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15 March 2005 PR 05/18

Leader of the House of Lords to address African Caribbean business conference

Baroness Amos, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council, will address a conference on Friday 18 March at Loughborough University, that will look at ways of strengthening African Caribbean businesses.

Through a series of workshops and presentations, the conference – Developing Potential, Overcoming Barriers – will consider:

The conference is part of a three-year Loughborough University Business School research project exploring the reasons for the success and failure of African Caribbean businesses.

“We’re expecting over 100 delegates from a diverse range of businesses, groups and organisations,” says Professor Geoff Chivers, director of the research project.

“The conference will allow people to network and share ideas and experiences. It will also enable us to determine future key priorities for our research work and communicate the outcomes we’ve found to date.”

Anticipated attendees include African Caribbean businesses and business associations, local authority economic development and equality units, Regional Development Agencies, and Learning and Skills Councils.

The Business School research project is being funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).

– Ends –

For further information contact:

Notes to editors

1. Members of the media are welcome to attend the conference, being held on Friday 18 March, at the Ford College, Loughborough University. Please contact Hannah Baldwin, Head of PR, in advance on 01509 222239, if you would like to attend.

Event programme

09.00 Registration  
09.50 Session 1 Chair: Prof Chivers
09.55 Welcome to the University and the Business School Prof McCaffer and Prof Davidson
10.00 Opening Speaker Vernon Barratt, Business Link London
10.05 Speaker Brenda Stern, Director of the Private Sector, CRE
10.30 Keynote Speaker Baroness Amos, Leader of the House of Lords
10.55 Questions Hosted by Baroness Amos
11.15 Break  
11.20 Session 2 Community Success Experiences Speakers include Dr Christopher Johnson,
Roselle Antoine and Lee Williams
12.45 Lunch  
13.45 Session 3

Parallel Workshops
• Finance: Access to Funding for Black Business Growth (Chair: Mike Atkins)
• Procurement: Opening up the Supply Chain and Removing the Barriers (Heather Pearce, Procurement Officer, Environment Agency Speaker from the Local Authority Sector
David Hays, Corporate Purchasing Manager, Nottingham City Council)
• Support Services: Effectiveness of the Support and Activities (Chair: Malcolm Cumberbatch)
• International Trade: The Impact on Trade on African and Caribbean Businesses in Britain (Dr Christopher Johnson)
• Black Women in Business: The Legacy and Leadership Styles (Roselle Antoine)

15.00 Break  
15.15 Session 4 Chair: Malcolm Cumberbatch – Report back from Workshops
15.55 Questions/Answers/Outputs  
16.15 Closing remarks Prof Chivers

Baroness Amos

The Rt Hon Baroness Valerie Amos of Brondesbury was created a life peer in 1997. She was appointed Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council on 6 October 2003. Prior to this Baroness Amos held many high profile positions in Government. She was Secretary of State for International Development from May 2003, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in June 2001 with specific responsibility for Africa, the Caribbean and the Commonwealth. Baroness Amos, who was born in Guyana, has a long track record in equal opportunities work. After distinguished service in a number of London Boroughs. She became Chief Executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission from 1989 to 1994. She was also Deputy Chair of the Runnymeade Trust from 1990 to 1998.

The research project team

Professor Geoff Chivers (Director) has had a long and distinguished research career. He was instrumental in setting up the East Midlands Region African Caribbean Business and Educational Development Association (EMRAC BEDA).

Ron Chapman (Project Manager) has a keen interest in lifelong learning and equal opportunities. He has returned to higher education after a long career in industry and has in depth experience of managing European funded programmes.

Malcolm Cumberbatch (Researcher) has a long track record in researching and working with African Caribbean businesses. He is Director of South Yorkshire African Caribbean Business and Enterprise Centre and helped to set up EMRAC BEDA.

Mike Atkins (Researcher) was head of race equality in local government for many years and has delivered a number of high profile projects in the field of economic regeneration. He is also a director of South Yorkshire African Caribbean Business and Enterprise Centre.

Elaine Harris (Secretary) plays a key role in supporting team members on this project.


2. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place Loughborough in the top flight of UK universities, and industry highlights Loughborough in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 45% of the University’s income is for research. The University has been awarded four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; and for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development.

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