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WHAT A PANEL ! MD, Gary Vizard, was honoured to join the debate with the prestigious think-tank, Policy Exchange, alongside Ian Murray, MP, Shadow Minister Business Innovation and Skills, Ian King of Sky News, Sponsors Fiona Laffan of Goldman Sachs and hosts Steve Hughes at the Labour Party Conference.

Gary was chosen to be involved in the conversation about the industrial future of the nation because of his story as an entrepreneur.

GARY IS AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER by training who has worked in the energy efficiency industry since 1993. He rose through the ranks to General Manager of one of the industry’s original PFC manufacturers and saw the opportunity to start his own business after becoming disillusioned with his then employer. He re-mortgaged the family home to raise £25,000 to start PES (now EnergyAce.)

 

Until 2009, the business operated as a lifestyle business with 4 employees. To take advantage of the market, PES moved to bigger premises and steadily began to grow. This growth continues and PES now employs 20 people. PES is currently targeting large multi-site retail organisations and has recently found success with the award of a £600,000 contract from a leading restaurant group which will lead to further expansion over the next year.

WITH NEARLY 5 MILLION small and medium enterprises in the UK, accounting for nearly 60% of employment and 50% of turnover, this event provided an opportunity to discuss how businesses are able to obtain capital to fit their business needs and to help them grow. It aimed to answer questions such as:

  • What options are available to encourage growth of SMEs and innovative entrepreneurs in the UK?
  • How can we best fill the gaps between finance and enterprise?
  • Do SMEs really have the potential to contribute to a higher and faster growth rate of the UK economy?
  • Is the current small business support landscape adequate?
  • What makes a small business finance ready?
  • How can small businesses be made aware of innovative / alternative finance solutions?
  • What are the best policy recommendations?

Click on the image below to see the whole Finance Debate video featuring Gary from 24′ 05″

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