Companies from across the region joined an international business exhibition in Milton Keynes this month.
The Business Expo 3.0 event, supported by South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), was organised to enable over 1,000 businesses from all over the world to meet, network, exchange details and do business.
After the main event a host of VIPs, including Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna and SEMLEP Chair Dr Ann Limb, joined a panel to answer questions about how to help the region’s business sector thrive, grow and win new markets.
Also on the panel were Iain Wright, Labour MP for Hartlepool, Lord Parry Mitchell, Opposition Spokesperson for BIS matters in the House of Lords, and Phil Smith, Chair of MK Business Leaders.
Mr Umunna, MP and employment lawyer, spoke about Labour’s enterprise and business policy and how a Labour Government could help businesses in the South East Midlands start up, thrive, grow and win new markets, and the challenges and opportunities for business today and in the future.
“It is important to boast about the innovative, dynamic companies we have in this region and for companies to network peer to peer, so that they can work together and tackle common problems,” said the MP, Mr Umunna. “There will be a lot of dynamic businesses here that people don’t know about. Every region has a particular strength and there will be things businesses are doing here that others aren’t.
“We think Local Enterprise Partnerships need a lot more support, both in terms of the powers and the resource they have. If we were elected in 2015 we would want to turbo charge LEPs to give them the wherewithall to do what they were set up to do.”
Dr Limb added: “It has been a pleasure to welcome so many companies from across the UK to Milton Keynes, so that they could see for themselves what an exciting and vibrant place this is to do business. There is a real energy and an enthusiasm to this region and SEMLEP is here to help businesses thrive. We are really beginning to put things in place to make sure.