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New enterprise hub aims to help small businesses


Inventor Trevor Baylis OBE, who created the wind-up radio, will speak at the grand opening of Butterfield Enterprise Hub during its Innovation Day 2009 on April 2.
Mr Baylis will give a presentation about motivating small to medium-sized businesses and helping entrepreneurs to focus on converting invention into innovation to sustain their competitiveness and grow their businesses.
Butterfield Enterprise Hub is an initiative of the University of Bedfordshire, Luton Borough Council and Basepoint Business Centre, with funding support from the East of England Development Agency. It has been set up to help businesses from across the region and north London.
University oif Bedfordshire innovation director Dr Abdul Al-Jibouri said: “The Hub will open at a crucial time for SMEs and entrepreneurs as economic growth continues to slow down. We aim to nurture innovation and an enterprising culture in the region, and celebrate the importance of innovation in business.
Innovation is essential for companies to survive and compete, especially during tough economic times. The Butterfield Enterprise Hub will give local firms the opportunity to work with experienced professionals, who can offer guidance and practical support for innovation and business growth.”
Innovation Day will also see the launch of the Butterfield Young Innovator Programme for regional schools. The programme is designed to encourage natural creativity and inquisitiveness in schoolchildren, through the application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Dr Al-Jibouri said: “It is vital to encourage schoolchildren, as the next generation of inventors and innovators, to take science and engineering subjects to stimulate technological innovation in order to maintain high value added manufacturing in the UK and to nurture the digital generation and foster a knowledge-based economy.”
Businesses are invited to attend the opening free of charge to find out how the new Butterfield Enterprise Hub can help them. Participants will have the opportunity to network with other organisations, take part in practical sessions led by experts and leading business names and academics will share their thoughts on how to successfully introduce new concepts into business activity.
Innovation Day runs from 8.30am to 5pm at Basepoint Innovation Centre and Business Base, at Butterfield, in Luton. To register or host a free stand to promote your business and gather contacts visit www.beds.ac.uk/innovationday