Summit aims to accelerate the growth of the region’s top SMEs

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An initiative that brings together fast growing small firms and successful entrepreneurs is planning a major summit for members across the Yorkshire region.

The Connect Gazelles initiative was set up by Connect Yorkshire, the not-for-profit company that helps growing businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber to secure the funding and expertise they need.

Since it was launched a year ago, Connect Gazelles, has attracted more than 60 members in the Sheffield region, with a minimum turnover of £250,000 and an average turnover of £7 million. Now it is confidently aiming to increase membership to 100, while also recruiting around five partners, from among leading business advisers who can provide specialist legal, accountancy and other advice, in addition to leading local business people, known as Entrepreneurs in Residence, who also provide support.

Leading entrepreneurs Lord Kirkham, who founded Doncaster furniture group DFS; Paul Walker, former chief executive of accountancy software company Sage; and Martin Penny co-founder of leading hair care and straightener group GHD are to speak at the Connect Gazelles’ Summit, which takes place on Thursday, November 29 at the Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield.

Connect Gazelles chief executive, Nick Butler, said: “This summit is another opportunity for members – and other fast growing companies who want to access this level of expertise – to take away valuable lessons that will make a difference to their businesses in their quest for growth and increased profitability.”

A number of the Entrepreneurs in Residence will be attending the event.

For more information on the Connect Gazelles Summit, call 0113 3845638 or visit