Last night I was one of the guests of QualitySolicitors Jackson & Canter on their table at the Liverpool Chinese New Year VIP Dinner in the Adelphi Hotel. The event was organized by the Liverpool Chinese Business Network which I featured in my post "Let's First Become Friends: Then Do Business" on 13 Sept 2011. The dinner was one of a series of events to mark the start of the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year in Liverpool. Others included "The Taste of China" street market, a dragon, lion and unicorn street dance and special exhibitions and shows at the spectacular new Museum of Liverpool.
This is the "Year of the Dragon" which is associated with power, strength, vitality and good luck. The Chinese Consul-General to Manchester referred to these characteristics yesterday in his speech to the dinner pointing out that China's continuing rapid economic growth offered hope. It offers massive opportunities for businesses in Liverpool, the United Kingdom and indeed the rest of the world. A point that I made though rather less authoritatively in my post to the Inventors Club blog "Happy New Year - this could be the year the recovery starts" on 1 Jan 2012,
There are certainly some hopeful signs in Liverpool. The city will host the Global Enterprise Congress between the 9 and 16 March 2012, the first time has ever been held in Europe. Speakers include big names such as Richard Bransom, Terry Leahy, Martha Lane-Fox and Michael Heseltine who famously championed the city after the Toxteth riots when at least some of his cabinet colleagues were inclined to abandon it to "managed decline" ("Thatcher was urged to let Liverpool fall into decline" 30 Dec 2011 Independent).
Another hopeful sign - though on a much smaller scale - is that Liverpool Inventors Club is likely to start up again thanks to QualitySolicitors Jackson & Canter. The Club used to meet regularly every month in the Hornby Room of Liverpool Central Library but its meetings had to be suspended with the restoration of the library. Yesterday, Michael Sandys, head of IP at QualitySolicitors Jackson & Canter, and I agreed to work together to find a speaker and venue for the first meeting on 27 Feb 2012 at 18:00.
With all the good things that are happening in Liverpool right now one name crops up regularly. That of Di Burbidge. She was a founder member of the Inventors Club. She is one of the prime movers of the Liverpool Chinese Business Network. And she is playing an important role in events around the Global Enterprise Congress. I first met her when she was commercial development manager at Liverpool John Moores University and she now practises on her own account as a Business Development Consultant. If you want to know about business opportunities in Liverpool you could do worse than drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.