Series recap: Growth for Good in partnership with Growth Platform
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Reflecting and Refueling: sparking change from Growth for Good

Firestarters teamed up with Growth Platform to produce a special six month programme of events called ‘Growth for Good’, aimed at tackling some of the challenges facing businesses today. The series brought together an incredible range of industry experts, business leaders and changemakers from a variety of industries across the region. 

Growth Platform is the Liverpool City Region’s growth company, supporting businesses across to grow, develop and provide value to the region. They offer a range of support services to help individual businesses and strengthen and simplify the region’s business landscape. 

What is Firestarters and the Growth for Good series? 

Firestarters brings together a purpose-driven network of people from across the region from the private, public and third sectors. Providing a platform to address these challenges, Firestarters gathers a diverse range of local speakers and a community wanting to work together to spark positive change across the Liverpool City Region. The ‘Growth for Good’ series is made up of six live events, focused around supporting and empowering businesses through advice from expert speakers, strategic insights and the creation of purpose-driven connections.

Figure 2: Growth for Good – Startup Culture event. Photographed by Kieron Irvine

Firestarters x Growth Platform – Growth for Good Events 

The events in the series took place across the six boroughs of the Liverpool City Region, covering six core subject areas, addressing the biggest challenges for businesses. The six events that made up the series were: ‘Diversity and Inclusion’, ‘Net Zero Carbon’, ‘Fundraising and Investment’, ‘Purpose-driven Business’, ‘Startup Culture’ and the ‘Business Support Showcase’.


Event 1 – Diversity and Inclusion

Figure 3: Growth for Good – Diversity and Inclusion event. Photographed by Mark Benson

The first event in the series took place at The Plaza Cinema, Crosby and was designed to explore the role of diversity in business planning and how this can ensure a better future for businesses in the region. The event discussed the challenges and opportunities to build and support a diverse workforce, and why it is an essential priority for businesses to thrive in the current economic climate. 

Insightful Speakers:

Inspiring Insights:

  • Diverse teams are essential. There are a wide range of benefits to employing a diverse workforce, including: different skill sets, experience and perspectives.
  • The importance of listening to people when planning for diversity and inclusion. People with protected characteristics are able to offer important insights and experiences.
  • It is vital to have a plan to implement EDI, stick to it, and not be afraid to make mistakes along the way. 

“If you can’t see it, you can’t dream it.”

Emeka Onuora, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Event 2 – Net Zero Carbon

Figure 4: Growth for Good – Net Zero Carbon event. Photographed by Mark Benson

‘Net Zero Carbon’ was focused around helping businesses to understand how they can join the global movement against climate change. Hosted at The Bookstop, St.Helens, the event explored the small steps that purpose-driven businesses can make to help the Liverpool City Region achieve their race to net zero. 

Insightful Speakers:

Inspiring Insights:

  • Small changes are key, with individuals and businesses having a large impact through small steps.
  • There are opportunities around collaboration. When people come together, big changes are made.
  • It is important to think long term,  how carbon emissions may have a negative impact over time and how to make changes surrounding this. 

“People form brand loyalty when they align with the values of an organisation.”

Hannah Cox – Better Business Network / betternotstop

Event 3 – Fundraising and Investment

Figure 5: Growth for Good – Fundraising and Investment event. Photographed by Mark Benson

Taking place at The Halfway House, Runcorn, the third event in the Growth for Good series welcomed attendees to consider the fundraising and investment opportunities for ethically led small-businesses in the Liverpool City Region. The event aimed to support sustainable, purpose-driven business in the region through shared knowledge and practical guidance around raising and securing money. 

Insightful Speakers: 

Inspiring Insights:

  • The importance of reaching out to your network for support with accessing funding and investment opportunities
  • Align with investors and funding that understands your business, your values and mission
  • New business leaders in particular should fully understand what they are getting into when accessing funding and investors

“It’s important to make funding more visible. A lot of people aren’t aware of what funding currently exists and what is available to them.”

John Carroll, The Women’s Organisation

Event 4 – Purpose-driven Business

Figure 6: Growth for Good – Purpose-driven Business event. Photographed by Keiron Irvine

‘Purpose-driven Business’ facilitated conversations around what it means to run an ethical business in 2023. Taking place at Bloom Building, Wirral, the fourth event in the series discussed the challenges and opportunities for businesses in shifting their focus to become more purpose-driven. 

Insightful Speakers:

Inspiring Insights:

  • Collaboration – there are a variety of opportunities available when purpose-driven businesses join forces
  • Although it is difficult to run a purpose-driven business, there is an increasing demand and appetite for them
  • The most important thing is just making a start and accepting that mistakes will happen along the way

“You don’t have to change everything at once. Start by changing one thing.”

Emily Abbott, Culture Shift

Event 5 – Startup Culture

Figure 7: Growth for Good – Startup Culture event. Photographed by Keiron Irvine

The penultimate event in the series took place at Imaginarium Bistro, Prescot and was focused around exploring the elements of success when creating and delivering a great culture in a business. Startup Culture began conversations around the importance of a positive culture and how new businesses can take small steps to implement it. 

Insightful Speakers:

Inspiring Insights:

  • There can be challenges around finding investors for purpose-driven start up businesses. Investors don’t always see the value.
  • It is important for businesses to always be working on improving their culture, and it is vital that people from all levels in the business get involved
  • Businesses should always use their values to lead their business planning. It is important to stick to a mission. 

“There needs to be a commitment to understanding the specialist needs of different sectors.”

Craig Pennington, Future Yard CIC

Event 6 – Business Support Showcase

Figure 8: Growth for Good – Business Support Showcase. Photographed by Keiron Irvine

The Growth for Good series concluded with the biggest and best event yet, unlike anything we’d ever done before. Hosted at Arts Bar Baltic, Liverpool, the Business Support Showcase brought together the Growth for Good community, expert speakers and changemakers to reflect on the series. The Showcase started discussions around actionable next steps and how we can work collectively as a region to spark positive change to ensure that more purposeful businesses can happen. 

Insightful Speakers:

Success Stories:

Inspiring Insights:

  • Change can happen if funding bodies and authorities provide more support to purpose-driven businesses. 
  • Self-improvement is vital for organisations to make a positive change in the region, by ensuring that they are living out their values daily.
  • Government bodies and councils should be supporting change by offering rewards and initiatives to socially responsible and purpose-driven organisations. 

What’s next for Firestarters?

Figure 9: Growth for Good – Startup Culture event. Photographed by Keiron Irvine

We gathered an incredible range of inspiring insights, ideas and connections from across all six events in the Growth for Good series. We’ll be creating an insights report and exploring how we can turn these into actionable next steps to create change in the Liverpool City Region. 

Following a host of exciting events across 2022 and 2023, we’ll be taking a quick break to reflect and refuel. Do you want to join our community of changemakers? Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about all things Firestarters and stay up-to-date by following us on Twitter and Instagram