I have been interested in entrepreneurship all my life; my parents own their own business, and at the age of 16 I managed a Young Enterprise company for the first year of my A-Levels. I love the challenges, and steep learning curves you can take from such a rewarding yet sometimes vulnerable field of work. Even now, I am continuing to learn day after day more about business and how to be a successful business person from my colleagues at Magenta, especially our managing director, Cathy. So it’s fair to say, I have quite the interest in business!
I had the good fortune of being sent to The Business Show at the Olympia yesterday, which provided me the opportunity to attend many talks from inspirational and globally successful business people browse through exhibition stands of the latest trends and products and also had some time for some networking too! Opening the event, Dragon’s Den star and Reggae Reggae Sauce entrepreneur Levi Roots began with his famed song on guitar and greeted everyone as he came through the theatre. Providing a lively and somewhat flamboyant talk on his rise to stardom from his Scottish and Jamaican roots through to now, 10 years after his TV debut, he was an incredibly inspirational man to listen to.
I then attended a Q&A by current Dragon and banking extraordinaire, Jenny Campbell. Her direct and somewhat blunt manner clearly has seen her through multiple successes, such as turning a business losing £7m p/a into a business with profits of more than £7m. Answering questions from the on-stage interviewer and the crowd, she provided sound advice and answers. Even managing to ask a question myself, I tasked her with answering about the importance of health and wellbeing at work and the work/life balance. She replied with a genuine and passionate answer, stating, “If you want the best people for your business, you have to look after them. If you look after them, they’ll look after you.” She continued, “You have to get that balance right, but as a country and as a generation, we are definitely now stomping our feet and saying, ‘you’re not having 14 hours a day out of me anymore’. Business can be a very lonely place, so it’s important you have the best possible people around you.”
Attending several other smaller talks such as ‘How to create a successful promotional video’ and catching the end of Yell CEO’s presentation about digital business, I picked up on several useful quotes and stats. For example, did you know that 88% of millennials see mobile devices as a crucial part of their work? Or that there was £25bn worth of contactless payments made in the UK in 2016 alone, and a video makes an email-marketing campaign 19% more successful? And concluding with one final statement, “Technology is a truly fantastic thing, as long as you make it work for you.”
Attending one final talk by TOWIE star and Hair Rehab founder, Lauren Pope, I was genuinely impressed with her business and professional acumen. Before the talk I’ll admit, I thought she was just your typical reality TV star. But, it turns out, she has many strings to her bow. Her genuine passion and drive for her business shows just how sincere she is about entrepreneurship and succeeding by doing something you love. She shared useful insight into how she has made her business a success, stating, “Social media is everything. For my business, it’s everything we do. Especially if you’re in a creative industry, you can’t not be on social media. It’s a free marketing tool right at your fingertips”. She concluded the talk by stating “Things go wrong, a lot, it’s what you learn from it that makes it worthwhile.”
The show was a fantastic success for everyone involved and it was heaving the entire day. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the talks, liaising with businesspeople alike and learning/networking left right and center! I can’t wait to hopefully return next year.
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