Countdown starts for Dorset Business Festival

National business leader Shevaun Haviland backed the work of Dorset Chamber members in ‘making a difference’ to their communities when she visited the county.

She also looked forward to a ‘choppy’ yet positive year ahead when she gave the keynote speech to more than 150 guests at the chamber’s President’s Lunch.

Shevaun, who is director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), spoke before the Dorset Business Festival was officially launched at the annual event.

Bookings for the three-day festival – including entries for the Dorset Business Festival Awards – open on Wednesday May 9. More details are to be announced at a festival event at Kingston Maurward College, near Dorchester, on Friday April 28.

Shevaun said: “It’s probably going to be a choppy year ahead but the indicators are looking positive, confidence is heading in the right direction and we look forward to supporting and helping you in the coming months.

“It’s a pleasure to be here today. Please do seize the opportunities afforded to you by the chamber and its team, as together we are stronger and we can really make a difference to the community and society.”

Dorset Chamber president Caron Khan thanked Ms Haviland for attending the event at the Italian Villa in Poole.

She also hailed the ‘outstanding and incredible contribution’ of former Dorset Chamber president Liz Willingham when she presented her with a long service award.

Chamber chief executive Ian Girling launched the Dorset Business Festival with
Grant Esterhuizen from Premier Festival Partner Lester Aldridge solicitors.

The three-day celebration of business will include a conference, exhibition and awards on October 10 to 12 in Bournemouth.

The conference will have a ‘future of business’ focus with four main themes: Technology, Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG); Place; and People.

The festival awards will be free to enter in 10 categories and open to all businesses in the county whether chamber members or not.

Ian said: “It was a privilege to welcome Shevaun Haviland as our guest speaker when we launched our Dorset Business Festival at the President’s Lunch.

“The festival will be a major celebration and fantastic showcase of businesses from right across the county. We can’t wait for bookings and awards entries to open in May.”

More details about the festival and its award entries will be available at its event at Kingston Maurward College on Friday May 28. It is being co-hosted with Dorset Council, which is a Festival Partner.

The other Festival Partners are Blue Sky Financial Planning, Bournemouth and Poole College, the Dolphin in Poole and YMCA Bournemouth.

Dorset Chamber – the voice of business – is the county’s leading business support organisation. It is the only chamber in Dorset accredited to the BCC. Its motto is ‘enabling better lives through business’.

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