The Cardiff Capital Region is primed for economic growth, and Cardiff Business Week will harness the region's existing event and business eco-system to ensure that the Capital Region is seen as one of Europe’s best-connected and most competitive business destinations.
Hosted by the inimitable Wynne Evans (Gio Compario) attendees heard how a similar initiative in Liverpool generated significant economic impact and resulted in many new business opportunities.
Event Director and local entrepreneur, Francesca Russell, talked about her ambitious plans: “Our vision for Cardiff Business Week is to have over 50 diverse, yet significant events running as part of Cardiff Business Week in 2018.
Initiatives such as the International Festival for Business in Liverpool have proved that a collection of events taking place over a short period of time creates much more impact than a series of disparate events running throughout the year.”
Francesca went on to explain that although her business has taken the lead on Cardiff Business Week the concept is to harness existing events and encourage new relevant and exciting conferences, exhibitions and seminars to use Cardiff Business Week as a platform.
Attendees at the launch heard from live event expert, Simon Burton, economist, Michael Baxter and a panel of local business experts; Mark Hooper, Aimee Bateman, Shazia Awan, Michael Burne and Brian Morgan.
Phil Bale, leader of Cardiff Council, said: “We are proud to support Cardiff Business Week and delighted that this is an initiative led by the private sector and regional entrepreneurs. There is no doubt that the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is alive and kicking and Cardiff Business Week will be a showcase that highlights this.”
Discussing the impact of Brexit on the Cardiff Capital Region, Mark Hooper, founder of Indycube, said: "We've been too dependent on public support, and that's something you don't see in other areas. Brexit is an opportunity for us to move away from that."
He later added: "Cardiff Capital Region and Wales spends too much time looking at other places to see what we can do and how we can be like them. But we need to realise that we can be the best possible version of ourselves."
Michael Burne, chief executive of Carbon Law Partners, said: "There's a saying that change is inevitable. There's an enormous opportunity to take advantage of the change coming after Brexit."
The panel agreed that entrepreneurs are the best placed to adapt to the inevitable change following the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.
The Cardiff Capital Region spans 10 county councils and around 60 miles of coastline from Porthcawl to Monmouthshire. The region boasts a diverse economy comprising a vibrant capital city, market towns and cities, a rural countryside economy and a coastal belt.
In addition to the activities in November, Cardiff Business Week is a portal showcasing and signposting news from the region all year around.