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Meet the keynotes

 At the 2020 edition of the biggest business event in the North of England, there are some cracking keynotes, ready to inspire and motivate you and your business. Find out who they are by reading below, then make sure you get your free ticket to the event on 17th & 18th March at Manchester Central. 

You can see the full keynote, seminar and workshop timetable here.


Mark Wright, Winner of BBC’s The Apprentice


Mark Wright is an award-winning, influential entrepreneur and self-taught digital marketing specialist, renowned for his success in winning BBC’s The Apprentice. In securing the winners title, Mark went on to find and develop one of the UK’s fastest growing digital marketing agencies, Climb Online, in partnership with Lord Sugar. 

As the most successful business to have been founded by an Apprentice winner to date, Climb Online is renowned for its disruptive approach to digital marketing, working with household brands to generate profit and scale growth.

In January 2017, Mark secured a prime spot on the Forbes 30 under 30 list [Europe], for his continuous impact on and dedication to the business sector and has since won a host of business accolades including Entrepreneur’s Team of the Year at the 2018 Great British Entrepreneur Awards and Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2018 UK Business Awards. 

Mark will be speaking on ‘Lead Generation 101’ on Tuesday 17th March at the Northern Business Expo. Get your free ticket online now!

Alex Partridge, Founder of UNILAD & LADBible


From zero to 40 million followers.
 Alex Partridge is one of the pioneers of social media content the way we know it today. At age 21 in 2010, while a student at Oxford Brookes University, he created, designed and wrote Unilad, one of the most popular social news and entertainment internet company in the world with an astonishing following of 40 million people around the globe. 

In 2017 Alex was involved in a major legal dispute over the ownership of the company – he had left his editorial role in 2013 while remaining a stakeholder – and won the case.

Regarded as a ‘Facebook genius’, Alex is now an acclaimed professional speaker.

Alex will be speaking on ‘How I created 2 global social media brands with zero finance’ on Tuesday 17th March at the Northern Business Expo. Get your free ticket online now!

Anastasia Kenyon, Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2019


Manchester born Anastasia Kenyon founded her first business (Palette) in 2015, and has gone on to have huge success with her other ventures Kandi Cosmetics and Make It Up.

Anastasia saw a gap in the market where the fast fashion retailers wanted their own brands, so founded Make It Up which sources and distributes white label cosmetics to retailers such as They now supply 80% of Boohoo's cosmetics.
Kandi Cosmetics is retailed on Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo, InTheStyle and Nasty Gal.

Recent awards:
Young Achiever of the Year 2019 at The English Women's Awards North
Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 at The Lancashire Business Awards

Anastasia will be speaking on ‘Feminism in business - an inter-sectional discussion’ on Tuesday 17th March at the Northern Business Expo. Get your free ticket online now!


Anthony Rose, The Man Behind BBC iPlayer

Anthony Rose started at the BBC as the new head of iPlayer three months before it was due to debut, and despite the years of work and the (rumoured) double-digit millions of pounds that had been spent on it's development, it was nowhere near ready. The world was becoming digital, and streaming technology was moving faster and faster - the then 84 year old BBC needed the streaming service and soon. Within the 3 months, Anthony repeatedly revised and improved iPlayer, focussing on UX and accessibility, and saw it through it's successful launch.

Anthony stayed as Chief Technical Offier of BBC iPlayer until 2010, during which his team grew from 65 people to more than 250, and iPlayer won a Bafta Award for Innovation. Recent figures show that iPlayer streams an average of 272 million programmes per month, which is around 3.3billion per year. The BBC's audience are steadily watching less and less live TV, showing just how important the successful launch of the iPlayer platform was. 

  • Broadcast Magazine's Individual Achievement Award, 2009
  • ITVT All-star award for Leadership, 2012
  • Digital Innovation award from the Digital TV Euro50 Awards, 2013

Anthony will be speaking on ‘How to build a product that your customers will love’ on Tuesday 17th March at the Northern Business Expo. Get your free ticket online now!

Alfie Best, self-made millionaire and CEO of Wyldecrest Parks


Alfie Best started working at the age of 8 years old with his father, labouring and tarmacking. His first business was at the age of just 14, buying and selling cars and vans. Alfie quickly moved on and, during the 1990s, became the owner of several mobile phone shops across London. Full of new ideas and with his hands-on approach and his very unique business style, in 2001 Alfie Best started the business which changed his life. He invested in his very first mobile home park in Romford, Lakeview Residential Park. Today, the business he started 15 years ago, is valued at £200 million.

With all his success, it was not a total surprise for his name to be included in the 2018 Sunday Times Rich List. Due to his accurate business vision, strong and inspirational leadership, drive, ambition, persistence, and hands-on approach personality, Alfie Best has achieved the status of a successful entrepreneur and a multimillionaire businessman, respected and admired amongst the most varied circles of people, from different ages, cultures and backgrounds. 

Alfie will be speaking on ‘Accelerate your business - new ideas to break the monotony’ on Wednesday 18th March at the Northern Business Expo. Get your free ticket online now!


Brad Burton, the UK’s #1 Motivational Speaker


Brad left school with no qualifications and spent years on benefits before starting his own business in 2006. With £25,000 of debt he was delivering pizzas at weekends to help keep his business afloat. 10 years on, 4Networking runs over 5,000+ business networking meetings each year with 1000’s of members, and is a multi-million international business. 

This energetic entrepreneur not only helps just small growing companies, but regularly motivates and speaks to global organisations such as Bentley, JCB, COSTA & NHS. It’s no wonder that he holds the title of UK’s #1 Motivational Business Speaker. An author of 4 business books, he is also the UK’s highest-rated 5star business author on Amazon.

Beneath the bluff exterior of the self styled "bloke from Manchester" is a shrewd business brain.
- The Times

Brad will be speaking on ‘Do you want to be a happier, more successful version of yourself?’ on Tuesday 18th March at the Northern Business Expo. Get your free ticket online now!

Antony Bonney, Natwest Bank's Official Speaker for LinkedIn Events & MD of the UK's Leading LinkedIn Agency

Antony is the official speaker for LinkedIn events held by Natwest Bank, and is also Managing Director of the UK's Leading LinkedIn Agency, InSurge.

His vision was to not only create a new way to prospect for B2B sales-people by utilising but to then share this knowledge through content and speaking events. Sitting in the sunshine 2 years after orchestrating his previous companies expansion into Tenerife, Antony received a welcome phone call from an old friend and colleague. By the end of that conversation, he was ready to approach his wife with the bombshell of moving back to the UK.

Once back in the UK Antony spent 6 months developing the inSurge Strategy for LinkedIn and building it into the UK's Leading LinkedIn Digital Agency.

Antony will be speaking on ‘Make LinkedIn work for YOUR business.’ on Tuesday 18th March at the Northern Business Expo. Get your free ticket online now!


Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester


Andy Burnham was elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester in May 2017. Responsible for shaping the future of Greater Manchester, Andy’s priorities include ending rough sleeping, transforming Greater Manchester into one of the greenest city regions in Europe, and making Greater Manchester a great place to live, get on, and grow old.

Andy is committed to making Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to start, scale and grow a business. Greater Manchester has a fantastic business ecosystem, creating good and meaningful jobs that benefit our residents and growing our economy is a Mayoral priority.

Andy will be speaking at the Northern Business Expo 2020. Get your free ticket online now!


Warren Cass, Professional Speaker & Author


Warren Cass is a speaker that inspires, entertains and informs. He has experienced huge success and tasted the bitter pill of failure. All of these lessons and stories are shared when he speaks, and always from the heart!

Warren has a straight-talking, no-nonsense presentation style. His passion for business shows, especially when he talks about influence & marketing. His talks contain real life relatable stories designed to get the audience involved with the content. At heart Warren is a geek who loves to figure out why and how things work. He firmly believes we live in times of significant change, and to stay ahead, we need to understand the game.

Warren will be speaking on ‘Influence in a changing world’ on Tuesday 18th March at the Northern Business Expo. Get your free ticket online now!


Carl Reader, Entrepreneur, Author & Small Business Champion, The Start Up Coach


The school drop-out turned entrepreneur, business advisor and small business champion.

As a teenager, Carl Reader’s life didn’t look promising, but he has since become a mentor and advisor to some of the UK’s largest organisations, as well as chairman of his own company, d&t advisory.

These days, Carl helps people understand that business isn't difficult - in language an eight year old can understand. He is the founder of the #BeYourOwnBoss movement, who's focus is on offering straightforward, accessible advice to entrepreneurs and businesses looking to start and grow. ​Carl is the author of 'The Startup Coach', and regularly features in both the national press and trade journals, as well as in radio, television and podcast slots, providing an expert view on a variety of business matters.

Carl will be speaking on ‘#Be your own boss (even if you have a boss)’ on Wednesday 18th March at the Northern Business Expo. Get your free ticket online now!


Ben Kench, UK's #1 Sales & Business Growth Specialist, Author of Selling for Dummies

Ben Kench is an author, entrepreneur, coach and professional business speaker. As the author of Selling For Dummies, he knows a huge amount about not only selling, but human nature and what it takes to build a whole business around getting more sales.

He is now the UK's #1 Sales & Business Growth Specialist, and understands how to manage people, process and products to generate massive profits.

Ben will be speaking on ‘Business: the successful way’ on Tuesday 18th March at the Northern Business Expo. Get your free ticket online now!
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