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York Business Festival 2022

This November a month-long festival of business will be coming to York, providing free in-person and virtual events to support the business community across the city and surrounding areas. Built around the five themes of York’s new 10-year Economic Strategy, the programme will offer something for every business.

The festival is organised by the Economic Growth Team at the City of York Council and is hosted in conjunction with the Institute of Directors, York & North Yorkshire LEP, University of York, York St John University, Department for International Trade , York BID,
York and North Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce, York Science Park, SeeGreen and the Supply Chain Network.

The programme kicks off on the theme of York’s economy being driven by good businesses. Across three days in the first week of November, the Institute of Directors (IoD) will be leading events talking through the benefits of ethical business, both to businesses themselves and to wider society. This includes talks on the links between good governance and innovation, the value of the Good Business Charter and a discussion from the IoD’s lead economist Kitty Ussher, talking through how small businesses can manage during a time of potential stagflation.

The second week of November is themed around York’s businesses thriving, both now and for years to come. Curated by the Y&NY LEP,
this week of events includes several short sharp sessions that businesses can effectively take something from and build on to better themselves.

Sessions will be around access to finance, sales, social media, recruitment and people management.

Reducing carbon and developing a greener economy is the theme for the third week of November. With energy bills soaring, York businesses can access advice on what actions they can take to reduce costs in a virtual event hosted by the Council. A pilot ‘Green Business Forum’ has also been laid on for York’s micro and SME businesses to understand how they can help cut carbon and help York become net-zero by 2030.
Other events across the week include a discussion on the business opportunities available in the green economy, the need for green skills across the city, actions the hospitality industry can take to be sustainable and a talk with the broadcaster Liz Barclay on the pressures facing businesses this winter.

Heading into the fourth week of November, the University of York will be leading on theme of developing York’s people and creating a thriving workforce. The events will focus on ensuring York’s workforce has the skills that businesses need, the role of the businesses when it comes to health and wellbeing both as employers and providers, and how we can strengthen the link between education and business to help young people thrive.

Lastly, the Festival will conclude with the theme of making York a global city. The DIT has planned a morning workshop framed around how business can move from a few international clients to an export strategy. There will be an overview of DIT’s services, talks from Export Champions, followed by a drop-in session where businesses can chat to support providers around exporting. Then the last day of the festival kicks off with a networking breakfast for young entrepreneurs in which James Mason, CEO of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce will give a talk on the lessons learned from his career. Following this, the DIT have organised round-tables for the creative, bio-economy and food and drink sectors. Drawing the festival to a close will be an in-person networking event providing an opportunity for delegates to make new business contacts and round off a month of activities.