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Creating Positive Footprints....

interprise:13 GEW High Impact Award for 4th year!

A packed House of Lords room was the scene for the 7th annual ‘interprise’ event to Inspire Entrepreneurs to Take a Step Forward! In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Discussions followed the same format as stage I, held in Manchester in June. Delegates included business people of all ages and sectors, along with students from Woodside High in Haringey.

Earl of Erroll-Merlin-Chairman of the All-Party Group on Entrepreneurship, opened the event with a welcome for our keynote speaker, Matthew Hancock MP, Minister of State for Skills & Enterprise.

The Minister displayed real understanding of all the many issues surrounding entrepreneurs and small business owners. At a time of record levels of UK business creation, he stressed the importance of perseverance and giving it a go ‘the real failure is not to try at all’. 

Matthew promised to listen to all the ideas delegates suggest, as he is keen for Government to continue its support for SMEs and reinforced the willingness to improve opportunities for those wishing to start a business.

Anne Marie Morris MP, Government’s South West Business Ambassador and Founder/Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Micro Business spoke briefly before dashing off to vote!

Helene Martin Gee and Jill Pay set the scene for the evening and questions were announced as delegates broke into discussion groups.

The Groups were chaired by Alison Loveday, Managing Partner of Berg in Manchester; 

Diane Shawe, CEO and Founder of the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training.

Matt Smith Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs and co-founder & former policy director of NACUE; 

And Jenny Wardle, co-founder of sparkling wine boutique retailer Grays & Feather.

There was a real buzz in the room as discussions got underway. 

Once ideas were agreed for each group they were put to the dynamic Panel chaired by Sue Lawton, with Liesl Smith of the Federation of Small Businesses; Alex Mitchell, Founder of Young Brits and chairman, G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance; and Helene Martin Gee. Discussion then followed with more ideas being added and suggestions incorporated from the panel.

The final interprise Ideas included:

Embed enterprise in curriculum at age 7

Create a portal to link entrepreneurs of all ages to share skills & experience

Commission more positive media and TV  how about a ‘Strictly Come Business’ programme with helpful feedback for start-ups from experienced entrepreneurs

After a vote, the best idea was agreed as: Create open door regional peer2peer networks of SMEs to invest (cash/time/resources) in local start-ups

These ideas will be added to the outcomes from Manchester then presented to the Minister for consideration. 

PSC is thrilled to have been awarded GEW High Impact Award for the 4th year running!

PSC Women in Public Life Programme Launches

As part of its partnership with Parliament Week, Pink Shoe Club kicked off the Week with a ‘Women in Public Life’ luncheon at the House of Commons to launch its innovative Shadowing Scheme.  Conversation covered a variety of topics from exciting upcoming projects to empowering stories from club members. 

PSC founder Helene Martin Gee shared an overview of the ‘Take a Walk in My Shoes’ project she has created. 

Alongside the shadowing scheme, Una McBride has devised a video series. PSC is commissioning short films featuring women role models, all of whom will be interviewed by broadcaster Susan Bookbinder.

Focusing on its aim to promote hands-on experience alongside successful women, including Sarah Anderson CBE; Kate Barker CBE; Claire Ighodaro CBE; Anne Watts CBE; Sandi Rhys Jones OBE. These high profile role models will be shadowed by board-ready career women. The shadowing experience will be supported by professional workshops and other key activities.

Ling Tyler-Bennett went on to explain that the recruitment process includes a fair, open and objective assessment that takes into account both technical abilities and behavioural characteristics.  Having completed its feasibility study and planning stage but PSC is recruiting its pilot cohort of 5-6 candidates ready to begin the programme in January.

Vanda Green explained this is part of Pink Shoe’s commitment to supporting ‘lifelong development of women’. She further outlined the training, which includes four workshop sessions involving panel discussions and relevant talks such as the ‘Seven Principles of Public Life.’  Vanda emphasised PSC's high expectations and suggested applicants should only apply if they are poised to further their careers and potential through the programme.

Sharing personal insight, Jill Pay said that part of the responsibility of holding a public appointment is always giving back.  Also essential is to come to terms with the fact that you are in the public eye.  She then brought out what was a recurring theme during the luncheon: Women in public life must believe in themselves, because being in a public role implies that others have already placed their trust in you.

Guests, all women in senior roles, then heard from the indefatigable Sandi Rhys Jones, who shared her extensive experience as a board director in private, public and third sector organizations. Sandi had some excellent tips and said visibility is key when seeking that first role. She pointed out that the lovely room in which we were lunching had many august portraits from history – no one of them a woman. Sandi welcomed the PSC initiatives as she believes it will challenge ingrained behaviours of power holders.

Stella O'Brien from the Cabinet Office expressed Government’s keen intention for more women to take up public appointments. Her insights into the process were both interesting and enlightening as she explained the different areas of public appointments. As a first action, Stella provided ‘Public Appointments’ Information packs for guests to take.

Jill Pay then led roundtable debate in which members shared personal experiences specific to their area of expertise.  This showcased the wide range of PSC professionals and the empowerment of women in public life. Discussions overall highlighted self-belief and confidence, to take advantage of support that is offered and most importantly: never give up!