2018 speakers & events

OPEN FOR BUSINESS | Ilfracombe, North DevonWe are delighted to welcome a number of distinguished speakers and guests to OPEN FOR BUSINESS 2018 at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon on Friday 20 April 2018.

Please note due to rescheduling of the event because of snow time slots have been re-arranged.


Peter Heaton-Jones MP

Peter Heaton-Jones, MP for North Devon | OPEN FOR BUSINESS | COMBEbusiness

We are delighted to be welcome Peter Heaton-Jones, MP for North Devon, who has supported OPEN FOR BUSINESS every year since selection as a candidate for the MP constituency and in recent years has arranged for ministerial visits to the event.

10 – 3.00 | Business exhibition

Meet exhibitors from a range of businesses in the theatre foyer and pavilion.

Speaker & event schedule

10.00 | Creative Mind Matters – Mindfulness Session

Come along to find out about how mindfulness can help you as an individual and in your business and work.

10.30 | George Cowcher – Chief Executive of Devon Chamber of Commerce

George Cowcher | Devon Chamber of Commerce | OPEN FOR BUSINESS | COMBEbusiness

George Cowcher will provide an update of major issues affecting the Devon business community and the importance of all businesses working together across the county.

11.00 | Google Digital Garage – Develop your Social Media Strategy

Google Digital Garage | COMBEbusiness | OPEN FOR BUSINESS

We are delighted to welcome Google Digital Garage from Google – a digital skills training platform to assist you in growing your business, career and confidence, online.

A Google digital expert is coming to teach you what is needed to gain a competitive advantage in the ever changing digital landscape, so come prepared to learn and ask questions too.

12.30 | Networking Buffet – sponsored by Marsdens Devon Cottages

sponsored by

Marsdens Devon Cottages | OPEN FOR BUSINESS | COMBEbusiness

Following the successful buffet at last year’s event, we are very grateful to Marsdens Devon Cottages for sponsoring the networking buffet lunch this year. We hope exhibitors, visitors, speakers and guests will enjoy networking over the buffet lunch.

1.40 | Lee Norburn – The Next Stage Network (SW)

Lee Norburn & Nick Parker | Reinventing Work | OPEN FOR BUSINESS | COMBEbusiness

Lee Norburn and Nick Parker from nowlab are co-founders of the Next Stage Network (SW). Passionate about helping businesses reinvent themselves for the 21st century, they have delivered their popular series of workshop to over 100 businesses across the South West.
Join them for an interactive conversation exploring how ‘Next Stage’ or ‘Teal’ organisations, improve efficiency, staff engagement, innovation, and responsiveness, through:
• Self-Management – Traditional hierarchies and pyramids, are replaced with more powerful, fluid systems of distributed authority.
• Wholeness – The ‘professional mask’ is dropped and people dare to truly be themselves, releasing their full potential.
• Evolutionary Purpose – No more five-year strategic plans, individuals tune in and respond to the current situation with innovation and creativity

2.30 | Tony Robinson OBE – Let’s get enterprising: The Micro Myths & Magic Show

Tony Robinson OBE | OPEN FOR BUSINESS | COMBEbusiness

Tony Robinson OBE is a professional business speaker and Micro Business champion. Tony is co-Founder of Enterprise Rockers CIC and a #MicroBizMatters Day patron, as well as Founder of enterprise support organisation SFEDI Group and co-Founder of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE). He is author of the-best selling book ‘Freedom from Bosses Forever’, Chair, The Business Advisory Bureau Limited (est. 1986) and the recipient of two lifetime achievement awards for enterprise. Tony is travelling all the way from Scarborough to present his ‘Let’s Get Enterprising: The Micro Myths and Magic Show’ at OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

Who is it for?

In one hour, Tony guarantees to give you everything he has learned in over 20 years of research, interviews, observation and experience that will help you survive and thrive, happily, as a micro business owner (0-9 employees). This talk is for everyone thinking about, preparing for, starting or running their own business, and those helping others to do so.

What’s he selling? What’s it about?

Nothing is being sold – not even the fictional satire, ‘Freedom from Bosses Forever’ on which this talk is based. Tony believes that 9 out of 10 speakers and writers on enterprise are promoting the ‘American Dream’ way of starting up and scaling up your own business. It usually involves a big dream, a passionate business idea or format business opportunity, a business plan, a mentor or investor, a pitch and gaining funding – often a loan. Tony doesn’t say this is wrong but believes this way is for the few and there is a better way for the many, proven by 30 years of research and practical experience. This is a talk about what he believes will work best for the 5 million UK micro business owners in the future and draws on his observations of real business owners, some very famous, whom he has met. He explains what they do, all ages and backgrounds, to succeed and be happy.


OPEN FOR BUSINESS Awards 2018 | COMBEbusiness

The winners of the OPEN FOR BUSINESS Awards will be announced in the theatre.


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