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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.

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John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, cuts the ribbon to open the new TravelQuest branch in Ipswich, with members of the TravelQuest team.
From left, Vicki Wood, Poppy Brown, John Dugmore, Michelle Thake, Paul Hardwick and Karen Jones.

A Suffolk travel company has expanded with the opening of a second branch.

Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, left, and Boshor Ali, chairman of the Bangladeshi Support Centre (BSC), right, with other supporters of the Suffolk BME Business Awards from Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, the University of Suffolk and the BSC.	
Photo: Nigel Brown

More than 40 nominations have been received for the inaugural Suffolk BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Business Awards.

Tim King, group fleet manager at Turners (Soham), left, takes delivery of the firm's newest truck from Eddie Hennessy, regional manager of DAF Trucks UK, representing regional dealership Chassis Cab. 
Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

Suffolk-based logistics company Turners (Soham) Ltd has reported increased annual revenues and profit, and says it is “well placed” for further success despite competitive market conditions.

Sandy Jackson - Mark Westley Photography

British Gas has been forced to backtrack after repeatedly billing a 91-year-old great-grandmother for hundreds of pounds more than she owed.

Ian Thoroughgood, associate director at Grant Thornton in Ipswich, with Jonathan Agar, chief executive of Birketts.

Business advisers firm Grant Thorton is to unveil its 15th “Suffolk Limited” report next month on how the county’s leading businesses have performed over the past year.


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