The curtain has fallen on MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival, described by His Royal Highness The Duke of York as “an extraordinary event.”
Prince Andrew was addressing the 2,500 delegates who filled Sheffield City Hall for the UK’s leading enterprise festival, co-founded by Seven Hills.
“The MADE Festival – what an extraordinary event and something that has, over the last three years, grown out of all recognition,” he declared.
His praise was echoed by Business Secretary Vince Cable, who described himself as “overwhelmed by the scale” of MADE, which he has attended in each of its three years.
“In the first year, it was a small room and now it is in this vast auditorium. Something is really happening. I think it is absolutely great and reflects the enormous strength and growth of the small business community in Britain in very, very tough economic conditions”, Dr. Cable told the audience.
His Royal Highness and the Business Secretary were part of a glittering roster of speakers to address the entrepreneurs and small business owners gathered at MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival.
The crowd was wowed by Dragon Peter Jones, who spoke of the importance of education in creating an entrepreneurial culture in the UK, and British Olympic legend Duncan Goodhew, whose keynote on the culture of winning rounded off the Made in Britain programme as an Olympic torch was brought onto stage.
Inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs was a key theme of this year’s festival, which saw Dr. Cable officially announce the government’s StartUp Loans scheme, offering funding and mentoring to young people aged 18-24 who want to start a business.
The Change Makers campaign, to unearth the UK’s brightest and most ambitious young entrepreneur, culminated on the main stage with Prince Andrew awarding a specially made trophy to Carrie Green, founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, who polled over 1,800 votes to triumph.
As well as celebrating the nation’s leading young business owners, MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival provided a showcase for the UK as a beacon for enterprise, with speakers urging delegates to follow their business dreams.
The Yorkshire Post reported Prince Andrew telling the audience that, “the reason I’m here today is that I believe all of you are leaders in your field.
“I was in the Royal Navy and inculcated in me very early on was the principle of leadership
“All of you have a role in leadership because you are all leading businesses or business people.
“But there’s another aspect to leadership and entrepreneurship that is equally important and that is teamwork.”
Doug Richard, founder of School for Startups, commented: “I can’t think of a better place, including the US, to start a company,” while Kanya King, founder of the MOBO awards, stressed the ease of getting started: “All you need to start a business is a mobile phone and a laptop. That’s all the infrastructure you need.”