Mayor Ben Houchen applauded the achievements of the region’s companies at this year’s Tees Valley Business Summit.
More than 100 firms exhibited at the seventh annual Business Summit at Teesside University, which welcomed more than 1,000 business leaders, owners and managers.
The event included seminars, workshops, one-to-one meetings and networking opportunities, organised to help local businesses to grow.
This year, workshops covered topics including communication and selling your ideas, improving your business’s broadband, and the importance of innovation to expansion.
Tees Valley Business Compass was the main backer of the event, with Tees Valley Mayor, Tees Valley Combined Authority, NEEAL, Teesside University and Venator also offering their support.
Exhibitors at the event included Tees Business – the Tees region’s quarterly business magazine – who’d organised a World Cup competition, offering free advertising to the person who correctly predicted the minute of the first goal in Tuesday night’s game between England and Colombia.
Tees mayor Houchen was half-an-hour out as he went for the 89th minute (pictured top) – the winner (57th minute) will be revealed soon.
Officially launching the event, Mr Houchen said: “Small businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy. They create jobs, promote growth, and provide the supply chain that allows major projects in our region to go ahead. There are businesses here that should be reaching for the stars.
“It’s fantastic to see an even greater turnout for the Tees Valley Business Summit than last year.
“The number of firms getting involved shows that Teesside is on the up.”
Mayor Houchen also called on employers at the event to engage with schools and young people, adding: “To promote jobs and growth we need to make sure young people have the skills that businesses need, and those that they will need.
“That’s why I launched TeesValleyCareers.com, a revolutionary new initiative where schools work with businesses to give children meaningful work experience throughout their time in education.
“We need companies to sign up to help inspire the next generation.”
The Business Summit was held ahead of the seventh annual Tees Valley Skills and STEM Event, which takes place at the university on Thursday, July 5.
It is hosted by Tees Valley Combined Authority in partnership with North Yorkshire Business and Education Partnership (NYBEP), Teesside University, Tees Valley Learning Provider Network and Sirius Minerals.
There, more than 50 employers and learning and guidance providers will speak to 1,500 of the region’s 14 to 18-year-olds to inform them about the world of work.