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Entrepreneurs 'first' for city

Sheffield is to host a national festival for entrepreneurs that will be the first of its kind in the UK.

MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival will take place from September 8 to 11 and will coincide with the launch of the National Enterprise Academy, a centre of excellence for developing enterprise skills, based in Sheffield.

Leading speakers attending the Festival will include Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield MP Nick Clegg, former TV Dragon Doug Richard, Sunday Times Enterprise Editor, Rachel Bridge and entrepreneur and farmer Wilfred Emmanuel Jones, founder of The Black Farmer range of food products.

Doug Richard will be running a two-day 'boot-camp' for aspiring entrepreneurs and ambitious small business owners, while Nick Clegg will be speaking at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

The festival will be the venue for a special 'TEDx' event, which takes its name from technology, entertainment and design, the original focus for the events dedicated to spreading the ideas of the world's most inspiring thinkers.

It will also include a series of training opportunities aimed at entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Doug Richard said: "Most, if not all, economic development stems from the growth of small business.

"We need to nurture a culture of enterprise that will create the wealth, jobs and opportunities that the UK is in dire need of.

"MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival defines this new approach and is an ambitious concept in boosting growth through entrepreneurial training."

MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival is being sponsored by mobile phone company O2, city development company Creativesheffield, bankers NatWest, international law firm DLA Piper and Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam universities.

Speaking after the national launch of the Festival in London, Festival chairman, Michael Hayman, regional chairman of entrepreneurs at Coutts and founder of Seven Hills, said: "We are delighted that MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival will be hosted by Sheffield, given the city's long history of enterprising endeavour.

"The city is now firmly looking to the future and is the first UK city to offer superfast broadband as part of the Digital Region initiative.

"Encouraging aspiring business owners to harness this opportunity is essential to the UK's economic recovery."

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