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Jamie Hardesty

Newcastle wins bid to host prestigious international entrepreneurship conference

Newcastle will play host to the 42nd annual ISBE (Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) conference in 2019, demonstrating the region’s international appeal as a hotbed for innovation and enterprise.

Northumbria and Newcastle universities collaborated to win the event, which will happen over two days at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and the Boiler Shop in Newcastle’s Stephenson Quarter.

The conference, which will attract over 400 attendees from more than 40 countries, will boost the regional economy by approximately £400k.

The international conference, previously held in Paris in 2016 and Glasgow in 2015, has become known as the place to go for the highest-quality, cutting-edge entrepreneurial and small business research. The event aims to enable excellence in small businesses across research, policy, practice and learning communities.

The bid was spearheaded by academics Michele Rusk (Northumbria University) and Robert Newbery (Newcastle University), who jointly stated: “We are delighted that, against stiff competition, the great city of Newcastle has won the bid to host this prestigious international ISBE Annual Conference.

“Our entrepreneurial partnership represents a radical new approach based on collective collaboration and co-creation. This is the first step in developing an entrepreneurial laboratory for change in the North East. As conference Chairs, we are committed to delivering a ground-breaking conference and a memorable Geordie experience.

“This unique partnership between both Universities, supported unstintingly by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, has succeeded in winning this significant event. The ISBE board of trustees were overwhelmingly impressed by the quality of the proposal and unanimously approved Newcastle as the winning city.

“The conference will showcase the region’s highly ambitious and fast growing New Economy industries where knowledge is the key to business growth and sustainability.”

Paul Szomoru, Head of Business Tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “We’re thrilled that NewcastleGateshead has been chosen as the host destination for ISBE’s Annual Conference in 2019 thanks to Newcastle and Northumbria Universities.

“Winning the bid represents a significant achievement for two of the North East’s largest institutions, who have adopted a collaborative approach and formed a successful partnership which will have a lasting impact on the region’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“As a destination with an established and flourishing entrepreneurial community, ISBE’s globally recognised event is a fantastic opportunity to support and showcase the very best of small business and enterprise across the region – ensuring that we continue to be recognised as a global hub for this sector.”

Paul added: “These ambitions also reinforce the work of our colleagues at Invest Newcastle in their aim to attract and secure new investment and jobs for the city.”

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