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Creating Positive Footprints....

Pink Shoe hosts South Asia Democratic Forum

Pink Shoe Club along with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship was delighted to host the inaugural meeting of the South Asia Democratic Forum, based in Brussels.

The roundtable was presided over by Lord Ahmed at the House of Lords. He spoke eloquently of the need for men and women to work together on business opportunities. Nazir said this is not a new idea – far from it, as he told us of the Prophet Mohammed who happily worked for many years for a highly successful business woman, who in fact became his wife.

Helene Martin Gee of Pink Shoe welcomed guests to the debate. Then Carmen Godeneau explained the background to the SADF and its objectives of bringing together people of South Asia with European business people.

We heard excellent presentations from Madi Sharma, entrepreneur and member of the European Economic & Social Committee; Sue Lawton, Director of WEConnect International, and Dr Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj of Henley Management Centre at Reading University and co-founder of the International Centre for Enterprise & Entrepreneurship (ICE).

Madi went on to chair the discussion, which covered the vast scale of the topic and the many areas of potential impact. This was followed by a light lunch as we further shared ideas. The next event will take place in Paris early in 2012, followed by a third forum in Brussels.

Tête-à-Têtes Tea

Pink Shoe members were entertained in magnificent style at the luxurious 5 star St James’s Hotel and Club for an elegant Champagne Afternoon Tea.

With scrumptious sandwiches and cakes including delicious ‘pink choux’ pastries, we were served with panache in the Mayfair Suite.

A timely visit, as the hotel had just been awarded a top UK business destination hotel.

We were welcomed by the delightful MD, Henrik Muehle, resplendent in pink silk tie he personified the hotel’s charm.

PSC Founder Helene Martin Gee thanked the hotel, then introduced our speakers - and what a treat we had in store. A captivating conversation between Tanya Rose, founder of Mason Rose and author of ‘Travel Secrets’ in conversation with Pauline Crawford, founder of Corporate Heart and Magical Conversations.

We heard how Tanya started her business and some of her top tips for success, much of which is due to her obvious love of her work and enthusiasm for running the company. It was a lighthearted conversation but with valuable lessons for all aspiring business owners.

Tanya puts her team of ‘Mason Rosettes’ at the heart of all she does with Mason Rose, and of course nothing is too much trouble for her international clientele. By focusing at the very top of the market Tanya works with discerning clients from around the world, they insist on the best and Mason Rose ensures it always delivers.

Pauline asked questions with such deftness and lightness of touch, we felt we were listening to a chat between friends, yet we each learned much from the ‘tetes a tetes’. As promised, Tanya then revealed some of the hidden gems of the discerning traveler and how the quest for that special coffee place is just as important as five star luxury.

With a lively Q&A, we agreed with Tanya that life/work balance is key and that keeping focused and believing in oneself are fundamental to business growth, whatever the economy is doing.

Pauline brought the conversation to a close, and we lingered over our tea treats and Champagne. As we made our way home we were thrilled with the delightful gift of Ormonde Jayne bath creme, most of us also with a signed copy of ‘Travel Secrets’ to explore, both via the book and hopefully in person very soon!

With thanks to: The St James’s Hotel and Club, and their wonderful team, especially Kate Dixon & Sarah Wilkins; Pauline Crawford; Tanya Rose, Ruurd and Benedetta of Mason Rose; and Ormonde Jayne for the lovely gift.