The future of FinTech in Greater Manchester

The end of January saw pro-manchester organising a panel presentation and debate on the growing FinTech sector, hosted by the Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School on Oxford Road in Manchester. Greater Manchester is already recognised as the FinTech capital of the North, and the local financial technology ecosystem and industry is evolving rapidly. The speed of growth means that, even within the city, many businesses are unaware of the scale of the sector, the barriers to growth and opportunities for new entrants to the market. exhibits at Venturefest

GM Business Connect caught up with exhibitors Use.Space who were keen to describe their unique co-working building set up this year in Ancoats. Founder David Walter and Community Manager Sam Harratt were on hand to explain the concept and go into detail how they were finding exhibiting at Venturefest. We spoke to Sam to see how they were getting on:

Sam Harratt,

Tell us about today? How have you found it so far at Venturefest?

Accounting for the music business + a catch up with the GM Mayor

As regular partners with K-Club events GM Business Connect enjoy a great range of high-profile business speakers from many different businesses, organisations and sectors. The breakfast events are held five times a year at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford, and are designed to allow guests the opportunity to meet other senior business leaders and like-minded entrepreneurs in a club environment. As well as networking at the events, the guests enjoy a full English breakfast followed by two inspiring speakers.

Pro-manchester welcomes new chair

The end of July saw a change of chair for pro-manchester – the largest business development organisation in the Northwest. Taking place at the Lowry Hotel in Salford, this was a chance for members to network, enjoy a fabulous lunch, thank outgoing Chair Alistair Cree as well as welcoming new Chair Jenn Hazlehurst. Jenn both summed up recent activity with pro-manchester and outlined the coming year’s intentions for the organisation. She started with a brief introduction of her own background:

“I’m an audit partner with EY and have always been based in the Northwest,

Manchester Fintech showcased to London

pro-manchester recently welcomed over 120 delegates to their annual fintech lunch with the Lord Mayor of the City of London. This is the flagship event in his visit to the city. Jenn Hazlehurst, chair of pro-manchester, opened the event and thanked event sponsors Clarke Wilmott, Robert Walters and Open Money. She welcomed the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Peter Estlin, to the stage. Addressing delegates, the Lord Mayor praised Manchester’s incredible fintech sector and the part the city has played in establishing the UK as fintech’s global home.

The Altrincham & Sale Chamber brings Small Business Commissioner to Trafford

In May the Altrincham & Sale Chamber of Commerce invited Small Business Commissioner Paul Uppal to Trafford. The aim was to speak to members and non-members at a social Open Evening for the business community. It started with networking whilst guests enjoyed Gin and Jeffrey’s flavoured Tonic from Chester courtesy of co-owner Steve Frehley. The food was supplied by Paul and Georgie Grzesiak owners of Uplift Coffee Shop, which they told us they had only been open two weeks prior at Stretford Mall.

The Greater Manchester Business Awards 2019

The evening of Friday 8 February marked the spectacular third annual awards night of the Greater Manchester Business Awards.

Following the success of the previous two years the event once again gave business owners the chance to bring their staff and clients along to a fun and glamorous night out in recognition of the hard work and support they had put into the business. For both clients and staff it’s the opportunity to say thank you from the business owners,

Investment and business growth with Sir Howard Bernstein and Gail Hounslea

At the first K-Club Breakfast event of 2019 for Northwest business leaders, the audience were treated to the usual quality breakfast provided by the AJ Bell Stadium before hearing from speakers Sir Howard Bernstein; ex-Chief Exec of Manchester City Council and Gail Hounslea; Founder and MD of, discussing the topic of ‘Investment and Business Growth’.

Sir Howard talked on how his role of almost 20 years as Chief Exec of Manchester City Council was filled with not only opportunities,

A hybrid road trip

GM Business Connect recently took up the challenge to write a review of the new Lexus ES 300h Hybrid Saloon, kindly supplied by Lexus Stockport, part of the RRG Group. After driving the car for a week, Paul Mirage reported on the experience of owning the latest Lexus luxury saloon.

About the Car
“When I was asked to test drive the next generation Lexus ES 300h Hybrid Saloon, I wasn’t sure what to expect. On the one hand Hybrid vehicles tend to have a reputation for a distinct lack of performance,

Customer Service Champions

Late November brought two great speakers to K-Club’s regular Salford networking event – Steve Byrne, CEO at Travel Counsellors, and Chris Brindley MBE, Former MD of Metro Bank and Natwest.

Steve Byrne, CEO, Travel Counsellors

Steve was first to speak, and his talk highlighted the positive impact of building caring and trusting relationships with customers – and how this affects the top and bottom lines of business. He began with a little background in that his business had been going for 24 years and grown on average 16% per year for the past 15 years and 20% for the past 3,