The North East’s business leaders must not be afraid of tackling change head on, members of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum were told at its Chairman’s Dinner
Guest speaker David Soley, chairman of Cameron’s Brewery, said that the region has faced and overcome many major economic challenges over the years which have resulted in the creation of new opportunities.
He said: “Problems are challenges and are there to be overcome by this region’s rich vein of entrepreneurs.
“We’ve faced many major challenges in the North East, such as the decline of the steel industry. Such events, no matter how devastating, have nevertheless created fresh opportunity.
“Fortunately, this region is well-placed to respond as it has a proud tradition of entrepreneurial spirit, which continues to thrive to this day.
“We must never be frightened of change but meet it head on to create dynamic new opportunities.”
David is one of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs, establishing Davy Offshore Modules in 1983. In 1998, he moved from oil and gas into hospitality, buying Castle Eden Brewery and later purchasing Camerons Brewery, which under his leadership has become the North East’s largest independent brewery.
He also serves as Deputy Chair of the Tees Valley Combined Authority and represents the LEP on various Northern Powerhouse initiatives.
David also told the event, held at Jesmond Dene House in Newcastle, that people remain the most important aspect of business.
“Business is people and we should make room for others to be able to contribute and grow our businesses.”
Thanking David for his contribution, James Robson MBE, chairman of the Forum, added that the theme of change was an appropriate one and that “no business can expect to grow standing still”.
He said: “Entrepreneurs remain the key drivers of change, they respond to and overcome the inevitable challenges that present themselves and deliver the jobs and economic fortune required to drive this region forward.”