Issue: February 2007
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CHAMBER NEWS

IS YOUR TELECOMS SUPPLIER OFFERING YOU BEST VALUE?

Book a free voice and data audit and see how much value Chamber Communications™ can add to your business. 

Whether you're using landline, mobile, fax, email or internet, Chamber Telecoms™ has a quality solution guaranteed to reduce your overheads.

We will connect cost and quality (from a tier one national telecoms carrier) to make sure that your business communicates for less without compromising on service.

Call today to reap the benefits of:

  • Free voice and data communications audit – identify possible savings and opportunities to advance your technology
  • Lower line and call costs
  • Fax 2 Email services – get rid of your old fax and line!
  • Automated Call Barring (Telephone Preference Service) – keep on the right side of the law and avoid a £5,000 fine
  • Call tracking services – giving you maximum management information
  • Non geographic numbers 0800/0870/0845 services
  • Mobile phone savings
  • VOIP technology and video conferencing
  • Internet solutions 

Email: info2@chambercommunications.co.uk or call 0845 120 2422 to book your free communications audit

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EBUSINESS EXPO 07

The opportunity to book exhibition stand space at this year's eBusiness Expo is now open. Last year's stands sold out within two weeks and we are expecting an even higher demand this year. Stands will be allocated on a strictly first come first served basis so book early to reserve the best spot and avoid disappointment! 

Visit the website to: 

  • Download the exhibitor information pack
  • View the floorplan and reserve the best spot
  • Find out information about the daily activities

Over two days, this year's Expo promises to be bigger and better than ever and we anticipate over 1000+ visitors and even more opportunities for exhibitors. 

For further information and to request an application form please visit www.ebusinessclub.biz/expo or contact the eBusiness Club Team on 0845 603 8370.

The eBusiness Expo is funded by the East Midlands Development Agency, supported by Business Link and managed by the East Midlands Chambers of Commerce.

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EXPORT COURSES ANNOUNCED FOR 2007

Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce has announced that it will be running the following one-day export courses in early 2007:

  • 7th March    Export Foundation Course
  • 19th February / 14th March   Export Documentation Course
  • 28th February / 21st March   Export Letter of Credit Course
  • 28th March   Import Foundation Course

For more details or to make a booking contact Kam Atker, Events Liaison Officer at Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, on Tel: 0116 204 6614 or email: atker.k@chamberofcommerce.co.uk Alternatively you can visit our website at www.chamberofcommerce.co.uk and select What’s On /Events.

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LEGISLATIVE NEWS

QDOS CONSULTING: KEEPING YOU UP TO DATE

Membership of the Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce entitles you to access the website and helplines of QDOS Consulting where you can get accurate, up to date information on all employment law and legislation matters – completely free of charge. 

The recent QDOS Employment and Health & Safety update covered:

  • Resolving employment issues
  • Ways in which employers can minimise the impact on an occupational sickness scheme of employees being absent through injuries resulting from activity sports such as skiing holiday, and the update provided a link to a newly drafted sickness benefit policy
  • January 1st saw the further expansion of the European Union with the admission of Romania and Bulgariaand there are many important considerations for employers to bear in mind when employing overseas workers
  • 2007 is the year when the whole of the United Kingdom will be subject to legislation in relation to smoking and it ISs important businesses are clear regarding the nature of the new legislation.

For more information visit www.chamberhr.co.uk

Members who wish to download Word or PDF templates from this website will need their username and password to access this resource. You can obtain this by calling Leicestershire Chamber on Tel: 0116 247 1800.

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BCC STATEMENT ON THE RELAUNCH OF ONLINE RED TAPE COMPLAINTS PORTAL

Responding to the recent re-launch of the Better Regulation Committee's online red tape complaints portal, David Frost, Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: "We welcome any tool which enables British businesses to directly air their views on the impact that regulation has on their business. Regulation is of concern to many businesses particularly our members who, as SME's, find that the increasing regulatory burden distracts them from running their business."

"The 2006 BCC Burden's Barometer shows that the cumulative burden of new regulation since 1998 to UK business is £50.27 billion pounds. We urgently need to see delivery on an agenda which is critically important in maintaining the UK's competitiveness."

"We agree with the Minister, Pat McFadden MP, that there needs to be shared responsibility for this issue which is why we published Red Tape the Real Story in November last year, a compilation of red tape examples. We will continue to push the case for regulatory simplification both through documents such as this and via our own red tape portal."

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NEW LAW DEMANDS BUSINESS DISCLOSURE FOR WEBSITES, ORDER FORMS AND E-COMMUNICATIONS

New legislation means that every company website, business letter sent electronically (i.e. from a Blackberry or by email) and order form must now feature additional information.

That is the warning from Jordans, the UK's biggest provider of professional business services and information to companies and their advisers, who say that non-compliance with the new law could lead to executives being fined.

According to Janis Law, Jordans Group Chief Solicitor: "Anyone acting on behalf of a company who authorises a website to appear on the internet without the company name, registered number, registered office address and place of registration being stated, is now personally liable to a fine. In addition, the company's name must now appear on all order forms issued by a company."

"These trading disclosure requirements will also apply to business letters whether sent by hard copy or electronically, so companies will have to ensure that the statutory information that they already have on their business letterhead also appears on their emails, faxes and other electronic business correspondence.

"This change has been poorly publicised by the DTI, so many businesses are unaware of what is required. The statutory instrument which introduced these changes was published just before Christmas, leaving little time for businesses to comply."

More information on the Companies Act is available on Jordans' website where visitors can register to receive regular free Companies Act updates.

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CHAMBER EVENTS

EMPLOYMENT LAW SEMINAR

Date: 21 February
Venue: Leicester Tigers Ground, Aylestone Road, Leicester
Time: 7.30am – 9am
Cost: £25.00 Chamber Members / £35.00 Standard. Includes full English breakfast.
This seminar will look at changes in legislation coming into force in April including:

  • Flexible Working
  • Information & Consultation Regulations
  • Equality Act & Sexual Orientation Regulations
  • Statutory Dispute Resolution Procedures

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WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

Date: 2 March
Venue: Leicester City Football Club, Leicester
Time: 7pm – midnight
Cost: £50 per person / £470 per table of ten
Discounted rates for community & women's groups

Celebrate the success of women in Leicestershire at this gala award evening with guest speakers Suzi Quatro and Kay Alexander.

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INTEGRA EVENING WITH DR JULIA PIPER SPONSORED BY BUSINESS LINK LEICESTERSHIRE

Date: 15 March
Venue: Leicester Marriott Hotel, Grove Park, Enderby
Time: 6pm - 8.30pm
Cost: £25.00.  Price includes food and wine.

Dr. Julia Piper has run her private general medical practice in Leicestershire for the past 12 years. She was recently voted by Tatler Magazine as one of the top 12 private GPs in the country, sits on the Independent Doctors Forum Council and represents the UK Independent sector on the National Advisory Group for the National Program for IT, Connecting for Health.

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AN EVENING FULL OF INDIAN SPICES

Date: 20 March 
Venue: The Curry Pot, Belgrave Road, Leicester
Time: 6pm – 8.30pm
Cost: £25.00 Members /£
35.00 Standard

Leicestershire Chamber invites you to join us for a networking evening with an Indian touch at one of Leicestershire's well-known Indian restaurants.The Curry Pot will be providing a delicious buffet banquet, with several Indian starters and main courses, you can eat as much as you like and go back for more as many times as you want.

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NETWORKING WITH DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

Date: 19 April 
Venue: Campus Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester
Time: 6pm – 8.30pm
Cost: Place only, no display stand (inc. VAT) Members £25 / Standard £35
Place & Space for display stand (inc. VAT) Members £55 / Standard £65 

Leicestershire Chamber is keen to encourage members to network, linking business of all sizes and sectors together to enable them to meet, exchange views and identify potential new business. Hosted by De Montfort University this event gives members an opportunity to reserve space for an exhibition stand, network and exchange company literature with fellow attendees over a glass of wine.

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THE GLIDING EXPERIENCE

Date: 15 May 2007
Venue: Husbands Bosworth Airfield
Time: 10am – 1.30pm or 12.30pm - 4pm
Cost from £45.00

Experience the spectacular views of south Leicestershire in silent flight from the cockpit of a modern glider; exclusive, discounted opportunity for Chamber members to take the 'Gliding Experience'. Choose from either a flight behind one of the centre's 'tug' aircraft on an aero tow or a 'winch' launch, which gives rapid ascent to 1200 ft or more in less than a minute.

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GOLF DAY

Date: 22 May
Venue: Parkhill Golf and Leisure Club, Seagrave, near Loughborough
Time: Tee off from 8.30am - 18 Holes
Cost: Members: £49.50 / Standard: £59.50 

This event will include a superb days golf along with breakfast and lunch. Players will be arranged into teams of 4 with a chance to win both individual and team prizes.

Sturgess Volvo is kindly sponsoring a car for a lucky hole in one winner; all other prizes on the day are sponsored by QDOS Consulting.

For more information on these events please call Kam Atker on Tel: 0116 204 6614 or alternatively visit the Chamber website for details of other forthcoming events at: www.chamberofcommmerce.co.uk and select What's On/events

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OTHER NEWS

AN EXLUSIVE AUDIENCE WITH DAME ANITA RODDICK OBE

An audience with one of the world's most influential entrepreneurs Dame Anita Roddick OBE, on Monday 26th February at the Peepul Centre, Leicester. As spaces are limited you are urged to book at the earliest opportunity to avoid disappointment. Drinks and canapés available from 6.30pm, the event begins at 7.30pm. To book tickets please ring 0116 261 6000.

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GETTING GREEN ON TRACK

A unique national event is to take place in the Midlands in April of this year. Held at Mallory Park Race Circuit from 18-20 April, the "Getting Green on Track" conference and exhibition will be a one-stop shop for businesses wishing to learn about how they can become more environmentally friendly.

The three-day event will feature several themes of major importance in the growing debate on green issues – from food & drink, motoring, recycling and biofuels to environmentally conscious buildings and built environments. The first two days will be trade days and the third day will be largely devoted to schools, colleges and universities, with the emphasis on providing materials for students from GCSE upwards.

The event is to be backed by Envirowise, a Government-funded programme that offers UK businesses free, independent, confidential advice and support on practical ways to increase profits, minimise waste and reduce environmental impact.  Sponsorship has also been confirmed from Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire Recycling Solutions with significant support from Local Alchemy. Other big name sponsors are in negotiations at the moment and are due to be announced shortly.

Visitors will have the chance to meet companies that have already taken steps to improve their green credentials. Expert advice will also be available on how to become more environmentally friendly with realistically achievable business and recycling practices.

"With global warming and green issues becoming hot topics in the news, no-one in business can afford to ignore the part that they can and will have to play in the future. This event will help many businesses large and small to plan their environmental strategy cost-effectively and efficiently. We have had tremendous interest already," said organiser Sue Langley of BDI Consultants Ltd.

The Getting Green on Track Event runs at Mallory Park from Wednesday 18th April 2007 to Friday 20th April. Free tickets are available by telephoning BDI Consultants on 0845 4500448 or emailing info@bdiconsultants.co.uk

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ACHIEVING RESULTS THROUGH BETTER UNDERSTANDING AND APPLICATION OF IT

Business performance is increasingly reliant on the effective use of IT and De Montfort University (DMU) is helping to ensure that your employees have the skills they need to keep your business at the forefront of its industry. 

As one of the UK's largest universities with leading edge capabilities it has an enviable track record in delivering professional IT training programmes to satisfy the development needs of you and your staff.

DMU is delighted to offer the following short courses in specialist IT applications for 2007:

Programming Using Java

Object Modelling with UML 2.0

Component Based Development with UML 1.x and UML 2.0

Preparation for the OMG UML Professional Certification Exams

April, June and September course dates are available. All courses run in Leicester, however in addition to open courses DMU are always keen to explore the possibility of running bespoke, in-house courses at a location to suit the client.

For more information or to book your place visit www.dmu.ac.uk/dmccc or call 0116 257 7377 email: dmccc@dmu.ac.uk.

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HSBC LAUNCHES ANNUAL SEARCH FOR BRITAIN'S TOP

The seventh HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards launched earlier this month, starting a national search for the UK's most promising start-up businesses and the inspirational entrepreneurs behind them.

The awards – presented with the Daily Express and Sky News, and backed by Government – are open to any fledgling firm less than three years old which can prove it has the determination, dedication, creativity and business acumen for success.

This year also sees the introduction of a special Green Award for the start-up company doing the most to put the environment at the top of its business agenda.

Other enhancements for 2007, designed to make the awards bigger and better than ever before, include cash and prizes worth a record £100,000 plus five regional heats that will now generate 50 regional winners.

Judges aren't looking for the biggest or fasting growing company – but entrepreneurs will need to prove their businesses have the X factor, to take away the top prize of £25,000.

The Start-Up Stars Awards will culminate in a glittering black tie event at London's Dorchester Hotel on October 24, where the winner will be announced before an audience of 300 guests drawn from the worlds of business, politics and the media. An HSBC cheque for £7,000 will be presented to the Runner-Up whilst the business scooping the new Green Award will receive £5,000.

In addition, each national finalist will win a prize package worth £4,000 from Intuit and Google and two years free banking service from HSBC.

Entry forms are available from HSBC branches, online at www.hsbc.co.uk/startupstars or by contacting the Start-Up Stars office on 0870 902 3333.

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LEICESTERSHIRE AND RUTLAND TOURISM BUSINESSES ENCOURAGED TO WELCOME ALL

Leicester Shire Promotions is hosting a one-day workshop designed to provide tourism businesses in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland with practical advice and cost-effective ideas to enhance the quality of service for those customers with disabilities and special needs. The course is part of Leicester Shire Promotions ongoing Quality Improvement Programme and will be held on Monday 12 March 2007 at the Belmont House Hotel in Leicester. 

The Welcome All course has been developed to include further direction on the Disability Discrimination Act, which came into force in 2005. Topics to be covered in the course include welcoming customers with disabilities, attitudes and behavior, the benefits of an accessible service, meeting legal requirements, adopting a positive approach, communicating effectively with people with disabilities, providing accommodation and ensuring a warm welcome.  

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions, said: "Quality and excellence in services and facilities make all the difference and enable us to compete successfully with other destinations. Quality underpins first and lasting impressions that influence visitors to stay longer, spend more and importantly return again at some future time. But it's all too easy to become complacent about these issues and develop a 'one -size-fits- all' approach. The Welcome All course will aim to encourage employees to adopt facilities and procedures to cater for each and every service user, regardless of ability.

"There is, of course, a legal obligation on service providers to make reasonable adjustments to their property, business or service to anticipate the needs of disabled people. The course will ensure that delegates are fully aware of the legal requirements that the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 necessitates," continued Mr Peters.          

The cost of the course will be £10 plus vat for Impact 100 members and £20 plus vat for non-members. The course includes refreshments and a two-course hot/cold buffet lunch in the restaurant. Places are limited to 16 delegates only. To book a space please contact Josie Martino-Snook on 0116 225 4015 or email: josie.snook@l-p-l.com

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HUNT FOR THE BEST UK MANUFACTURER TARGETS REGION

East Midlands' manufacturers have got less than two months to get their entries in for the 2007 Manufacturing Excellence (MX) Awards.

The DTI Manufacturing Advisory Service in the East Midlands (MAS EM) is encouraging firms across the region to take part in the awards initiative that will see one worthy UK company go on to win the coveted Best Manufacturer crown.

MAS EM's practice leader Simon Leonard said: "This is the UK's premier manufacturing prize and is an excellent opportunity for manufacturers to demonstrate their capabilities and pit their wits against the best in the industry."

Every firm that enters will receive a free business 'MOT' worth up to £20,000 which offers top tips to companies on how to improve performance, taking size and resources into consideration.

Participating companies are then entitled to follow this up with a free on-site 'health check' visit of up to five days from MAS EM in order to get the full benefit of the outcomes of the MOT benchmark report. MAS EM can help firms implement changes that will transform their shortcomings into assets.

The competition is being run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in partnership with MAS nationally to promote and protect the heritage of theUKmanufacturing industry and share best practice.

IMechE President Alec Osborn MBE, said: "Having worked with some of the leading UK companies in my time as an engineer, a project like this is fundamental to protecting the manufacturing assets. Every firm that enters is entitled to the MOT benchmark report, compiled by a panel of manufacturing experts, and we have also set up a mentoring scheme to help firms through the whole process."

Deadline for entries is 2nd March. Finalists for the 11 categories will be invited to an awards ceremony on 13th June at the Marriott Hotel in London where the winners will be announced.

All entrants are offered a mentor to guide them through the application process, making entry swift and easy and helping firms gain the most from their MX application.

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NEW INVEST LEICESTERSHIRE WEBSITE

The new Invest Leicestershire website www.investleicestershire.com has been launched. The site features information that businesses need to make an informed decision about expanding or relocating to Leicester and Leicestershire. With information on Leicestershire's workforce, skills availability, commercial property and business parks, regeneration and investment updates, transport networks, world class universities and much more, it really does show why Leicestershire is good for business.

The new site also features an interactive map of Leicestershire which features communications links, local universities, business parks etc and also a document library for people looking for more information on the city and county.

Invest Leicestershire.com also features the Leicestershire Property Directory, the online commercial property search engine, with details of over 800 properties including offices, industrial and warehouse properties. 

For further information call a member of the Invest Leicestershire team on Tel: 0116 225 4071 or email invest@l-p-l.com

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LSC LAUNCHES SEARCH FOR APPRENTICESHIP EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has launched its search to find the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2007.

Now in their fourth year, the Apprenticeship Awards are designed to recognise and applaud employers who are exceptionally committed to developing the skills of their workforce through excellent apprentice training programmes, and apprentices who have exceeded their employers' expectations by producing exceptional and measurable benefits or have overcome personal difficulties to succeed through their apprenticeship.

Skills shortages continue to have a negative impact on productivity and competitiveness in the UK, with employers considering these a bigger threat to performance than soaring oil prices and declining consumer spending. Designed by employers to meet their specific needs, apprenticeships provide a real solution to addressing shortages within their organisations, whilst delivering tangible benefits such as increased productivity, profitability, staff retention and lower training costs.

Employers are eligible to enter one of four categories depending on their company size: Micro (1-9 employees), Small (10-49 employees), Medium (50-249 employees) and Large (250+ employees). They are assessed on a number of criteria including implementation of the apprenticeship programme, clear demonstration of the way apprenticeships have benefited their business and the level of support provided to their apprentices. 

There are three apprentice categories, to recognise those whose contribution to the workplace has exceeded their employer's expectations by producing exceptional and measurable benefits: Apprentice of the Year, Advanced Apprentice of the Year and Young Apprentice of the Year. A Personal Achievement Award will also be presented to an apprentice who has successfully overcome a barrier or obstacle – personally or in the workplace – to achieve their goals and exceed expectations.

To enter the awards or for more information call the awards team on 0800 019 2083. Deadline for entries is Friday 23rd February 2007.

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ALLIANCE & LEICESTER OFFERS NEW AUTOMATED POST OFFICEŽ SYSTEM FOR BUSINESS CUSTOMERS

Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank has developed a new automated system for business customers, across the Post Office's 14,300 branch network. The new system allows plastic cards to replace paper stationery and will provide an improved service for the bank's business customers.

Customers will benefit from added security when making withdrawals, as paper withdrawal slips and cheques will be replaced by a withdrawal card that is PIN protected. The new automated system will also lead to a 50 per cent reduction in the amount of paper flowing between the Post Office and the bank. The automated system is being implemented for customers who make deposits, withdrawals and require a change-giving service via Post Office branches. 

Steve Jennings, Director of Business Banking at Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, said: "Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank initially introduced the automated system for small business customers making deposits. Following the success of this pilot we have taken the decision to extend the automated system to other banking services and to incorporate all customers. Given the added security benefit for customers and the reduction in the amount of paper generated via transactions, we believe this the new system will prove to be a very popular with business customers of all sizes." 

For further details about how Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank can help businesses make the most of their cash, business owners should visit www.alliance-leicestercommercialbank.co.uk or telephone 0800 587 0800.

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NEW YEAR ? NEW WOODLAND

The success of the first year of the innovative Hundred Acre Woods Scheme, with the planting of more than 28 acres of new woodland in the National Forest, proved that it is an exciting and attractive proposition for a wide range of organisations and individuals.

With plenty of potential to plant more small woodlands in the forest the National Forest Company (NFC) is pleased to offer the scheme again this year and is looking for individuals, businesses, schools and colleges, local councils or community groups with an acre or more of land available to take part. 

Clive Keble, Chief Officer NFC, said: "This is a chance for someone with a small patch of land to create their own woodland within the National Forest at no cost. We provide the trees – you just need to bring enthusiasm and commitment!"

Each woodland is to be planned, planted and maintained by the individual, business or community group. In return, the NFC will provide up to 420 trees with canes and guards absolutely free. The trees will be a mixture of native broadleaves, such as oak, ash and birch, with some shrub species. The NFC will also provide a guide to planting and maintenance.

Anyone interested in taking advantage of this excellent opportunity to create one of the Hundred Acre Woods should contact Lindsey Cheetham at the NFC on Tel: 01283 551211 or email lcheetham@nationalforest.org or write to the National Forest Company, Bath Yard, Moira, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE12 6BD, for her attention.

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BBC RADIO LEICESTER'S RUBY CELEBRATION

Our local BBC Radio Station is 40 this year! It was 1967 when Britain's first local BBC station went on air and the BBC feel the ruby anniversary is a milestone worth celebrating. 

BBC Radio Leicester has launched a huge charity appeal – "The BBC Radio Leicester Ruby Rainbow Appeal" to commemorate the anniversary. It is hoped to raise £400,000 towards the building of a new wing at the Rainbows Children's Hospice especially for teens and 20s. Rainbows has done a wonderful job for children with life curtailing illnesses and conditions, but thanks to medical science many are living longer and a teen and 20s unit is ever more necessary.

The appeal was launched with a £1 per listener request and will be moving on to all kinds of events throughout the year including a De Montfort Hall Spectacular, a cathedral service, the Abbey Park 125th Show, the Walk of Life, a countywide Ruby Treasure Hunt, a huge "Sporty 40" sponsored event, Alan Birchenall's run at the Walkers Stadium.

BBC Radio Leicester would like the business community to show their support with perhaps a fund raising event or a donation. If you think you could help please contact Appeal Co-ordinator Dave Andrews direct at: dave.andrews@bbc.co.uk or call 0116 201 6676.

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

The LeicestHERday Trust presents its 6th annual conference, 'A Century of Change and Challenge' taking place on 16th March at the Walkers Stadium, Leicester.

The LeicestHERday Trust is joining forces with local, regional and national organisations to bring you a stimulating and informative day out:

  • Discussion groups on a range of business and community topics
  • A wide range of exhibitions and stalls
  • Networking opportunities

In order to guarantee entry to this event please contact the LeicestHERday Trust before 28th February 2007: Email: lhd@blleics.co.uk . Telephone: 0116 257 5615

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INVITATION TO FREE EVENT

A one-time opportunity for employers in the Midlands to be invited to a reception at The ICC, Birmingham on Friday 16 February, to hear from Sir Digby Jones and Professor Mike Campbell on the future of the UK workforce and why skills are key to the success of UK businesses and public services.

17:30 - 18:30 Registration and Drinks
18:30 - Sir Digby Jones
18:40 - Professor Mike Campbell
19:00 - Drinks and Networking

To register to attend this free event, please visit: www.livegroup.co.uk/prosperity

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

EXPO 2007

EXPO Pakistan, an annual extravaganza of goods and services produced by Pakistan is coming up once again in 2007. From 29th March to 1st April, the EXPO Center Karachi will be home to an exhibition of the diversity and quality of Pakistan's merchandise and trade related services.

In 2005, Pakistan for the first time set up an exhibition with an international audience in mind. More than four hundred local companies, representing all major sectors of industry, manufacturers, retailers, trade associations and commercial service providers set up stalls in one venue, i.e. the Karachi Expo Centre.

EXPO Pakistan 2005 received an overwhelming response and has since become an annual feature providing a one stop opportunity for the international trader, manufacturer, businessperson and investor to see for themselves the quality and variety which Pakistan's industry and SME's have to offer. With a GDP growth rate averaging at 6% during the last years, Pakistanis one of the fastest growing economies of Asia. With its competitive costs of production, excellent infrastructure, easy availability of raw material and literate human resource, it is now a highly industrious market to reckon with.

One of the largest delegations to visit EXPO 2005 and 2006 were from the UK. They represented retailers, chain stores representatives, buying houses, representatives of the trade and industries associations and private businesses. This reflects the interest of the UK business in Pakistan's market. This would be an excellent sourcing opportunity to explore businesses and investments in Pakistan.

For more information on EXPO Pakistan, visit http://epb.magsnet.net/expo07/ or email to saira.ahmed@phclondon.org/  or phone: +44 20 7664 9215

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INTERNATIONAL WEB MARKETING

21st February 2007 

East Midlands International Trade Association (EMITA) are holding an event designed specifically to help businesses explore issues around web marketing, planning for e-Business and developing web strategies. The speaker Susan Hallam is Managing Director of Hallam Communications and is a leading provider of internet marketing consultancy and training. This event will be held at the Stage Hotel in Leicester. Free to EMITA members or £25 per delegate. If you would like to attend please send an e-mail to Costa Philippou on: costaphilippou.emita@emd.org.uk or phone on Tel: 0115 988 8516 to book your place

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SAUDI ARABIA AND UAE - A WEALTH OF OPPORTUNITIES

6th March 2007 

This event will give companies a good feel for doing business in Saudi Arabia and UAE. The programme also offers individual workshops that focus on the route to market, language and culture and legal and financial framework. This is a half-day event and is being held at PridePark in Derby. For further details please contact Costa Philippou on Tel: 0115 988 8516 or email: costaphilippou.emita@emd.org.uk

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TASTE OF BRITAIN II - NORWAY

6th– 8th March 2007
(Food & Drink Sector) 

A mini exhibition with over 100 buyers expected to attend. East Midlands food & drink companies will get the opportunity to meet with Norwegian buyers. This event is suitable for both retail and food service products. Sectors likely to be of interest to Norwegian buyers are convenience foods, ethnic foods, cheese, bakery, health products and confectionary, including sugar-free sweets. Participation fee is £50.00 plus your travel expenses. For further details please contact Jane Johansen, UK Trade & Investment on 01572 574043 or email: jane.johansen.ukti@bllr.co.uk

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TRADE VISIT TO SHANGHAI & NINGBO

12th- 16th March 2007

Shanghai offers very good opportunities for companies in IT, automotive, chemicals and biopharmaceuticals. Rapidly growing sectors also include finance, insurance, transportation, telecomms, retailing and wholesale. Ningbo is a manufacturing base for automotive, papermaking and textile goods. Companies can spend a week exploring the market and meeting new business contacts.There is also a grant available for eligible companies. For further information on the visit please contact Min He on Tel: 0116 258 7312 or email: MinHe@emd.org.uk.

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BRITISH CRAFTS IN JAPAN MISSION

13th- 23rd March 2007

British Crafts mission to Japan jointly led by UKTI, Design Factory and Arts Council England (East Midlands) with 18 designer-makers embarking on a mission toTokyo. Eight companies are from the region and will be part of the Tokyo Embassy supported exhibition at the Ozone Plaza in Tokyo. A full itinerary will involve research into business opportunities together with arranged meetings with retail buyers, gallery owners and licensing agents. For further details please contact Christine Johnson on Tel: 0116 258 7357

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BRITISH OPPORTUNITIES WITH INDIA; GOING TO THE NEXT LEVEL

20 March 2007

For companies who want to know more about the opportunities in India. Focusing on Agriculture, Food Processing & Packaging, Healthcare & Biotech and Engineering sectors. This is a full day event being held at the Leicestershire Cricket Ground. For further details please contact Costa Philippou on Tel: 0115 9888516 or email: costaphilippou.emita@emd.org.uk.

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MEET THE FASHION BUYERS

21st March 2007

An event especially aimed at ladies fashionwear companies to enable them to meet a range of overseas retail buyers. Each company will have a mini exhibition stand and a series of short appointments with buyers. This one-day event will take place at the Walkers Stadium in Leicester. For further details please contact Suzy Bolton, UK Trade & Investment, on Tel: 0116 258 7314.

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