PORTSMOUTH’S participation in Global Entrepreneurship Week has been kick-started.
The seven days’ worth of events designed to inspire and help those thinking about setting up their own business began at the third annual Shaping the Future of Portsmouth conference, held at the Guildhall in Portsmouth yesterday.
The organisation is made up of business people, education chiefs and local authority leaders who are all committed to making the city’s future as bright as possible.
They are divided into groups, known as workstreams, designed to raise Portsmouth’s standards across areas such as its brand, education, culture, economy and skills.
Each year a conference is held to find out what each of the workstreams have been up to, and to encourage more people to join in.
The theme of the event was entrepreneurship, but its context was inevitably that of shipbuilding, and BAE Systems’ announcement last week that it was shutting down that side of its business in Portsmouth Naval Base.
Kathy Wadsworth, the council’s strategic director of regeneration, gave a rundown of the investment Portsmouth is looking forward to.
She said: ‘The physical regeneration of Portsmouth will happen, but the important thing is, if we’re successful in our regeneration programme we can create 11,500 additional jobs for the city. On top of that if we’re successful in intervening in the key growth sectors, we can also create another 7,000 jobs – that’s another 18,500 jobs coming into the city over the next five years, which wouldn’t happen if we didn’t intervene.’
Other speakers included Iain Morgan, chief executive of Bladez Toyz; Mike Clare, whose firm Clarenco owns Spitbank Fort; Andrew Gadsden, owner of All About Tea; and professor Graham Galbraith, the new vice-chancellor of the University of Portsmouth.
He told the conference: ‘The University of Portsmouth is ready and willing to work in whatever way we can to grow the economic strength of this city.’