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Yorkshire International Business Convention founder inspires students

16 November 2012 | news archive

IF you have an idea for a business, get out there and make it a reality – that was among the messages to Leeds City College students in a talk delivered by a champion of Yorkshire business.

Mike Firth, founder and Managing Director of the annual Yorkshire International Business Convention (YIBC), urged an audience of 50 students at the College to follow their ambitions as part of his talks at the Park Lane, Technology and Keighley Campuses on Thursday (November 15) as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. At the Keighley Campus, he was introduced by College Principal Peter Roberts.

Through the international convention, staged every year, Mr Firth has dedicated the last 15 years to putting Yorkshire on the global business stage, bringing speakers as former US President Bill Clinton and former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to speak at the conference.

He described to the audience his career, from founding the Yorkshire Food Group after graduating from Bradford University, to launching the YIBC in 1995. He set it up after being inspired by the Bakersfield Business Conference in the US the previous year where, in one day he heard three past American Presidents talk to an audience of 14,000 in a purpose built marquee.

He said: “In business, in life generally, we need champions, we need people to inspire us, we need people who can get us moving and make us think that anything is possible, all you have to do is get out there and have a go.

“We live in challenging times but we live in a world where starting a business has never been easier because the telecommunication out there is incredible.”

“We live in privileged times to be here, in a world of great opportunity and if you are interested in starting your own business the great challenge is to get out there and do it.”

He also praised the work of Leeds City College, saying:  “I find the work of this College inspiring. I think this college is setting a great example for other people.”

David Fell, Leeds City College Deputy Principal for External Business Development & Commercial Enterprise, supported Mr Firth’s remarks, telling the students: “If you have that dream of starting up your own business, we would advise you to have a go. Leeds City College will help you to do that.”

Level 2 IT Software Development student Armaan Ahmad, who runs his own online fashion accessories business, said: “The talk was really good, it was inspirational.”

To find out more about the College, visit www.leedscitycollege.ac.uk


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Sarah Towns
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Leeds City College
t: 0113 284 6411
e: sarah.towns@leedscitycollege.ac.uk