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Manchester City Summit with Goldman Sachs 10KSB explores SME Growth in the North West

It was a pleasure to join Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK (10KSBUK) and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford on Monday in Manchester for the latest Generation Growth City Summit.

Following the launch of the Small Business Manifesto back in February, our time in Manchester was an opportunity to look at the  landscape for small businesses in the North West, and their role in driving productive growth for the UK economy.

Throughout the morning, emceed by our own Michael Hayman, we discussed a range of topics that have impacted small businesses – not least how they secure the right talent to drive growth, particularly as the skills companies need are changing with the rapid development of AI.

Jon Foster, VP in the Office of Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs first laid out the landscape for small businesses in the North West, which the Generation Growth Small Business Manifesto found was incredibly positive – with higher optimism about the future, and Britain as a place to run a small business than the national average. The report also found that nationally ‘a lack of understanding’ around AI was the main barrier to its adoption, and only 12% believe the education system is equipping young people for the future of work.

To discuss how we counter this, we heard from brilliant entrepreneurs, many of whom are driving Manchester forward as a hub of digital innovation in the UK, including serial entrepreneur Piers Linney; Marion Bernard, Chief Investment Officer at Northern Gritstone; Ashley Ramrachia, CEO of Academy; and Elizabeth Scott MBE, Executive Director at Turing Innovation Catalyst. We also heard from more brilliant 10KSBUK alumni: Malin Cunningham, founder and Managing Director of Hattrick; Aman Chahal, co-founder and CEO at TaperedPlus; and Cath Dunlevy, Director at Play Latte Limited.

We’re excited to continue these conversations on Generation Growth in the coming months.

Read the full Small Business Manifesto here

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