SME Leaders Forum

SME Leaders Forum November 2023

Leeds University Business School is delighted to welcome small business owners and senior leaders to join us at our SME Leaders Forum, which runs three times a year, late afternoon/early evening. 

Who should attend?

The forum is free to attend and open to all small business leaders meeting the following criteria:

  • Owner/leader/shareholder of a growing SME
  • Operating from their own business premises
  • Operating at least two years and have employees

Why should I attend?

If you are running a small business then you are likely to be in a fast-moving and changing business environment. As your team and business grow you will find you face new challenges, and that advice from people who have been there before can be invaluable.

You are the expert when it comes to your business, but let us help with developing you as a leader, building your business strategy or identifying the capabilities you require to grow. At Leeds University Business School you can access an exceptional range of business expertise to ensure you get exactly what you need to build your business for success.

This Forum has been created to enable small business leaders to: 

  • Hear from inspiring speakers on topics relevant to their fast-paced organisations 
  • Carve out time to work on their business, thinking about key changes and innovations
  • Work with other like-minded leaders to tackle issues and learn from their experiences 
  • Share their own stories of success

Each forum event will have a speaker to introduce a particular topic or share their key learnings, followed by a short workshop session during which leaders will be able to apply new ideas to their business and discuss challenges with their peer-group. The events include networking opportunities. 

Upcoming forum dates

Our next SME Leaders Forum will be held on Thursday 9th May 2024

Location: NEXUS – University of Leeds, Discover Way, Leeds, LS2 3AA

More details to follow soon.

Previous SME Leaders Forum Events:

- Dr Helen Hughes, Chartered Psychologist, Associate Professor, and the Behaviour Lab Director at LUBS, covered ‘Workplace networks: What are they, and why should you care?’. Read about Helen’s session here.

- Nicky Chance-Thompson MBE DL, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust spoke about ‘Building Effective Relationships and Partnerships’. Read the full article here.

- James Mason, CEO of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, spoke about how to ‘Make Failure Your Friend’. Read the full article on the event here.

- Chris Allen, Managing Partner of Blacks Solicitors, discussed how SMEs can avoid general legal pitfalls and about the benefits and challenges of flexible/hybrid working.

- Rebecca Padgett, Senior Teaching Fellow in Employability and Professional Development at Leeds University Business School discussed SME Leaders need to be aware of the current labour market challenges, and the potential impact on their business if they are not proactive in addressing them.


Contact the SME Hub Team on to find out more about future events and the SME forum.