Entrepreneurs’ Festival on hold

HRH The Duke of York  speaking at the MADE festival.
HRH The Duke of York speaking at the MADE festival.
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A major business event which attracts more than 4,000 movers and shakers to Sheffield has been axed this year.

Made: The Entrepreneur Festival is worth £500,000 to the city and last year saw Prince Andrew, business secretary Vince Cable MP and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones joined by 50 high profile speakers.

It was organised by Marketing Sheffield - the city council’s marketing arm - and London PR firm Seven Hills.

Following the success of last year’s event the authority drew up a new contract for a private sector partner to run it long term. It was put out to tender in April.

Brendan Moffett, Marketing Sheffield director, said it was always agreed it would be reviewed after the third event to ‘futureproof’ the brand.

But the news was a surprise to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP who launched last year’s event.

He said: “As a big supporter, clearly I’m disappointed with the news. All the signs were it was going from strength to strength.

“Apart from being a showcase for the sort of entrepreneurial dynamism that is helping our economy get back on track, it also helped place Sheffield at the forefront of business leaders’ minds when it comes to deciding where to invest. If we want to build a stronger local economy, supporting these events should be a priority.”

Launched in 2010, the festival was a three-day celebration of business that grew rapidly. Last year it moved to the City Hall and attracted headline sponsors Coutts Bank and NatWest.

Brendan Moffett said they were still looking for a partner.

He added: “It’s become such a massive event, the workload and planning are significant. It had grown phenomenally quickly but we wanted to step back and build something that can last 15 years.

“We are probably going to move towards a model of every other year and in between zone in on key issues in small events.”

A series of Made events are set to be staged in Sheffield during Global Entrepreneurship Week from November 20 to 22.

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