NORTH-East firms remain optimistic about the future and are ready to overcome challenges, the region’s largest business conference heard.

Jonathan Lamb, chief executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum – speaking during its Fortune Favours the Brave conference – said entrepreneurs, by their very nature are resilient and remain upbeat about the future business landscape.

He said: “There are many exciting developments and opportunities within the North-East, including the emerging software and technology industry, advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences and subsea, offshore and energy technologies.

“This region has a proud history of producing world-beating innovators and industries and once again it is developing key sectors that can grow and drive the economy forward.”

He said that such optimism is reflected by a business survey that found business confidence in the North-East increased three points during October.

An audience of more than 250 business leaders attended the conference at Wynyard Hall – one of the highlights of the Forum’s calendar of events – to hear a series of inspirational keynote speakers.

It was compared by BBC journalist and presenter Charlie Charlton.