Budding entrepreneurs and established and growing businesses are being invited to attend a free event aimed at fostering business growth, sharing ideas and providing investment and funding opportunities.

Capital Cardiff: Investing in Business Potential will take place on 29 February 2012 at Cardiff’s City Hall and will be headlined by keynote speaker Allister Frost, Head of Digital and Marketing Strategy at Microsoft.

It will mark the first seminar Microsoft has delivered in Wales and will give attendees an insight into how to connect with customers and unlock fresh business opportunities through digital channels, followed by a Q&A session with Mr Frost.

The event, which is jointly hosted by the South Wales Chamber of Commerce and Cardiff Council, will also offer delegates a variety of free breakout seminars and exhibitions, as well as the chance to network and establish new business contacts from across the UK.

Companies seeking investment will also be given the opportunity to pitch in a Dragons’ Den style event, while new start-up businesses will be able to seek advice from support agencies exhibiting on the day.

The Dragons’ Den style event will see companies that are seeking investment given the opportunity to pitch to a panel of business experts who will then quiz them on their proposals. Businesses who survive the competitive pitching stage will then be invited to present their proposal to potential investors in one-to-one meetings in the hope of securing financial backing.

The conference aims to promote business support and investment funding for businesses, as well as to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, such as graduates wishing to develop their business ideas.

Graham Morgan, director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses to take advantage of a free event that will give them insight from experts in the business world as well as the opportunity to secure investment and funding.

“We’re thrilled to have been able to secure Allister Frost as the keynote speaker for the event, which marks a first for Microsoft in Wales. This is a rare opportunity for businesses in Wales to gain invaluable insight from someone as experienced as Allister into how they can reach customers through digital communication channels – something which is particularly pertinent in today’s increasingly digitised business world.

“It is vital that we back our entrepreneurs and give them the opportunity to maximise their potential – which is why this event will be designed to inspire them and offer them all the support and backing they need to make their business a success.

“Capital Cardiff is all about helping and supporting our entrepreneurs and businesses that have the ability to succeed in today’s difficult economic climate and only through this type of support will we help drive economic growth in Wales.”

Cardiff Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economic development, councillor Neil McEvoy commented: “We all know that the climate for businesses has been very challenging and now more than ever, businesses need all the help they can get.  The Capital Cardiff Conference will give a vital platform to businesses in Cardiff to gain the advice and support they need to grow and prosper.   This conference is just one of the ways in which the council is supporting business in the capital.

“It is important to emphasise just how much is on offer during this Conference and we would encourage you to register your attendance and benefit from a range of business advisors, investors, networking opportunities and topical seminars that will all be at your disposal for free during the day”.

Entrepreneurs and businesses looking to attend the conference can visit www.southwaleschamber.co.uk/capitalcardiff for more information.