Whilst we know Liverpool is famous for its waterfront, music and sport, the city has gained a reputation as a flourishing hub for entrepreneurs.

In the past the city hasn’t always been renowned as a place for foodies, but times are changing – fast. The various ‘quarters’ of Liverpool are unique, each one with its own character and growing selection of diverse food and drink concepts, from Lebanese street food to fine dining.

Away from the world of Liverpool’s food and drink, the city is a thriving place for business. It is home to the world’s largest international business festival, which draws professionals from across the globe to learn, network and trade.

To showcase what’s on offer in our closest city, we have dedicated this feature to highlight why Liverpool is such an attractive place to trade for entrepreneurs.

International Business Festival 2018

The International Business Festival (IBF) is one of the flagship events in the world of business. Housed in the £66m Exhibition Centre Liverpool, the IFB attracts the attendance of 30,000 industry professionals over the course of nine days. The festival serves as a platform to make new connections, boost knowledge and learn from the success stories of the most influential names in their respective fields.

This year’s event, which is scheduled for 12-28 June, will look to help businesses get a hold of new markets, including China, India and the Americas. In total there are 55 major events and 200 world-class speakers. This includes the former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine, who spearheaded Liverpool’s regeneration in the 1980s, Alex Cruz, chairman and CEO of British Airways, and Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Bold Street

From Bakchich to Leaf, Bold Street is the go-to destination if you want to be spoilt for choice. Some of Liverpool’s most-loved operators have made their name here, but for the purpose of this article, we’ve chosen two venues that have been singled out for nationwide praise.

Founded by barrister-turned-restaurateur Nisha Katona, Mowgli is an Indian street food restaurant that prides itself on home cooking, featuring dishes taken from Nisha’s own family recipes. Having opened its doors in 2014, Nisha has transformed Mowgli into a multi-site operator, with site number six opening later this year, in Leeds.

Maray (a phonetic spelling of the Parisian district of El Marais) is a small-plates restaurant that’s inspired by flavours of the Middle East and Europe. With a falafel sharer that’s not to be missed, Maray has won praise from renowned food critic Jay Rayner and recently opened its second site on Liverpool’s Allerton Road.

Cains Brewery Village

Cains Brewery closed its doors for good in 2013, but the legacy of this iconic company lives on in the form of the Cains Brewery Village. This development has breathed new life into the Baltic Quarter of Liverpool, which is now one of the most popular areas to visit for food, drink and entertainment.

As one of the main attractions, Baltic Market is a food and drink paradise. Whether you’re after halloumi fries or craft beer, this is the place to sample a range of different cuisines and enjoy a laidback drink with family and friends (dogs are welcome, too). Baltic Market, which is Liverpool’s first food hall, is the brainchild of Oliver Press and David Williams, the duo behind popular membership card, Independent Liverpool.

Ghetto Golf is another major attraction in the Brewery Village. For those who haven’t heard, Ghetto Golf is a combination of drinks, DJs and, of course, crazy golf… what could possibly go wrong? Nonetheless, it’s great fun (just make sure you pace yourself) and adds a unique dynamic to the area.

Scouse Bird

Building a full-time business on the trials and tribulations of being a girl from Liverpool may come as a surprise, but Steph Bannister is the Scouser who turned it into a reality. She is the woman behind the famous Twitter account @ScouseBirdBlogs and website http://www.scousebirdproblems.com. This unique brand rose to fame six years ago when Steph began tweeting about common problems associated with being a ‘Scouse bird’.

With over 270k Twitter followers, her talent as a writer and entrepreneur (not to mention her Scouse wit) has taken the business to new levels. Today Scouse Bird has its own online store (www.thesassybird.com), and Steph blogs about everything from travel tips to the latest fashion. She’s also set to expand Scouse Bird into the off-trade, opening a new shop that will stock a selection of Merseyside drinks.