MADE Festival's Legacy Requires International Trade Support

Leading Business Lawyer Looks To The Future


Sheffield’s MADE Festival has the potential to inspire a generation of new entrepreneurs and create thousands of new jobs - but according to one of Yorkshire's highest profile business lawyers - this will only happen if the Government does more to encourage and support start-ups to trade overseas.

"This year's MADE will undoubtedly be successful in terms of a record number of visitors and high profile speakers, but it's the long term impact in terms of job creation which really excites me," says Paul Firth, regional managing partner at the Sheffield office of law firm, Irwin Mitchell.

The annual MADE Festival takes place between the 19 and 21 September 2012. It is the largest festival for entrepreneurship in the country, attracting around 3,000 guests and 50 high-profile speakers in venues across Sheffield.

Speaking ahead of Irwin Mitchell’s fringe event on 20 September 2012, Firth believes MADE has become an important date in the diary for entrepreneurs, but in order to make a difference, the government must do more to encourage smaller firms to tap into overseas’ markets.

Paul Firth explained: “MADE has a track record for bringing together the country’s most successful business owners, inspiring people and enabling entrepreneurs to find useful contacts who can develop into effective business partners in the future.

“It is crucial however that more barriers to enterprise are removed, otherwise there is a risk that the true potential of MADE will not be recognised.

“UK Trade & Investment, the government department charged with helping UK firms make the most of overseas markets, say that by increasing the number of companies who export by roughly a quarter, about £36 billion could be added to the UK economy. Although entrepreneurs could certainly play a role here, more could be done to help them.”

Firth added: “Providing greater support for organisations which encourages the sharing of information so that identifying networks and local partners is easier could make a big difference.  Making finance easier to access and investing in better transport infrastructure to bring down delivery costs to other countries should also be considered in greater detail.”

Irwin Mitchell’s fringe event will be held at the MADE Exhibition on 20 September 2012. Entitled ‘Keep Calm; Speak to a Lawyer’, the event will provide delegates with the opportunity to speak and receive free and impartial advice from a solicitor.

Irwin Mitchell is an event sponsor of MADE. It is also the legal supporter of ‘Start Up Britain’, a sponsor of the South Yorkshire International Trade Forum and corporate patron of the Peter Jones Foundation.