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Full steam ahead for the UK’s largest digital business festival

Hailed the largest digital business festival in the UK, the annual Leicester Business Festival (LBF) kicked off two intensive weeks of over 100 events, with an exciting, TV studio-style hybrid opening that has been live-streamed to the world.

The Leicester Business Festival launched live on YouTube this morning [Monday 2 November] with an impressive line-up of speakers including: Leanne Bonner-Cooke MBE, founder and chief executive at e-Bate; Jigna Varu, chief executive at Home-Fresh; Mike Cherry, national chairman of the FSB; Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor; Professor David Mba, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise at LBF headline partner, De Montfort University; and director of the LBF Community Interest Company and regional director for Excello Law, Richard Osborn.

A mix of live and pre-recorded interviews anchored by compere, ITV Central reporter and presenter, Rajiv Popat, were broadcasted from a striking studio setting in the heart of Leicester.

Despite the Government’s announcement of a second lockdown the LBF will still continue, being 96% digital, it remains largely unaffected.

This is the sixth year of the annual Festival which was established by the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) in 2015 to help businesses to learn and develop their entities, share information, and ultimately grow, whilst also placing the region in the spotlight to encourage investment interest. Due to its overwhelming success, it became a Community Interest Company in 2017 and it has continued to evolve into a leading event in the annual business calendar.

Individual events are run by businesses and organisations in the region under the LBF umbrella brand and they cover all sorts of business-related subjects from business support and communications to tourism and hospitality, finance and professional services, sport and health and much more. There are nearly 120 events in this year’s programme, taking place on and off-line.

Richard OsbornRichard Osborn, director of the LBF Community Interest Company said, “Never has such a business initiative been more critical to those in Leicester and Leicestershire and beyond. The LBF presents an essential opportunity for the region to collectively come together during these testing and challenging times, showcasing the breadth, diversity, innovation and strength of the region and presenting its united economic strength.

“We have been truly bowled over by the engagement levels. Our mantra is aptly, ‘bringing business together’ and with nearly 120 business events, the LBF2020 has truly made a mark as one of the largest digital festivals in the country - and this is something to be very proud of.”

The LBF continues to exist because of the overwhelming support by partners and sponsors, from across the region. Headline partner, De Montfort University (DMU) has been involved in the Festival since it started.

Prof David MbaProfessor David Mba, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise, De Montfort University said: "The pandemic has put us all in a different place – the spaces in which we live and work were suddenly re-presented to us in new, challenging ways.

"Businesses have been simultaneously set back but also pushed forward into new ways of thinking about their future. Leicester Business Festival has built communities and connections.

"This spirit of collaboration, of sharing new ideas and supporting each other shines throughout the festival’s events, and champions the city as a great place to live, work and study."

All events are free to join and tickets must be registered in advance through the LBF website


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