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

When: Tuesday 21st February, 3:45pm-6:00pm

Where: Nexus – University of Leeds

James Mason - Chief Executive of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce


James Mason - Chief Executive of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

‘Make Failure Your Friend’ - From a business start up to the Premier League with several Prime Ministers along the way. A guide to the Business Support that exists for all size of business.

James will be sharing insights on his career to date, from starting a growing manufacturing business to joining the corporate world as the CEO of a professional football club, Bradford City, as well as answering questions and providing advice on business support available to you across the region.

Sign up to our February SME Leaders Forum here

  • Our next SME Forum will be held w/c 5th June on University of Leeds campus

Previous SME Leaders Forum Events:

- 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.