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Real enterprise is shown by town

PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:55 05 July 2010

LOWESTOFT has been hailed the centre of innovation and inspiration after the eastern region clocked up more events during Enterprise Week than the rest of the UK.

LOWESTOFT has been hailed the centre of innovation and inspiration after the eastern region clocked up more events during Enterprise Week than the rest of the UK.

During last week thousands of people took part in a record 959 activities, beating the likes of London and the north east.

Last night Waveney MP Bob Blizzard paid tribute to the small team based at the town's Riverside Centre responsible for making Lowestoft a hub of activity and spreading the message of future career opportunities in this area.

He said: “I think it is a reflection of the tremendous work put in by Hazel Johnson and her team at Enterprise Lowestoft. They have really showed themselves to be the most dynamic team in the country and their energy has spread to the whole of the region.

“Lowestoft is the hub of all this from where they do the work for the east of England and Lowestoft has benefitted from this achievement. It bodes well for the future as more and more young people are becoming aware of the opportunities in life through enterprise and that's the mainstay of our economy in the future.”

Enterprise Week is managed by the Make Your Mark Campaign, comprised of director Mrs Johnson and manager Beccie Simpson, who spent much of last week dashing across Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire to rally businesses, colleges and schools in their aim to help young people unleash their ideas.

Among the activities was a range of opportunities for young people to meet business leaders and entrepreneurs, students selling their wares in Lowestoft's Britten Centre and a business conference at the Orbis Energy centre held by Mr Blizzard.

Miss Simpson said: “I think it was a fantastic week, inspirational and an outstanding success. It was great to see so many local businesses, colleges and schools getting involved and supporting each other helping Enterprise Week to embed itself in society.

“It's a massive amount of activities especially as we had more events than the north west and they have Liverpool and Manchester in their areas. It shows the attitude of people in the region.”

Mrs Johnson said she believed a huge majority of the events were planned within Lowestoft and Waveney.

“You would think with all the doom and gloom of the economy around people wouldn't want to engage in this way, but they embraced it and used it as a vehicle to move forward, it's hugely encouraging.

“In Gordon Brown's message he said to 'be brilliant' and I would say in the east of England business people, schools and colleges were brilliant.”

The Make Your Mark team will now turn their attentions to the YES project, helping young entrepreneurs to succeed and their new year campaign Make Your Mark for a Tenner.

Mr Blizzard said he would be writing a letter to Alistair Darling, Ed Balls and Peter Mandelson informing them of the east of England achievement, paying particular reference to the work done in Lowestoft.

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