BLACK Country business is the focus of a major event which aims to showcase the best of enterprise and industry at the heart of the midlands.

The Black Country Business Festival, originated by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and partnered by DY5 – Dudley’s business and innovation enterprise zone, got under way this week and will run until Friday May 4 at locations across the region.

The programme includes everything from seminars, workshops, conferences and exhibitions to round table debates, careers speed networking events and exclusive, behind-the-scenes tours of some of the Black Country’s best businesses.

Subjects covered at the festival vary widely across many sectors with events about corporate finance, credit and funding; food safety; land acquisition, property development and investment opportunities; overseas trading; political debates; careers, apprenticeships and skills; sales, marketing, web and social media events.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: “We are delighted through DY5 to be supporting the Black Country Business Festival.

"It’s a massive event. With more than 7,000 attendees expected, people will be coming from far and wide to see and hear all the fantastic things the Black Country can offer.

“Businesses here are leading the way nationally and internationally in the fields of innovation, culture and commerce, and this festival will give them a perfect shop window.

"It’s really important that DY5 is at the forefront of such initiatives.

“Creating 7,000 new jobs and offering homes for 300 new firms with the incentive of business rate relief for five years, the Festival will hopefully help us spread the word to national and potentially international audiences.”

Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber said: “ It’s utterly brilliant how the Black Country has pulled together to make the first Business Festival so diverse and exciting and something that will really show off the innovation, culture and commerce, the ‘can do’ attitude of our workforce and huge investment potential of the area.

“With 122 events, there is plenty to choose from. Anyone can attend - it doesn’t matter whether they work in a SME or a large corporate organisation, whether they are start up businesses or are seeking employment. I guarantee everyone will find something in the Business Festival that will be useful.

In addition to the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and DY5, the Black Country Business Festival is supported by a number of organisations which all understand its importance and relevance and want to contribute to its success.The Festival is sponsored by Cox & Plant, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Ramada Park Hall Hotel, and it is supported by the University of Wolverhampton, Talbots Law, Wolverhampton Racecourse, Casino 36 and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

For information and tickets, visit, email or call 01902 912304.