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9:40 am - 10:45 am

Levelling up: The role of investment for inclusive growth in the North

The keynote is a session in two halves.

Sophie Milliken, CEO and Founder of Moja Group, will kick off the day with her journey.

Telling her entrepreneurial story, Sophie will highlight the challenges she faced as a female-founder and the differences she’s observed in the investment ecosystem working in the North and beyond.

Moja work with entrepreneurs and senior executives to amplify their personal profiles and become known authorities in their industries.  

A multi award-winning businesswoman, Sophie is a supporter of Northern Power Women and co-founder of City Ladies Networking. She is Chair of Smart Works Newcastle and has achieved huge success delivering the aim of doubling the number of unemployed women supported with interview clothing and coaching across the North East. In June 2021, Sophie became a Founding Ambassador for Every Child Needs a Mentor.


Diving into changes since Brexit and the pandemic, the keynote will continues with a focus on policy, giving three speakers from key national and regional organisations the opportunity to comment on the issues driving the levelling up agenda and the opportunities for building funding channels to enhance connectivity between businesses and investors. 

Our speakers are:

  • Adam Kelly – Managing Director at British Business Investment
  • Henri Murison – Chief Executive at Northern Powerhouse Partnership
  • Dean Cook – Director of Place and Levelling Up at Innovate UK

The session will close with a short discussion facilitated by Jordan Dargue, Head of Access to Finance at Innovation SuperNetwork, on the key opportunities the region can drive to truly ‘level up’.

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