a spell as the dean of the business school. He has a PhD from Reading University, and has published some 75 academic papers and his main areas of interest are:
– The links between firm internationalisation and firm performance
– The impact of inward investment on host locations
– International technology transfer
– Policy responses to globalisation

He recently held a Prestigious Leverhulme Fellowship, has held 4 ESRC awards, and has carried out research and consultancy projects for UNCTAD, World Bank, European Commission, OECD, and in the UK several Government Departments and local Regional Development bodies. Locally, he has worked with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP since its inception, serving on the economics strategy board, chairing the academic advisory group, and on the executive steering committees for both the Heseltine Report and the Strategic Economic Plan. He has more recently written extensively on the prospects for inward investment post Brexit.

Kerrie DormanAssociation of Business Mentors
Kerrie has been a serial entrepreneur from the age of twenty, starting, buying and selling small businesses as well as a liquidation. On the back of her last sale she joined The London Innovation Centre as a Mentor in 2007. Since then, she has been refining mentoring and coaching to achieve high levels of productivity from those she works with. She tends to work with management teams as well as those at the helm, which gives her clearer insight on the dynamics in the workspace. Her methods are mentor lead rather than coach lead which capitalises on entrepreneurial straights and thinking ‘outside the box’. It is all about the people because they create the business structure and processes.
Simon AndersonManaging Director, BankSearch Information Consultancy Limited
Simon Anderson, Managing Director and Founder of BankSearch Information Consultancy Ltd., established the company in the year 2000. With over fifteen years’ experience working at Barclays Bank Plc., Simon recognised the sector-wide need for sophisticated web based tools capable of searching, gathering, interrogating and displaying timely and accurate data in a user-friendly manner.
Leveraging his deep understanding of data sources and business support provider’s data needs, Simon and his team utilise the latest technology to develop and deliver market leading systems to provide a unique and powerful information service.
James PhippsHead of Economic Analysis and Policy Development, Innovation Growth Lab, Nesta
James is the Head of Economic Analysis and Policy Development for the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL) which is based in Nesta’s Research, Analysis and Policy team.

IGL a global collaboration that develops and tests different approaches to support innovation, entrepreneurship and growth.

James leads on partner engagement, helping IGL partners to access evidence from trials, identify and develop their own ideas for policy experiments, and build their capacity to take these forward.

Before joining Nesta, James was a Senior Economist and Head of Enterprise Policy Development and Evaluation at the BEIS. He directed the analysis of various SME support and finance programmes and oversaw a large research programme. James established many RCTs during this time, ranging from small behavioural trials through to major policy experiments.


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Venue Details

Rugby is situated at the junction of the London to Birmingham and London to Scotland mainline railways. The station is served by Virgin West Coast and London Midland.

Directions from the station: The station is conveniently located near the centre of town and is less than a 20 minute walk to the Benn Hall. Or a 5 minute taxi journey.

Using the M6 or A14

Exit the M6 at Junction 1 and follow directions along the A426 towards Rugby.

Using M1

From the North exit at Junction 20 (Lutterworth) and follow directions along the A426 for Rugby. From the South exit the M1 at Junction 19 (for M6) and follow directions as above.

At Rugby

At the end of the dual carriage way (A426), bear left at the roundabout, towards the town centre, and passing under the railway bridge, continue up the hill for a short distance to the next roundabout.
The BENN Hall is immediately before the roundabout, on your left.
Parking There is parking available at the Benn Hall. However, as this car park is also used by council staff it can fill up.

The nearest commercial airport is located at Birmingham International, which has direct rail and coach connections to Rugby.