Latest Event Updates

Apprentice star to visit Ilkley business conference to deliver workshop

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Ruth Whiteley, who appeared in series 11 of the reality television show, will be at the Thrive Yorkshire business growth conference being held at The Craiglands Hotel on September 29.

Apprentice star Ruth Whiteley who is coming to an Ilkley business conference to deliver a workshop

The Leeds born entrepreneurs’ workshop is entitled ‘Get some “umph into your sales’. Ruth, of the Harrogate-based Impact Sales Training, said: “I am delighted to be part of the Thrive Yorkshire event. As a Leeds born, Yorkshire based entrepreneur, a chance to speak to and inspire fellow business owners is a chance I jumped at.

“Experiencing the highs and lows of growing a business with a family to boot, I am always happy to help small businesses reach new heights, to consistently find new experiences to keep themselves fresh and look at their business from the customers perspective.”

Having run up Ilkley Moor in her time as a fell runner with Settle Harriers, Ruth is keen to visit Ilkley in a business suit and heels, share her tips for success and how appearing on ‘The Apprentice’, made her more determined than ever to live her dreams and create new areas for business growth.

The conference is being opened by Sir Gary Verity from Welcome To Yorkshire and has four main speakers including, keynote speaker, Kate Hardcastle from ‘Insight with Passion.

There will be many workshops on key business topics, including ‘How to stand out from the crowd’, Chris Allen from ‘Blacks Solicitors’ delivering a workshop on ‘Running an SME, Ten tips from the top’ and a workshop from Mike Ward of ‘Mike Ward Media’ on ‘How to avoid the pitfalls of company websites’.

Thrive Yorkshire takes place on September 29 from 9am to 4pm at The Craiglands Hotel, Ilkley, LS29 8RQ.

For more information visit or contact ‘Thrive Yorkshire’ on, tel 07711999123.

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thrive logo 2016


‘Thrive Yorkshire’ Business Growth Conference is back with award-winning business woman, Kate Hardcastle, heading the line- up of Yorkshire based speakers!

Kate Hardcastle photo

Following great feedback from those that attended last year, the conference is once again offering practical strategies, tools and tips to help businesses in the region not only grow, but thrive. “It will be a full day of learning. We want business owners to come away feeling inspired and equipped to grow their business” said Ilkley Business Forum Treasurer, Julia Forrester who are heavily subsidising the event.

This year the six Yorkshire based speakers will share their amazing business growth stories, with ideas taken from their own business successes to inspire delegates. Keynote speaker, Kate Hardcastle, who owns and runs ‘Insight With Passion’ will be sharing with delegates ‘How to put the #OOMPH in your business’ Kate said: “I am looking forward to supporting this Yorkshire event and helping local businesses to Thrive. Yorkshire is a big element of what we do and we try and support local SME’s and events, wherever possible”

The conference is being held on 29th September at Craiglands Hotel, Ilkley. Delegate prices are £10 for IBF members & £20 for none IBF members (Including lunch & refreshments). Exhibition stands are £95 Early Bird price, if booked before the 21st of July and £125 thereafter. IBF members are £75 Early Bird and £95 thereafter.


Register as a delegate:


Exhibit and/or Sponsor the event & boost brand awareness:


For more information contact

For more information on the Ilkley Business Forum please visit

For more information about Kate Hardcastle & Insight with Passion visit &


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Welcome to Yorkshire/Yorkshire Festival Photograph by Richard Walker/
Sir Gary Verity

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’, is opening the 3rd, annual Thrive Yorkshire, business growth conference in Ilkley on 29th September 2016.  

The conference which is heavily subsidised by the ‘Ilkley Business Forum’ is being held at ‘The Craiglands Hotel’ and will focus on tips, strategies, stories and ideas to help SME’s grow their business.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ said: “I’m delighted to be opening the Thrive Yorkshire Conference this year.  Yorkshire’s tourism industry is worth £7 billion annually and employs more than a quarter of a million people. Many of the businesses at this conference greatly support our tourism offering and events like this are hugely important in helping these Yorkshire businesses continue to grow and go from strength to strength.’’

Sir Gary will open the event and will then be followed by keynote speaker, Kate Hardcastle owner of ‘Insight With Passion’. Kate, famous for her inspirational speaking and known as ‘The Customer Whisperer’, will tell us ‘How to put the #OOMPH in your business’.

Other speakers include Jennifer Holloway, author of best-selling book ‘Personal Branding for Brits’. Her presentation is ‘People Buy People…but are they buying you?’.

Sharing their own inspirational growth stories are; John Hewitt and John Tate, the directors of ‘Ilkley Cinema’, talking about ‘Turning dreams into reality’ and Joe Carnell, Creator of food business, ‘U-GOT’, named ‘New Entrepreneur of the Year’ last December (the youngest person ever to receive the accolade) at the ‘Lloyds Bank National Business Awards’.

There will also be workshops on topics such as ‘How to increase your Sales’, ‘How to avoid the pitfalls of company websites’ and the welcome return of Chris Allen (Blacks Law) talking about ‘Running an SME, Ten tips from the top’.

Becky Leach Thrive committee member said:

“We are really excited about the line-up of speakers this year and it is a particular honour to have Sir Gary opening the event, especially with tourism being of such great importance to many of the businesses in the area. The conference will be a full day of learning. We want SME, business owners to come away feeling inspired and equipped to grow their own businesses

Thrive Yorkshire is held on 29th September 2016 from 9am – 4pm at The Craiglands Hotel, Ilkley, LS29 8RQ.


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The first Thrive Yorkshire business growth conference, that took place last week in Ilkley, has been hailed a resounding success by delegates and exhibitors.

The event sponsored by the Ilkley Business Forum was held at The Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley and was attended by over 100 delegates and 30 exhibitors. Feedback from delegates included –

There was a professional but relaxed atmosphere

Congratulations on an excellent event with real buzz – you should be very proud of yourselves

Brilliant speakers, definitely worth repeating”.

The event was opened by MP Kris Hopkins who said, “It was a privilege to open proceedings in Ilkley, small business growth is helping to secure Britain’s future, adding there is real opportunity for businesses in this region.”

Speakers at the event included Professor Nigel Lockett from Leeds University Business School, who told us we need to be more like “Gazelle’s in business and stand out from the herd!”. Rachelle Atkin from The Yorkshire Marketing Company, who both exhibited and attended the event said “I found the session by Professor Nigel Lockett from The University of Leeds Enterprise Centre both informative and relevant – I will certainly be implementing a lot of his tips to help grow my business.” The conference is now set to become an annual event.

For more information on the event, please go to or contact ‘Thrive Yorkshire’ on For more information on the Ilkley Business Forum please visit

Andi’s Ten Tips to Catapult your Business Growth

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Andi Lonnen IBF

This week Andi Lonnen, from ‘Andi Lonnen Business Associates’, who is speaking at the event on ‘How to Catapult Your Business Growth,’ brings you her ‘Top Ten Tips’ on the subject. Andi has a background as a Commercial Finance Director and is a fully qualified FCCA accountant, Andi Lonnen now delivers upbeat, highly practical and business focused financial training and coaching around the UK and beyond. Andi is also a Growth Coach for the national Growth Accelerator scheme assisting businesses obtain funding, vital for business growth.


Top Ten Tips to Catapult Your Business Growth.


  1. Where do you want to be? Dream big. Set your goals – what would phenomenal success look, sound and feel like for your business? When do you want to achieve this by? What did you go into business to do and achieve?


  1. Where are you now? What is the current situation for your business? Who are your current customers, how do you market to them, who are your competitors, what is your profitability – have a robust review of your current reality.


  1. Options & strategies. What options do you have to get you from where you are now to where you want to be? Select your strategies for growth from the options you’ve brainstormed. This forms the basis of your growth plan.


  1. Take action! Once your growth plans are in place, it’s time to DO something! Decide on your first step to get the ball rolling. What 20% of actions in your plan will achieve 80% of the results?


  1. Manage your cash. It’s easy to run out of cash in a growing business – money is tied up in your debtors (money due from customers) and stock and yet you need to be paying suppliers in the meantime. Produce and rigorously monitor a simple and effective cash flow forecast – obtain professional support if needed. Without cash, the business cannot invest and grow.


  1. Most profitable areas. Which are the most profitable revenue streams in your business? Keep a close eye and focus your attention on growing these.


  1. Monitor performance. Continually review your performance against plan. Are you achieving what you set out to do? If not, what corrective action can you take to get you back on track?


  1. Understand your numbers. If you read your figures properly, you really can see into the future of your company. Ask your accountant to explain the numbers to you or invest in some training.


  1. Invest in strong relationships. With your customers, staff, suppliers, partners, bank, investors, etc. The more people know, like and trust you, the faster and more successful your business growth will be.


  1. Maintain momentum. Remember that the end is result is worth the Herculean effort involved! Pace yourself, look after your health, build in some downtime with family and friends and you’ll stay sane throughout the process!


To find out more about this subject and many others including Social Media, Effective Sales, Managing Sickness Absence and Online v Offline Networking, register now to attend the conference at

Thrive Yorkshire is held on 25th September 2014 from 9am – 5pm at The Craiglands Hotel, Ilkley, LS29 8RQ.

Contact ‘Thrive Yorkshire’ on

Follow us on Twitter @thriveyorkshire and Facebook at for more updates and advice. For more information on Andi Lonnen Business Associates please visit or contact Andi on 07921 252 758 or email

Vera’s Top Ten Tips to help you THRIVE

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Vera Woodhead, from ‘Edimo Coaching and Development’, who is speaking at the event on ‘Practical Strategies to help you THRIVE and be successful’, brings you her ‘Top Ten Tips’ on the subject:


  1. Be self-aware – know your strengths and where your talents lie. Use them daily. People who use their strengths daily are happier and live longer. Likewise, identify the areas that you need to develop and be better at – be it skills, knowledge or behaviours and invest in them


  1. Know your values and what is important to you. They act as a guide and how you prioritise your time. Be clear on your definition of what success means to you and what you want to achieve at work and in life.


  1. Have a plan that has both short and longer term goals. Having a plan with goals, targets and how you track and monitor your progress will give you something to work towards, to aim for and to hold yourself accountable to achieving


  1. Do what you love. It is difficult to be enthusiastic, passionate and motivated about something that you care little for. Find meaning and purpose in what you do. It will drive you and light a fire in your belly


  1. Grow your network, connections and relationships with a wide range of people. It will help to spread your influence, increase your visibility and you will always have someone to call in time of support and help


  1. Go beyond your comfort zone, try out new things and stretch yourself. You may not always get it right. It is through undertaking such acts and learning from failure that we develop resilience, grow and achieve some our greatest accomplishments.


  1. Keep your focus laser sharp by minimising distractions. Be present and in the moment, giving your full attention to the task in hand. Work off line when possible and limit your time on social media, put your phone on silent and check your emails at set times.


  1. Manage your actions and energy. You know when you work best and are at your optimum. Tackle your challenging tasks when your energy levels are at the highest. We all have the same 24 hours, how you choose to spend it makes the difference. Focus on what is important and helps to move you closer towards achieving your goals and ambitions


  1. Learn to delegate. You cannot do everything. Outsource smaller and less important tasks and concentrate on what you do best


  1. Exercise regularly, get enough sleep, have a positive outlook, be grateful for what is present in your life and help others by doing good deeds –all helps to reduce stress, live longer, be more resilient and happier