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Growing Your Own Business  

Keynote speakers


Michelle Niziol, Founder, IMS Property Group 

Friday 13 October

13:00 - 13:30

A successful businesswoman and self-professed workaholic, Michelle has worked in the finance and property industry for more than a decade. 

Michelle was a candidate on BBC’s The Apprentice in 2016 and earlier this year became Vice-President of ARLA Propertymark.

Michelle manages a very successful property portfolio and in 2015 launched IMS Property Solutions and IMS Letting Solutions due to a high-demand for these services from existing clients.  

You can catch Michelle's keynote presentation on Friday 13 October at 13:00 in Theatre 5.  


Abel Campos, Head of Franchising, McDonald's

Saturday 14 October

12:00 - 12:30 

Abel was appointed Head of Franchising & field services for McDonald’s UK in 2016, following a successful 20-year career with the brand spanning operations and franchising. 

He joined the business in 1995, progressing from a local restaurant team to overseeing a number of restaurants as a consultant in the region.

Abel worked in a number of national and regional roles throughout his time with McDonald’s, and before his current appointment held the position of director of franchising in the southern region, responsible for ensuring high standards of support and operational excellence across his group.

Abel now heads up the UK franchising strategy, field services and oversees the recruitment of new franchisees.

Catch Abel's seminar at 12:00 on Saturday 14 October

Grainne McCoy 

Gráinne McCoy, Semi-finalist, The Apprentice

Saturday 14 October

12:15 - 12:45 

With over 12 years experience, Gráinne McCoy is a highly versatile and multi-talented makeup artist. 

Her career has taken her from roles with international brands such as Laura Mercier, to most recently collaborating with global makeup brand, Trish McEvoy, and working with A list celebrities at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Her unshakeable drive and entrepreneurial spirit saw Gráinne take part in The Apprentice 2016, where she proved that makeup artists can be key business women as she took the semi-finalist place. 

Listen to Gráinne's inspiring story in Theatre 5 on Saturday 14 October at 12:15. 

Keynotes Over The Past Year

We've had some incredible speakers at Growing Your Own Business recently...

Speakers have included: Abel Campos (Head of Franchising, McDonald's UK), Linzi Boyd ( Founder of The BoB Group), Carol Smillie (Model/ star of BBC Changing Rooms), Mark Wright (Winner of The Apprentice 2014), John Aizlewood (CDO Pizza Hut UK & Ireland),  Anil Patel (Starbuck's first franchisee - 23.5 Degrees), Nick Telson (Entrepreneur, DesignMy Night) and Joseph Valente (Winner of The Apprentice 2015), Jason Clark (COO, McDonald's) Steven Bartlett (Founder, Social Chain) and many more!

Watch this space for event updates!

Past keynote speakers