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Cambridge: East of England celebrates SME growth champions at Breakthrough Live event

10:00 14 November 2012

L-R: Ana Botin, CEO, Santander; Mike Bishop, FD at Your Vets; Paul Lindley, Ella’s Kitchen & Darren Hart, Head of the growth capital team, Santander

L-R: Ana Botin, CEO, Santander; Mike Bishop, FD at Your Vets; Paul Lindley, Ella’s Kitchen & Darren Hart, Head of the growth capital team, Santander


AROUND 100 firms from across East Anglia took part in an event celebrating the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and promoting business growth.


The Breakthrough Live event at Cambridge University heard from entrepreneur Paul Lindley, who founded and grew his organic baby food business, Ella’s Kitchen.

Santander chief executive Ana Botín delivered a student lecture on the key role of entrepreneurs and universities in driving local economic recovery.

Mike Bishop, financial director of YourVets, spoke about the recent fast growth of his chain of affordable veterinary practices.

He currently has seven practices across the Midlands and Essex, and is in the process of adding a further four practices.

The university is one of Santander Universities’ higher education partners.

East Anglia has 738 fast growth, or Growth Champion businesses which, as a group, have a significantly higher economic impact than the rest of the region’s SMEs, according to Experian data.

Research by Santander revealed that, on average, the region’s small businesses with a turnover of £20million or less expect to grow revenue by 68% over the next five years.

Santander’s wider Breakthrough programme is providing up to £200mof growth capital loans to fast-growth firms.



Ian Waine of Prettys Solicitors.

East Anglian law firm Prettys has advised Asian-inspired food retailer Itsu on a refinancing package to support international expansion.

Alistair Ponder, Leanne Castle and Alex Till of Menta receive their trophy from Declan Curry at the National Enterprise Network annual awards.

Bury St Edmunds-based enterprise agency Menta has won an Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year accolade at the National Enterprise Network’s annual awards.

An artist's impression of the new Hampton by Hilton hotel to be built and Stansted Airport,alongside the existing Enterprise House office complex, right.

A new £45million hotel is to be built close to the main terminal at Stansted Airport, bringing the number of hotels on the airport site to five and creating around 60 new jobs.

Frank Brumby, eastern region chairman of R3.

“Zombie” businesses are on the march in the East of England, according to a survey by insolvency trade body R3.

Royal Bank of Scotland has passed the latest Bank of England stress test, but missed fulfilling one of the capital guidance criteria.
Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire

All seven of the UK’s largest lenders have passed the Bank of England’s latest “stress test”.

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