Gerald Ratner and non-Asian dancers

This week has been a really interesting and enjoyable one in terms of business events - and it's not always the case you can say that. On Wednesday I attended the IoD North East annual dinner where the guest speaker was the old fave of PR text books everywhere, Gerald Ratner. Despite looking rather miserable from afar, Gerald was a highly entertaining and self-deprecating speaker, as well as a great reminder that you can do anything if you put your mind to it - particularly if you learn from your mistakes.

But the real highlight of the week was the launch last night of Asian Business Connexions, www.abconnexions.org, which brought many key players within the North East business community together.

As well as being treated to a dholl and sitar player and culturally creative cuisine, The Apprentice star Syed Ahmed spoke about aspiration, hunger for success and support for entrepreneurs, while world-renowned Indian classical dancer Ash Mukherjee took everyone's breath away with his performances.

The fact that Asian Business Connexions has launched to enhance business and community cohesion is a real boon for the North East.  It was also lovely to see its commitment to cultural diversity demonstrated through the entertainment - a fantastic evening was brought to a close by Desi Nach dance group, the first Bollywood dance group comprised of non-Asian dancers.  Really inspiring from start to end.