Celebration of Business

Celebration of Business 2018

Tuesday 24 April

Tough Times: Good Business. How to continue to operate our businesses ethically business despite the uncertain economic climate, and what businesses can do to tackle inequality, shortage of skills, and low productivity? With a fantastic lineup of speakers and the Chambers of Commerce innovative and interactive morning workshop will addressing some of these issues. In the evening we'll be joined by Louise Nicholls of Marks & Spencer and Lord Bird MBE of The Big Issue for what promises to be a lively address and Q&A.

A special feature of ECBG is that we have committed ourselves to providing all that we do free of charge to all participants. Supported by generous sponsorship from local people and organisations, this important element of our ethos ensures that cost is no barrier to participation and hence encourages representation from all sectors and from individuals as well as corporations.

9:30am | Grow Your Business in the Lady Chapel*
Led by the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, this workshop will encourage businesses to consider growth and more importantly having the right people and skills to enable growth.

  • People are your greatest asset.
  • Employing and developing the right people is crucial for sustainable growth.
  • Failing to plan is planning to fail

This event is designed to encourage businesses to think about business growth, develop their employees and consider the skills required to attract and employ people for the longer term. There will be a focus on People, from apprenticeships up the chain through to mentors. We’ll also hear the successful stories of local businesses and take part in a fun, interactive and thought-provoking workshop to help support your organisation’s growth ambitions. There will be time to network over light refreshments.

  • 2pm | Business Exhibition and Networking in the main body of the Cathedral
  • 5.30pm | Invitation to Evensong sung by the boy choristers of Ely Cathedral Choir
  • 6.30pm | Celebration of Business Evening Reception followed by
  • Keynote addresses and Q&A session

Lord Bird MBE | Louise Nicholls

Louise Nicholls
Corporate Head of Human Rights, Food Sustainability, and Food Packaging at M&S

Louise Nicholls has worked for Marks and Spencer for over 20 years, and has been leading the retailer's ethical trade programme for over a decade. She formed part of the small team that developed the company's ground-breaking Plan A, a 100-point, five-year plan to address a wide range of environmental and social issues. Louise was also instrumental in setting up the supplier data exchange initiative, Sedex. Much of her time is spent travelling the world to meet and interact with M&S' global supply base, as well as speaking at global business responsibility and sustainability summits.

Lord Bird MBE
Founder and Editor-In-Chief, The Big Issue
Born into poverty, John Bird's life has included spells as a thief, young offender, artist and poet. Now an established iconoclast, activist and publisher, John Bird is the force behind The Big Issue, the world's most successful street magazine. He is an inspirational business leader with an outstanding record of using business as a tool for social change. At a time when Corporate Social Responsibility is preoccupying business leaders and consumers alike, John Bird offers an authoritative, fresh approach, and some original perspectives on the interaction of business and society. Bird was nominated for a life peerage in October 2015 and sits as a cross bench peer.

Celebration of Business 2016 and EU Debate

Friday 13 to Monday 16 May

Celebration of Business Exhibition 100 businesses, large and small, and from many sectors, on show in the Cathedral. Visitors are welcome.

In pursuit of ECBG’s aims to encourage the relationship between Businesses and the wider community, companies are invited to promote themselves free of charge, at an exhibition in the awe inspiring environment of Ely Cathedral. Businesses of all sizes from Sole Trader through to Multi-National rub shoulders for a week and Business people have the opportunity to meet and to learn from each other.


Monday 16 May
1pm - 4pm Ely Chamber of Commerce Event ‘Grow Your Business’ Lady Chapel (pre-booking via the Chamber required)

3pm - 6pm Business Promotion and Networking Event
Representatives from all businesses are encouraged to attend

6pm - 8.30pm Celebration of Business Reception & Debate

7pm Formal welcome from Tom Green, Chairman of ECBG & CEO of Spearhead International Ltd

Debate - European Union: Britain In or Out?

Panellists IN
Richard Howitt MEP East of England
Coralie Green East Cambs District Councillor
Rebecca Hesketh Trainee Assistant Crop Manager at G’s Fresh
Marcus Johnson CEO & Dep Chairman of NW Brown, Cambridge

Panellists OUT
Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP Hitchen & Harpenden
John Borland Local Businessman
Anna Firth Sevenoaks District Councillor
Tom Hunt East Cambs District Councillor

After opening arguments from both sides, the majority of the evening will be devoted to questions and comments from the audience
8.30pm Close and dismantle exhibition stands


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ECBG Celebration of Business 2015

Friday 15 to Thursday 21 May

Keynote Speeches
"The role of business in the well-being of community"
Lord Stephen Green - Former Minister of State for Trade & Investment and former Chairman of HSBC
Dame Julia Cleverdon - Vice President of Business in the Community

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List of Exhibitors 2015

ECBG Celebration of Business Exhibition 2014

Friday 16 - Wednesday 21 May

Celebration of Business Reception keynote speakers audio and video (see below) - Lord Williams of Oystermouth, Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College Cambridge, former Archbishop of Canterbury "What is wealthfor?" and Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise, Simon Wolfson Chief Executive of Next PLC "Wealth - creation, destruction or stagnation. A choice."

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Watch the videos on YouTube


ECB Celebration of Business 2013

Keynote addresses from Bishop David Thomson "People or Profit?" and George Freeman MP - "The Crisis of Disconnection"


ECBG Celebration of Business 2012

Charlie Mayfield
Chairman of John Lewis Partnership

The Right Revd Stephen Conway
Bishop of Ely