Big Issue founder to speak at Wakefield conference

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AN entrepreneur who has helped hundreds of homeless people to rebuild their lives will be the keynote speaker at a major business conference in Yorkshire.

John Bird will talk about the powerful convictions that have shaped his career when he attends Wakefield Business Week.

Wakefield Business Week, which is organised by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, is expected to attract around 500 delegates who want to pick up tips to boost their business and further their careers.

The Big Issue magazine was established by Mr Bird and Gordon Roddick in 1991.

The two men believed that the key to solving the problem of homelessness lay in helping people to help themselves.

Vendors buy their magazines with their own money and sell them at their own profit or loss. To complement the self-help principles of The Big Issue Magazine, The Big Issue Foundation was established in 1995 to link vendors with the support and services which help them address the problems linked with homelessness.

The product of a poor Irish family from West London, Mr Bird believes enterprise can help to tackle poverty in Britain.

Mr Bird will speak at the Wakefield Business Conference, which is due to be held at the Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield on Wednesday June 4,

The event forms part of Wakefield Business Week, which runs from Monday June 2 to Friday June 6, and aims to stimulate economic growth by encouraging local firms to trade with each other.

Mr Bird said yesterday: “I was so impressed to hear that a local business conference can bring in so many delegates, I had to find out more.

“I am proud to have been asked to participate and impart my knowledge to the local business community.”

Wakefield Business Week will include 40 seminars hosted across various venues in the district.

Seminars are free but places are limited, so anyone interested in attending is urged to book now through


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