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Volume 3 Issue 1 201 6

LEAVE VOTE IS 'RUSSIAN ROULETTE' FOR UK BUSINESSES WARNS FORMER SHADOW SECRETARY FOR BUSINESS Chuka Umunna: Former Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Remain campaigner and former Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Chuka Umunna, has warned that a vote to leave the EU will be the equivalent of playing Russian Roulette for UK based businesses. He said: “Leaving the EU would be a leap in the dark for businesses, risking jobs and trade, and the strength of the economy. I believe we should not be playing Russian roulette with people’s jobs, businesses and our economy – Britain is safer, stronger and better

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off in Europe.” Umunna, who is also the MP for Streatham added: “The capital markets union is expected to unlock £1 5bn in finance for small and medium-sized businesses from its implementation in 2020. This is further supported by investment from the EU, in start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses, to encourage competition and innovation. European Social Fund support helps to improve employability and strengthen small businesses.”

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TWITTER UNVEILS NEW ENGAGE APP Twitter has unveiled Twitter Engage, a new, standalone app to help popular creators interact with their fans and grow and retain an audience. Twitter Engage will provide influential creators with an easy way to monitor engagement, and offer new analytics on how their Tweets are performing. Select creators will now be able to monetise (CONTINUED ON PAGE 2)





Nigel Marcoolyn: Heading the London office

Saunders Partnership Architects has strengthened its presence in London with a new London office to complement its longestablished operations employing 75 staff across its other offices in Hertfordshire, Bristol and Manchester. Heading the London office is Nigel Marcoolyn. Commenting on his role at Saunders Partnership Architects, Nigel Marcoolyn said: “I’m excited to be joining Saunders Partnership Architects as a very well established and respected practice for design and

exceptional delivery with a fantastic client base across all sectors. I have free rein to expand the London presence further and I’m looking forward to exerting my design flair to support the offices around the UK.” Prior to joining Saunders Partnership, he was key to setting up and then ran the new London office for a high profile (AJ Top 50) practice specialising in education and other public sector projects.

TWITTER UNVEILS NEW APP, TWITTER ENGAGE (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1) their content directly within the app. Twitter also announced that starting today, everyone can create and share videos up to 1 40-seconds on Twitter, and a select group of Vine creators will be able to add longer videos to their Vines. Vine is also exploring monetisation opportunities with Twitter's Amplify Open program to help creators make money on Vine.

With video Tweets increasing by over 50 percent since the beginning of 201 6, Twitter's new video products will make it easier, and soon more profitable, for creators to make videos and for fans to discover and share them. "Video is becoming increasingly central to the realtime conversations happening on Twitter," said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and co-founder. "We're investing heavily in videos and creators. We want to

be the best place for creators and influencers to build an audience and make it easier for creators to make money on Twitter, and soon Vine." "Creators are the heart of our entertainment community," said Hannah Donovan, Vine GM. "They make us laugh, they inspire us and most importantly, they create culture. That is special. That deserves recognition and fuel."

1-IN-10 ALIGN CROSS-BORDER EMPLOYEE MOBILITY A significant majority of companies have not yet adopted the practices that create tighter alignment between their employee mobility and talent management goals, according to a recent Global Mobility Trends Survey. Brookfield GRS, surveyed


Global Mobility and Human Resources leaders from 1 63 multinational companies and found that for 90 %, the journey to fully align the global mobility function with their talent management objectives is still ongoing. "We found that 1 0% of

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responding companies are further ahead in realising the benefit of closer alignment with wider workforce planning goals," said Diane Douiyssi, Director, Brookfield GRS' Global Consulting Services practice and co-author of the survey report.


British Excellence in Sales Marketing Awards

Sales and marketing professionals gathered at London's prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in March for the 201 6 Excellence in Sales and Marketing Awards (BESMA). The ceremony welcomed legendary comedian Dara Ă“ Briain to present winners with their award, and the event was capped off with entertainment from five piece party band, The Bogus Brothers.

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Cover Story

We should not be playing Russian

roulette with people’s jobs, businesses and our economy By Chuka Umunna rest of the world. In 201 4 alone, we sold £229bn worth of goods and services to EU countries. If, on 23 June, Britain decides to leave the EU and we wish to trade within the Single Market we will still be effected by its rules, but we will have no say over them. Full access to the Single Market is vital for UK exporters, and the ability to have a seat at the table when rules are written means the UK’s voice is heard. The Chuka Umunna: Shadow Single Secretary of State for Market Business, Innovation and provides Skills from 2011 -201 5 us with a Business is important to me. As shadow market of business secretary I was constantly 500 engaging with businesses both large and million small, to find out what mattered most to them and how conditions for their business customer could be improved. Most of the time it was s with no barriers to trade. Thanks partly to pressure about having financial stability and the from the UK, the EU is ability to buy and sell freely, without too extending the Single many barriers or tariffs. UK businesses benefit from the European Market to new fields, such Union through all the trade, investment as digital. This will provide and funding they get as a part of the EU. more jobs and, in a The EU is the UK’s largest customer – competitive market, it’s a buying almost half of what we sell to the

development we don’t want to miss out on. UK businesses also benefit from better access to markets outside the EU through free trade agreements that the EU has with countries around the world. 64% of UK goods trade takes place with EU countries and countries with which the EU has free trade agreements. And the EU is pursuing major new trade deals with other non-EU countries, like the US, too. Adding in countries with which the EU is negotiatin g future deals will take the share of trade deals done through the EU to 80%. Finance is vital to start and grow a business. Britain’s European Commissioner Jonathan Hill is implementing plans for an EU capital markets

“63% ofleaders of firms with fewer than 20 employees saw withdrawal from the EU as a negative option”


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Cover Story

“UK businesses also benefit from better access to markets outside the EU through free trade agreements that the EU has with countries around the world”

and strengthen small businesses. Across the UK, it has gone towards training for managers and employees in small businesses and the creation of apprenticeships – which we desperately need more of in this country. From 2007 to 201 3, ESF funding for England was around £2.3bn. From 201 4 to 2020, it will have increased to around £2.5bn. UK small and mediumsized businesses will also benefit from research and development funding under the union that will reduce European EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. So far, 1 26 British firms’ reliance on bank loans and make it easier for start-ups small and medium-sized businesses have benefitted and small and medium-sized businesses to access finance. from Horizon 2020 funding, including a project to develop This is vital to encourage large-scale multi-touch displays innovation and support in Cambridge and a company I entrepreneurs. recently visited in Oxford who The capital markets union is are developing lifesaving expected to unlock £1 5bn in finance for small and medium- technology to help treat tumours in cancer patients. Leave sized businesses from its campaigners cannot guarantee implementation in 2020. that small, innovative, industry This is further supported by leading businesses like these investment from the EU, in would receive this same level of start-ups and entrepreneurial funding if we left. businesses, to encourage Most business owners agree competition and innovation. European Social Fund support that Britain is stronger in the EU helps to improve employability – and these are the people who

“The capital markets union is expected to unlock £15bn in finance for small and medium-sized businesses from its implementation in 2020” know best about what is good for their businesses. 63% of leaders of firms with fewer than 20 employees saw withdrawal from the EU as a negative option. Of small businesses that said they depended on exports to the EU in the FSB poll, 66% felt that EU membership benefitted them and 65% said it benefitted the UK economy as a whole. So, leaving the EU would be a leap in the dark for businesses, risking jobs and trade, and the strength of the economy. I believe we should not be playing Russian roulette with people’s jobs, businesses and our economy – Britain is safer, stronger and better off in Europe.

Chuka Umunna was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2011 -201 5. He is the MP for Streatham and is currently Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration, and sits on the Home Affairs Committee where he is holding the government to account. Chuka Umunna is also Chair of the ongoing independent inquiry into the Labour Party's support amongst Britain's Ethnic Minorities and also sits on the advisory board of the Centre for Progressive Capitalism. Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6



JASCOTS WINE SET FOR STEADY GROWTH FOLLOWING MBO Miles MacInnes (Sales and Marketing Director) and John Charnock (Managing Director) have acquired a controlling stake in Jascots Wine Merchants from Jack Scott, who retains shares and a role in the business. The new ownership, created by this management buyout, will be an equal partnership between Charnock and MacInnes. “The plan is to keep going in the direction we have set over the last four years, focusing on delivering amazing wines to the restaurants, hotels and caterers of London and the UK with the best customer service in the industry. We have enjoyed our most successful year yet in 1 51 6 and we predict 1 5% growth in 1 6-1 7.” – Miles MacInnes Charnock has been Managing Director for five years and

MacInnes has been Sales and steady, organic growth over the Marketing Director for five years, coming years telling customers having been at the company for that they can expect consistent improvements in all areas. The portfolio is set to grow by 5% for the second consecutive year. The company’s direction will remain as it was, as the pair has been leading the business with Scott for the past five years. Following the MBO, Charnock and MacInnes made fellow directors Dipak Thapa (Finance), Dean Hammond (Operations) John Charnock: and Ben Scott (Key Accounts Managing Director, and Events) partners in the Jascots Wine business. Scott will remain in the 1 0 years. They will both hold the Jack business as a non-executive title “Managing Partner”, with director, overseeing his clients’ Charnock managing finances and running his and MacInnes the marketing and businesses inimitable “Wine product. The duo have set out plans for Championships”.

The London Business Journal

Contacts News/Features Subscriptions Advertising General enquiries: The London Business Journal is produced by LONDON BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS & PUBLISHING (LBCP), 24-26 Arcadia Avenue, Finchley, London N3 2JU. Telephone: 0208 453 71 85 / 07043 020 287. © 201 4 all rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner or any language, in whole or in part, without prior written permission is prohibited. All material in this journal is provided for your information only and may not be construed as business advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate business related professionals on any matter relating to their profession/trade/business. The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the authors, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate authorities assume the risk of any financial setbacks or otherwise. In addition, the information and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of every contributor to The London Business Journal. The London Business Journal acknowledges occasional differences in opinion and welcomes the exchange of different viewpoints. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. Subscribe to The London Business Journal by visiting or send an email to: All other enquiries, call 0208 453 71 8 / 07043 020 287 londonbusinessjournal Twitter: @londbizjournal Twitter: @WomenInBusines3 Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6


AIRPORT CAR PARKING INVESTORS As London Gatwick airport reports its busiest ever May, investing in off-airport car parks continues to be a smart option for shrewd private investors. Louise Wilson, Investment Consultant at Direct Airport Parking Investment, said: "London Gatwick airport is hugely popular with our investors who recognise the benefits of investing in good quality, well-managed car parking spaces so close to this thriving UK airport. "We're proud to have achieved the status of

master agent for Park First. It's an endorsement of the high standards of customer service we provide to our investors. Of course, we encourage all our investors to experience the Park First service for themselves prior to investing. It's important to us that they get the chance to fully appreciate how Park First aims to give its customers a superior quality service as they start and end their holidays or business trip, including at London Gatwick airport."



ENTERPRISE LAUNCH START AND GROW Enterprise for London has up of entrepreneurs, former bank have worked with is ‘Change launched its Start & Grow managers and financial experts. Please’. With the support of The programme aimed at supporting We know that it is not easy to Big Issue, ‘Change Please’ has aspiring entrepreneurs and new start and run a business and empowered homeless people by start-ups. understand the challenges that giving them the skills, equipment The scheme operates in and speciality 11 London boroughs and coffee beans they offers up to three years of need to become support including one-tofully-fledged one business mentoring, baristas, with five business training, talks coffee carts from successful already operating entrepreneurs and a in London. selection of workshops. Business They can also help advisor, entrepreneurs apply for Enterprise for the government-funded London, Peng Start Up Loan scheme. Enterprise for London supported Change Please through Seng Ong, says: Richard Salmon, Chief "It is a privilege its Start and Grow programme Executive, Enterprise for being able to London, said: “What we want will be faced. That’s why it’s mentor somebody along their more than anything is to provide important that we make it is as enterprising journey and clear, free advice and support simple and easy as possible for particularly rewarding when that is easily accessible. our clients.” clients leave their first meeting Enterprise for London is made One of the businesses they with a taste for success."


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Human Resources

Five Principles that Differentiate

Great Leaders

By Dr Alan Watkins Having researched and taught leadership studies for more than twenty years, coached dozens of CEOs in major organisations and written two books on leadership in the last two years, Dr Alan Watkins could justifiably claim to know a thing or two about what makes a great leader. He points out that leaders come in all shapes and sizes and there is no cookie cutter recipe that you must follow. Nevertheless there are certain qualities that, when developed, can dramatically improve any individual’s ability to lead and lead very successfully. Watkins suggests we may want to pay particular attention to five principles:

1 . Study yourself – One of the

most hackneyed exhortations in the leadership literature is ‘be yourself’. Authenticity is frequently presented as central to great leadership. But the problem is very few leaders understand the anatomy of the ego. Few have been trained in the architecture of


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identity, the evolution of the self or any related fields such as depth psychology, ego maturity or consciousness research. So how can leaders be expected to be themselves? If they have little understanding of how the self develops? Fortunately, it is possible to cultivate a very deep understanding of how your identity and ability to make meaning has developed (and could develop still further). There is a wealth of academic literature on adult development going back to the work of Piaget in the West and a whole range of spiritual mystics in the East. Studying this literature can enlighten you. There is even a rapidly developing research base that suggests that the more a leader develops their ‘interior’ the more effective they are at driving performance and organisational transformation. I have worked with leaders who had little understanding of the self and others who developed quite a sophisticated understanding. One retail CEO told me that he did not really want to understand how he was achieving his effects because if he did he might lose his magic! Of course

the exact opposite is true. If you don’t know how you achieve brilliance then you are at serious risk of losing that ability and never getting it back again because you don’t know how you were doing it in the first place. Think of Tiger Woods’ fall from grace, loss of form and complete inability to get back to his best.

2. Be emotional - As

misunderstandings go one of the most consistent and profound is about emotions in business. “Let’s take the emotion out of this” comes the cry. In fact, the best leaders not only understand emotions, they positively embrace them to drive their success. Conversely, the mismanagement of emotion can scupper our performance, be disastrous for decision-making and significantly impair our ability to engage with others. I remember asking one CEO to tell me about a time in his life when he felt truly passionate. After a minute in silence he admitted he couldn’t remember a single occasion when he had ever felt that way. When I asked him what his commonest emotion was at work he suggested, after another minute of silence,

Human Resources even tempered. The complaint about this CEO was that people could not ‘read’ him. No-one knew what he really wanted. There was so little emotional expressivity. In contrast I have had the pleasure of working with leaders who not only have bags of energy and passion but who used it beautifully to engage, motivate and inspire customers and employees alike.

3. Invest Properly in Team Development –

boards have properly committed to their own vertical development we have seen them make significant progress trebling share price and generating record profits.

4. Be open – In order to

develop your self and your team it is vital to accept that you may need help from a developmentally skilled coach who has a track record in delivering individual and team transformation. Underdeveloped leaders are characterised by an inability to take input and a lack of humility – they have become insular. For some, the very fact that they have made it to the top of the organisation reinforces their sense of invincibility and this often makes them even less likely to be open to input as a result. This may mean the clock is ticking and when leaders think they know it all, then they are very likely to fail.

Behind every successful leader is a great team, but so often teams fail to deliver on their promise. This is not surprising as very few leaders are technically trained in human dynamics, anthropology or cultural development. So why do we expect them to be experts at leading a team? Some leaders do develop strong interpersonal abilities, but many leaders remain autocrats and run hub and spoke models of leadership. 5. Stop working at 1 00 Such leaders don’t build percent – When individuals or powerful executive teams capable of constant adaptation teams under-perform the and sustained market disruption. commonest response is to flog them harder. All this really reveals is a complete misunderstanding of the relation Underinvestment in team development is common despite between pressure and performance. Poor prioritisation the fact that there is good increases the risk of failure. research to suggest that investment in high quality team Putting more pressure on development can generate three people to perform, or exhorting them to give 11 0% simply times the ROI compared to increases the risk of failure. investment in technology or Leaders who simplify and business process reengineering. Failure to set aside clarify the goals can often time means the team will never improve output with no become world class and will be other changes in circumstances. Any highly unlikely to deliver athlete will tell you that if you improved business performance. When executive want to improve your result you Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6

must not train flat out all the time. Improving performance is done through training to 85% of your maximum. In working with Olympic athletes we often tell them that gold medals are won and lost not in the gym but on the couch at home through the quality of their recuperation. Attention to detail during these periods of recuperation is critical to performance. Very few leaders explore what happens during down time and how to manage the pressure in the system, but if they do the rewards can be immense. Applying these principles to your life will help you uncover a higher level of leadership success.

For more on what makes a great leader, read Dr Alan Watkins latest book, 4D Leadership: Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development


Entrepreneur Focus: Sarah Willingham

Sarah Willingham: Meet The 'Dragon'

Sarah Willingham is an admired entrepreneur and one ofthe most popular in the UK thanks in part to her role as an investor on the BBC's programme, Dragons' Den. But there is more to Sarah Willingham than the savvy investor we see on our television sets. Words by Ronnie Ajoku 14


Entrepreneur Focus: Sarah Willingham

hey say 'every cloud have benefited from her too). has a silver lining' investments Determined to and and in Sarah's case fully convinced succeed that the business it proved to be true. Had it opportunity was worth a shot, not been for the rejection of she went for it and hasn't looked back ever since. a business idea she was the first time I went out presented to her one-time on“It my own. Becoming an entrepreneur was more through employers, her life could than it was through have been a much different need desire,” she says. story (well, not just her life “I had spent my 20's looking but those entrepreneurs that after the international

ultimate freedom.” Unsurprisingly, Sarah found the Bombay Bicycle Club (the business that was to propel her into the limelight) whilst working at Pizza Express. “I went to the board to sell the idea to them and said 'why don't you back me and let's do for curry what you have done for pizzas?' They looked at me and said 'we do pizzas and not curry', so I almost had no choice really. It was then that I thought, 'this is what I want to do and if they

don't want me to do it within the structure that I am currently in, I'm going to go and do it myself. So that's why left, raised the money and started it myself. “Up until that time I hadn't considered having my own business because I didn't need to. I had what I thought was the best job and was really happy and fulfilled in my career.” In Sarah's view, making the decision to go into business should be based on a bigger reason than one's self and many

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department and doing international development at Pizza Express - and I loved it! It was a time when I had wanted to travel and I had a great time. But then I decided, as I was getting to my late 20's, that I actually wanted to spend more time at home and be a little bit more settled. I wanted to run my own diary and was aware that at some point I would want to have a big family, and decided that doing my own thing would be the way to go for me to have the

entrepreneurs forget to ask themselves the big 'why'.“I think the real unsung hero of entrepreneurship is the 'WHY', and I think it's that 'why' that is the single most powerful thing when you decide to become an entrepreneur. It is also the thing that will force you to have that strength because you have no other choice. “With me it was that freedom. It was nobody telling me where to be on a Monday morning, a Friday morning or Saturday


Entrepreneur Focus: Sarah Willingham

Sarah was one of the main judges at the dotLondon Small Business Awards. Speaking on why she accepted the role as a judge she said: “Firstly small business is my comfort-zone and my natural home. I love small businesses and have lived in London for years and years. Around 98% of businesses in London are classified as 'small businesses', so it is an extremely important part of our economy. Also it's a fun place to be - seeing if small businesses would grow into larger businesses. When dotLondon came along I thought, 'these are two things that I really love' - London and small businesses.” Speaking of judging, before becoming a 'Dragon', Sarah was a judge on another BBC programme, 'The Restaurant', which produced a successful investment for her - The London Cocktail Club. The reason for the sole investment was that in the first two series she was a judge with Raymond Blanc and investing wasn't an option. The prize was to win a restaurant with the famous Chef. However, in

morning. I wanted to have a family and wanted to be a Mum. It was that ultimate freedom, so there was never a question of strength. It was like I had no choice. If I had stayed doing what I was doing, I couldn't have had the life that I wanted.” The Bombay Bicycle Club went on to become the largest and most successful Indian restaurant chain in the UK, and after a few years Sarah sold her shares for a sevenfigure sum. “You've got to make sure that your reason for doing it is so overwhelmingly powerful that it will pick you out of holes. It isn't an easy task and there is a reason why a lot of people don't succeed in doing it. When you are sitting at the bottom of a hole, the 'why' is going to be the initial motivation that makes you stand back up on your feet and say, 'no, I can do this!' “If your motivation isn't strong enough you won't do it – you will fail. That's why I think it is important to ask yourself 'why' you are going down this path.” In line with encouraging entrepreneurship,


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“I F YOUR MOTIVATION ISN' T STRONG ENOUGH YOU WILL FAIL” the third series things changed. “I was asked to do the third series I thought, 'I'm not going to do it unless I can invest in the winners, and have more influence over the choice of those winners'. So, series three was much more collaborative and we invested in The London Cocktail Club, which is a phenomenal investment. It's an amazing business and we are doing extremely well.” Although best known for her success in the food and drinks industry, her empire expands well beyond that, with online and technology interests

as part of her current investment portfolio. “We have a number of investments that are based up in Leeds online businesses. We have a money saving website, an ethical claims business and a software business. We invested in a hologram business called Groove Me, which is really fun, and recently went to an investor meeting where we made a hologram of the Boom Town Rats and Bob Geldorf was there and sang on stage with his hologram. It was awesome! “One of the businesses that I have invested in

Entrepreneur Focus: Sarah Willingham from 'Dragons' Den that's going really well is called Sublime Science, and that's great. Marc Wileman, ['Mad' Marc] the entrepreneur is awesome and the business is a good one. We're very lucky!” Sarah is passionate about a number of things such as women in business, working with deprived schools and financial education for children, and has used her influence to campaign for both. Being on Dragons' Den has enabled her to become a household name and thus draw more attention to the issues she highlights.“I do a lot of work with very deprived schools in the UK and children

that have had a harder start in life. Whereas before I might have done it and only half the year would have listened, now just because I'm on Dragons' Den they all think I'm really cool and listen to what I say – which is really cool. “I do feel that I have much more ability to make a bigger impact on the things that really matter to me, and one of those things is getting life skills onto the curriculum for primary school children. I think it is unbelievably important and something that's completely being missed off our national curriculum. “We teach them about the Vikings but we teach them very little about

nutrition, fitness or financial management. We used to have a class called Home Economics which suddenly became 'how to make a fruit salad' and I don't really understand how that happened!” “I think we have too many kids leaving school without any of that education. They get to university and don't know where to start. It's a real shame on us for not equipping our kids for life after they've left home. That's something I feel very passionate about and do quite a lot of work in the background. Since Dragons' Den it has been an easier path. I do less for more impact, or what I did before has


a lot more impact.” The health of the economy has been an ongoing concern for the UK government and there have been a number of initiatives put in place to encourage entrepreneurs and businesses, but have they done enough? “It's a question I get asked a lot,” she replies. “Of course they could always do more. What I do think is that we have a very good economic setup; a very good economic environment for small businesses in the UK and I think it's getting better. There is less bureaucracy in setting up a business and it's still more tax efficient. Small businesses are able to thrive in the UK if they are good, which I think is an important and big thing.” However, Sarah believes that more should be done to help

women. “Where I think we can still do more is to help women; more childcare and more benefits for working mums. There is an enormous loss of intellect that we have as a nation because mums are so often (within businesses, not just for entrepreneurs) not allowed to be mums, because it becomes very difficult to prioritise if you want to be a mum and have a career. There is a lot more that could be done to help in that situation and also to progress the mindset of people. “But I do love the kind of wave of 'mumpreneurs' that we are getting in the UK, were mums are choosing to go down the path of having their own businesses as a way of being able to control their own destiny and also do the school run! I am

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one of those mums and I applaud that wave because I think it is a really big and important movement that we've got in the UK, which I think is great.” So, what are some of her favourite moments from the Den? “There are so many. The first time I walked into the Den was a moment I think I'll take with me to my grave, because I'll never forget it! It all happened quite quickly for me so I wasn't really expecting it. “I didn't have a lot of time to think about it before going in. I remember walking in - I was the last one to walk in - and all four of the Dragons were there; either sat in or in front of their seats. I saw the one that was free was Duncan Bannatyne's seat and thought, 'Oh my God


Entrepreneur Focus: Sarah Willingham this is a big chair to fill'. And so before I sat down, I went over to the lift and walked in as if I was one of the entrepreneurs and stood on their marker (the place they have to stand on when they do their pitch) and I looked at

those five chairs with the four Dragons and realised what a big deal it is for the people that walk through that door. “I'm really glad that I did that because I think it gave me more empathy with the people that

walk through that door, just having stood there on my first day. We're nervous as well, it's not just them, and to feel just a fraction of what they feel ...I can still feel it in my tummy. I don't think I would ever forget that!”

Sarah Willingham's Tips for Entrepreneurs numbers are so important. I learned that the 1 . Network hard way over the years. It's very easy to focus “We talk about networking and our hearts sink and we think, 'oh gosh not another networking event', but the reality is that by actually surrounding yourself with people that have been there and done it, you really set yourself up for a greater chance of more success.”

2. Surround yourself with brilliant people “One of the biggest single pieces of advice I can give anyone is to surround yourself with brilliant people. Aim to almost make yourself 'redundant' as much as you can. You want to be the most stupid person in the room because then you have the most chance of success.

on the 'magic', which is often what entrepreneurs are good at because we are often very creative. But actually learning to be able to use numbers as a backup to intuition is so important, so that you actually have facts as well as 'gut feeling'. Don't underestimate the value of having good numbers from the beginning - good numbers that you can make your decisions from.”

5. Have a big 'WHY'

“Why is it that you want to do this in the first place? It is not an easy path, so don't think that it is. I guarantee that there would be moments when you are sitting at the bottom of a hole and you would need a lot of strength to pull yourself out of it. It's got to be you that does it, and not other people and that would come “An entrepreneur has got to be good and has from your 'why' - your motivation. For me, to got to know who their market is. You have to have a family and do the school runs and all that kind of stuff was just such an really empathise with that market and know what makes it tick. I think that's a really big overwhelming motivation that I was never one.” sitting in a hole for long. I would always pick myself up, dust myself off and get on with it because nothing is more powerful than that emotion of wanting to control your own destiny, have your own freedom and be a mum. Some “There are so many entrepreneurs that have people think money is enough and it is not. It magic in creating their vision, but they don't will never pick you out of a hole.” focus on the numbers because they think, 'well the money's in the bank and it's all fine' The

3. Be good at what you do

4. Focus on the numbers:


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Purplex Expands With London Office Over 1 00 business leaders and VIPs joined the celebrations to mark the launch of a new London office for Purplex, the full service marketing agency that serves the construction and building products industry. The event was held at the worldrenowned Mint Leaf restaurant at Piccadilly, a stone’s throw from the new Purplex office at Trafalgar Square. The venue was of particular significance as managing director Andrew Scott explains: “I launched Purplex 11 years ago and our first ever client was a London based window manufacturer. We signed a 1 2 month marketing agreement and celebrated afterwards at Mint Leaf, so holding our London launch event at the venue was quite symbolic – especially as we’ve grown into one of the largest marketing agencies in the construction industry.” Purplex operates from a 4,500 sq ft HQ just outside Bristol and opened the new office to support its growing UK and international client base. The agency has a team of more than 40 experts in PR, communications, branding, design, web development, online marketing, video and photography. One of the companies to attend was Hueck, the global supplier of architectural aluminium profiles. Leon Friend from Hueck commented: “We appointed Purplex a year ago and they’ve done a brilliant job for us. They understand the construction industry and they get results. Hueck has achieved its growth targets thanks to Purplex and I would recommend them to anybody serious about their marketing.” The event attracted a number of high profile guests including Jane Tokarczyk, Vice President of Barclays Bank Plc, who commented: “My first impression of Purplex has to be its people and those they do business with – both are fantastic. A very good and well run event.” Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6

Purplex Managing Director, Andrew Scott


NRW Invest Special Feature

NRW.Invest CEO Petra Wassner Tells Us Why More UK Businesses Are Opening Offices in Germany's NRW Region more densely populated than Japan. NRW has 28 cities with more than 1 00,000 inhabitants. The largest cities are Cologne, the Capital City of Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Essen. The most important metropolitan areas are the Ruhr region with approx. 5.1 million inhabitants and the Rhineland with more than 3 million inhabitants”.

What makes North Rhine Westphalia an attractive location to do business?

Many people / businesses in the UK would be geographically unfamiliar with German regions, where is NorthRhine Westphalia? “It is a metropolitan area in the heart of Europe: North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is located in the centre of Europe and borders on the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the most populous and the most densely populated of the 1 6 federal states in Germany. The state is


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% of the purchasing power in the EU. The inhabitants of NRW alone spend €323.8 billion on private consumption every year. “North Rhine-Westphalia scores points also with its highly developed logistics services and its densest research landscape throughout Europe.”

What was the recent event in London about and what sort of people attended?

“The event was interesting for UK companies looking “NRW is Germany’s number for new business and one investment location. investments opportunities. More than 1 8,000 foreign companies control their “UK companies, especially German or European from the IT and logistics operations from NRW. As for sector as well as the most important reasons manufacturing received firstfor their location in North hand information on Rhine-Westphalia, the business opportunities in foreign companies name the Germany’s largest economic central location, the region: North Rhineproximity to the sales Westphalia. markets and the good transport infrastructure. The “Experts from the UK and fact that NRW attracts so NRW discussed issues of many companies from tremendous importance as different industries is also far as international due to the state's widecompetitiveness is ranging industry structure. concerned. Two attractive “NRW offers a highly locations in North Rhineinteresting sales market for Westphalia, Cologne-Bonn consumer products. Almost and OstWestfalenLippe 1 50 million people live within (OWL), demonstrated how about a 500-kilometre radius UK companies can benefit of the state capital, from the business Düsseldorf. This represents opportunities available. At 1 /3 of all consumers and 45 the same time some

NRW Invest Special Feature

companies reported on their experience and how digitisation processes created business growth.”

Has there been much interest from UK companies in NRW in recent years? Which UK companies are active in NRW? “More

than 1 ,600 UK companies have set up business in Germany’s economically strongest federal state. This is more than 22% of all UK subsidiaries in Germany, and more than in any other federal state. Among them are, for example, Vodafone, BP, Rentokil Initial, or Dyson. 21 new settlements and expansion investments from UK companies were realised last year. “AO, the UK's largest online kitchen retailer, has recently decided to locate its new Central European Headquarters with customer service, call centre and an over 320,000 square ft. warehouse near Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia. This will create 2,500 new jobs.”

How can investment from UK companies benefit the NRW region? What expertise do you see them bringing to the region? “North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany’s most densely populated region with the highest concentration of people and businesses. There is a large demand for products and services both in the B2B and B2C area. UK companies are welcome to benefit from these advantages and also provide additional value added services and products to the existing business community. “Investors from the UK bring new products, services and processes to our state. They stimulate our economy, create jobs and strengthen innovation in their respective industries. In doing so, they make a crucial contribution to the competitiveness of North Rhine-Westphalia.”

For further information visit Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6


Social Media

Make the most of Instagram for your business! By Laura Brown

Laura Brown is the Founder of and has helped over 500+ businesses maximise their social media. 22

Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6

Social Media

Deciding our Top Social Media don't was actually a really easy choice. This 'DON'T' is something that I see numerous times per day but I am on a mission to try and eradicate.

point of following them? They will probably never engage with your tweets.

3. YOUR FOLLOWERS PROBABLY WON ' T BE THE SAME ON BOTH ACCOUNTS whilst it's nice to think all your I won't leave you in Facebook 'likers' are suspense any longer... our following you on Twitter Top Social Media don't is... and vice versa, in reality this just won't be the case. Do not link your Facebook You will have completely and Twitter accounts! different audiences and they will expect your To begin with you may be content to be unique and thinking that this tailored to them. Don't ruin any engagement on Twitter your relationships could actually be a very useful gain before they as it's just not a good tweet. A time saver and actually may have had a chance to begin. tweet linked to Facebook will have considered doing this no hashtags, no questions 4. LASTLY, IT' S ACTUALLY JUST QUITE yourself... OR you may be firmly have and will from the LAZY I am sure 'lazy' is not a in the Introtweet camp and also newsfeedjustin disappear seconds. Instead hate seeing these two accounts linking I would recommend of word that you would want linked. associated with your business in taking the time to do the two Either way, I am going to any way - but by linking both of posts separately but making describe exactly why I am so accounts this is just how them both brilliant for their own your against this and why I would you will come across. Tailoring separate platform. advise ALL businesses who specific tweets to send out to currently have their accounts your followers is what you need 2. Y OU ANNOY YOUR FOLLOWERS linked to unlink immediately. do, but to begin with turning (OR DON ' T GAIN VERY MANY IN THE to your Facebook posts in to 1 40 FIRST PLACE ) Facebook posts H ERE ARE MY REASONS character perfect tweets is a appearing as tweets are hated brilliant start! many keen Twitter users. A 1 . YOU ALIENATE YOUR FOLLOWERS by Twitter user is very rarely going From Facebook: To unlink go to A Facebook post which has click the Facebook link in your and been linked to Twitter appears to so actually your tweet is click "Unlink my profile my on Twitter as a very poor tweet. tweet rather pointless. Also, rather It may just be a Facebook link, than just Twitter" and follow the being a little bit of a instructions. waste they will From Twitter: Go into your actually have a settings - click Apps (one negative impact on Twitter of the bottom options) - you'll your Twitter use. If see the Facebook logo - click someone follows Introtweet and they revoke access have all their tweets If you need any help unlinking linked to Facebook I your accounts please send us really struggle to or it will be an incomplete an email at press the follow button - if this sentence followed by a and we Facebook link. Either way, this Twitter user is not actually using will get straight back to you! Twitter for Twitter what's the kind of tweet will never, ever

Laura Brown is the Founder of and has helped over 500+ businesses maximise their social media. Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6


Women in business

Don’t be a good girl, Be yourself! subconsciously manipulated them into our vision.

Stop Mothering

The other female leader's predicament is mothering their Leadership teams instead of leading. I see As a leader you cannot make women compensating for the everybody happy. There will be shortcomings or style of their people who will not agree, who team members at their own expense. When there are men will not want to follow, who and a lady around a flipchart would hinder your progress, usually she picks up a pen and who will need to hear tough feedback and who will have to ends up writing. Let them organise themselves. Stay back be let go of. You need to ‘woman up’. Mature for those and just contribute. occasions and distinguish for yourself who is talking, thinking Female leaders feel sorry for By Ania Lichota and acting - the little girl inside other people being reprimanded. I listen to them you or a maturing business Soft feminine power can move excusing their teams for not leader. the world. When women start being ready to take additional owning their strength through work on. It’s difficult for ladies in deep self-awareness and Be Serious to expose others (for not pulling acknowledging ‘what is’ the weight) as they treat immediate environment starts to align to I often see ladies standing their vision. To unlock that force cross-legged or leaning against environment as their own of nature we need to look into the wall or a desk. That works responsibility like in the family. how we as women got when you want to ‘chat the guy Again, step back and allow conditioned by the families, up’ but in the office your male those who need lessons to schooling, society, religion, and counterpart will not take you early career and consciously seriously as you are projecting have their lessons; no need to get involved. Your teams need counter that when it inhibits our romance and game. You are leadership style and getting what having a charming conversation to challenge themselves, have we want. whilst he wants a business talk. their back but stretch. Most importantly having a We were all told to be good strong stand, i.e. feet hip width Course Correct girls. When we did something apart, centers you. It right we were praised for it. We strengthens your projection and Self-observe through the learnt to please others. We cried position, makes you bigger and distance camera, see what you and stamped our little feet if you can own the space in which are guilty of doing and course others didn’t bend to our wish, correct. As a leader you are you are negotiating and we could even turn around on only as good as your team and conversing. and leave the room. Most of us your team is only as good as were our dad’s favorites and we the weakest member. Ania Lichota is an Executive Coach, Inspirational Speaker, Extreme Adventurer and Philanthropist. Ania left Poland in ‘96 with one bag on a bus to study at the LSE. Since then she’s visited 67 countries, lived in 9, worked in 1 7 at Senior Executive positions in financial services. Ania has built, restructured, liquidated and integrated businesses in 4 languages. She has a double MSc, MBA and PhD in International Leadership. She has climbed the highest peak on every continent including Mount Everest and is the author of the book, ‘Why the hell bother? How climbing the Seven Summits changed my life’. Ania received the Woman of the Year award in London and Inclusive and Inspirational Leadership award from the UBS chairman. She has served on the executive boards of diversity networks and The Attlee Foundation. For further information visit


Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6

Women in Business: Chloe Macintosh

What's Next for Chloe? Chloe Macintosh is best known as the Co-Founder ofhugely successful Last year she stepped down from her role as Creative Director after five years. Here she speaks to Ronnie Ajoku on the intelligent naivety ofentrepreneurs, stepping down as Creative Director ofthe company she founded and work/life balance


ntil came on the scene not much had happened in terms of innovation in the business of furniture. The idea ofcreating affordable pricing by cutting out the middlemen and connecting buyers, designers and factories proved to be a winner and established as a brand leader in online retailing. “I was working with Brent Hoberman when the idea of emerged and we started Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6

exploring the concept with my two cofounders Julien Callede and Ning Li. is about selling top quality furniture online at affordable prices by cutting out the middlemen and putting the customer directly in contact with the factories and designers. The furniture landscape had not evolved much since Ikea came to market in the 60's. Furniture retailing was still extremely fragmented and had not gone through a proper transition online. We saw an opportunity to use the internet to bring better quality products to our customers while creating a platform for the designer community which had very few routes to market.

“I had just finished a large refurbishment in London around that time and felt that I would be our first customer and so we started collaborating with designers and creating products that we felt were not available on the market or too expensive. It is common for high-end designer furniture to typically pass through five middle men resulting in high marks ups and high prices for the consumer. Also, the customer has little do with this process so by connecting the customers directly with the manufacturer and designers, we had an opportunity to bring transparency and story telling to a rather opaque and archaic sector.�


Women in Business: Chloe Macintosh

“Look at the problem from a customer's view point, rather than expert view point, which is a very important way to approach your business”

With the internet getting wider and entrepreneurs getting wiser, there are bound to be industry shakeups across the board. These days to be labelled a 'disrupter' is far from a bad thing and as Chloe proved, a massive change doesn't necessarily need to be a particular product or technology. “When you go into entrepreneurship, I think there's a form of intelligent naivety which allows you to look at this differently. You're not going to do something stupid but not knowing much about the area you are going into is giving you a more daring approach. It is because you haven't done it before; that you are able to disrupt the sector you are going after. You look at the problem from a customer's view point, rather than expert view point, which is a very important way to approach your business. With it was not about an innovative technology or innovative product, the focus was on an innovative business model that allowed us to reverse the value chain and carve a new space in the market.” Last year Chloe hit the headlines following the announcement that she was to step


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down as Creative Director of She has now set her eyes on pastures anew. “I stepped down as creative director of the company I founded in 201 0, though I remain an investor and ambassador for the brand. I had a month long summer for the first time in 20 years, which was amazing. Most recently, I have been working as Creative Adviser for the Soho House group. While advising on design and branding, my first project will be the launch of Soho Home, an online homeware store that will allow members to buy pieces they see in the

Houses around the world. Going back to working for a large company after 9 years of startups means I can get a step back and the headspace I need to think about what to do next.” Chloe's wealth of experience saw her appointed as one of the judges of the Dot London Small Business Awards that took place earlier this year. While speaking about her involvement she also pointed out the importance of startups. “I was very lucky to find support from the startup community when I first started and especially considering I had no Kids Collection

Women in Business: Chloe Macintosh Furniture from

down by a business, they tell Service, add any supporting documents and state the desired outcome. A Service problem solver then contacts the company and keeps the customer in the loop. It is much easier for companies to deal with Service rather than the angry customers and it means that resolution can be found without a huge waste of energy. Such a great idea!” So how does she manage to balance running a business with having a family? “I have always worked, even when my children were very small. I started my first startup when my second boy was

2 months old. I don't think about balancing one and the other but more to merge the two. My boys are now 8 and 1 0 and have been involved with my business world a lot. I want them to understand what I do and get their help when possible, Felix and Elliott were very involved when the first Kids collection launched last year. They brought their friends along to a user group at home and they selected the colours for the products. They also all came to the shoot to be part of our international marketing campaign, it was such fun and they loved it!”

Chloe with her sons Felix and Elliott

background in this field. I have been very loyal to the people who gave me these opportunities and wanted to help Dot London support other young entrepreneurs, and help identify new businesses which have the right potential and need the extra push or exposure to take it to the next step. Getting exposed to the new generation of entrepreneurs also keeps me on my toes! It is always very humbling to see business owners as young as 21 shaking things up.” As a judge there were certain things she was looking for. “I was looking for real Londoners; people and companies who are intrinsically linked to the city, its energy and cultural mix. I was also looking for people who were bringing something new to market, and entrepreneurs with interesting personal journeys, for whom a Dot London Award could make a real difference.” Going forward, Chloe has invested in a number of areas and remains optimistic. One of those investments is in a startup called @Service. “I most recently invested in the US-based start-up @service in their seed round, alongside Founders Fund. Founded in 201 5 Service is an 'on demand' customer service. If a customer feels let Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6


Women In Tech

Making Wishes Come True

Maz Cohen is the Founder ofWisher, an app that turns your mobile phone into your own personal gift guide, allowing you to capture, store and share everything you would like to be gifted in one place, all year round. The user spots their perfect gift on a shelfor online, then either scans its barcode or snaps it. Wisher will then store it for them, and they can share this list with friends and family or they can access it all year round.

Maz Cohen, Founder of Wisher

H OW DID YOU GET STARTED AND IS and commerce industry for 1 2 THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS ? years I feel I have a solid “My husband encouraged me to do so as he absolutely loved the idea and that was my golden ticket. I spent a few months researching the idea with friends and family and once I got validation, I registered the business and pulled it into a business plan with a conceptual demo film to get the business across. I then got more validation from investors and advisors when running around London with my business plan. This is my first business, though having been in the marketing


understanding of the global marketplace, trends and how consumer behaviour changes.”


“Wisher is the result of a personal problem I was faced with every Christmas. Come November requests for wish lists poured in from my whole family and I wasn’t sure what I wanted or needed. I’m not a materialistic person, so an experience was more my thing. I wondered why no platform existed where I

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could create a wish list all year round for friends and family to access that’s veered towards experiences. Wisher enables your wishes to happen both big and small.”


“Wisher is about adding value every day to users, rather than treating them like consumers – only focusing on driving sales with irrelevant price drops. Every user on our platform should have a magical experience and feel inspired and empowered to make someone else’s wish

Women In Tech

happen or even their own. Next we are rolling out crowdfunding for bigger wishes, which will have incremental value to people’s lives as their dreams can become reality through the help of friends, family or even strangers.”


“Our ambition is to be the world’s largest giving platform connecting people, brands and organisations to give forward. That is powerful for us and a great ambition to have. It’s not just about material things, as we’ve funded a medical WHAT ARE SOME OF THE operation for a young girl in THINGS ENTREPRENEURS South Africa whose wish it SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE was to get a kidney biopsy AND WHILE LAUNCHING AN but had no means to do so. APP ? We want to do real good in “Make sure the user the world and I believe that’s experience is simple and an imperative for every start the benefit of the app really up business today.” clear before you start. Wisher stands out ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR immediately because of how BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS? easy it is to use and also it’s “Pursue an idea that will beautiful and minimalistic fundamentally make the design. People always world a better place. Your comment immediately on business will be so much this and that is our main more rewarding and you’ll product appeal.” see the positive effect every day working with partners WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD and engaging with your current user base. You become much Maz with Wisher co-founder Urchana Moudgil more focused on external rewards than monetary goals. This kind of thinking also puts your business into perspective every day.” Wisher is free to download. It is available for iPhone, iPad and for Android devices. For more information go to Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6




Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6

Small Business

Giving Dogs More than a Bone... dog, Izzy, and I personally loved everything dogrelated. The pet trade at the time was worth about £4 billion annually and rising, so with the market trend and my passion for doggy items, the choice to do something related to dogs was obvious. We didn't want to groom dogs or walk other people's because our income would always be limited by the amount of hours we could work. We needed a product or brand to sell but where would we sell from? “Business rates for brick and mortar shops were (and still are) too eye watering for fledgling businesses. With unrealistic lease costs and the stats showing around 20 'sensible' thing and left shops were closing a day, my job to focus on a business plan. Just about this bricks and mortar idea everyone thought I was was sunk before leaving the docks (sorry we live on the nuts, including close members of my family! ” coast!). It occurred to me At this point Zak began to that I used a Chuckit! Ball wonder what exactly he was Launcher and a Chuckit! Whistler Ball every single going to do in terms of day with Izzy and it was so business. The answer robust, colourful and wasn't far off. “We had a close by so we did it, we upped sticks and moved from Surrey to Devon. “Lucy had to resign her post and I continued to work from home in Devon for the same London firm. Not long after this we just looked at each other and asked ourselves, 'is this what we want life to look like in 1 0 years time?' We had an epiphany, the answer was a big 'no'!” Zak began thinking of his next move, and despite their financial uncertainty went for it. “Lucy found some temp work and I began to think about starting a business in something. In the midst of financial uncertainty I did that

By Ronnie Ajoku


ak Taylor is the Founder of Active Hound, a fastgrowing business that sells dog-related products online. Like many successful entrepreneurs Zak decided to take his destiny into his own hands and follow his passion, a far cry from his former job as a trader for a top sports betting company. “My wife, Lucy, was an admin support manager for London Underground while I was as a trader for a top sports spread betting company. Lucy had a door to door commute of 1 .5 hours and whilst I worked from home, my hours were irregular and rather a lot - about 60 hours per week. An opportunity opened up to move to Devon to be right on the doorstep of my family with Lucy's

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Small Business

seriously effective at achieving long throws. It got me thinking; 'why have I not seen these online?' “After some market research it was clear this Chuckit! brand was not being sold in many places. I finally found the UK supplier, a one man band and instantly saw the potential for this amazing brand that I loved. I bought from this supplier in modest amounts and starting selling Chuckit! products on eBay under the name of

'Chuckit! Dog Toys UK'. After the odd sale here and there I created a website through Shopify and sales picked up to a few grand in a month.” This was the beginning of Active Hound. “After virtually no advertising or time in the market, my niche was now clear. I

to become THE place to buy Chuckit! dog toys. The website exploded with Chuckit! products that no one had and within a

few months turnover went from about £1 00 a month to £7k from around 3,000 hits on the website.”


ploughed in about £35k, basically every penny I had, into importing every Chuckit! toy ever made into the UK. I wanted

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Although Zak's business was growing, a situation occurred that could have ended his run of good luck. He was now forced to think out of the box. “Just as the business got started Chuckit! was bought out by a much larger force, PetMate, a company that owns many dog brands and turns over around $300million. “My branding was sailing a bit close to the wind in terms of intellectually property usage which attracted PetMate's attention. Rather than unleash a team of lawyers on us, I somehow managed to convince PetMate to buy my website domain and continue supplying me with their product. In doing so, they opened up their contact book and cutting a long story short, it was planned that we would change our trading name and invest in another 7 dog brands to re-sell. “On 1 st Jan 201 4, we changed name to Active Hound and grew to offer 8 premium dog brands such as Hurtta and JW. The website was re-designed, our technology was better and our speciality was and still is, offering premium grade dog products with in-depth product knowledge - something that our competitors fall very short on, perhaps because they concentrate on quantity and not quality. Website traffic grew to circa 30,000 hits per month over the coming 24 months.” The core brands to the business are specialist products for active dogs that are not easily sourced in one place. “As we sell specialist products my main focus has been to educate the customer about the product they are considering buying, and for me to do this I must understand the product inside and out. I use

Small Business

Happy dog with toys (available at

Dog with a water toy (available at

and have used every single product on the Active Hound website and this comes across (hopefully) to customers surfing the site and calling us up for advice.” Aware of how much information buyers seek nowadays Zak has turned it to his advantage. “I have also invested in having some breathtaking informational shots taken of our top grossing products. By using these shots we have created a truly modern, impressive, informative yet personal website. All of this makes our business unique to our competitors. Everything I have just mentioned is in demand in this cottage industry to the extent that this unique approach of ours is capturing 600 new customers every month at present.” Customer engagement and feedback is also important to Active Hound. “After purchase,

we prompt the customer via email for reviews after they have had a chance to use and enjoy their products - which further engages them with our brand. We try to send low volumes of quality marketing emails and then shout when we actually have something to say, rather than clog our customer's inboxes up with repetitive nonsense. That would devalue our message and relationship with our customers. Introducing PayPal to the website along with Royal Mail tracked delivery services, has added a tone of 'premium' and 'reliability' to the customer's mindset. By sticking to Zak's core values the business has continued to grow. “Active

Hound is set to turnover a projected £1 million by the next financial year. There are

things we could do better and things will progress for 201 6 to

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help improve the shopping experience with Active Hound.” With growth comes change and Zak is already making moves towards this with ambitious plans for the year. “The major goal for 201 6 will be to outsource our warehousing and distribution to a third party which is a serious organisational and financial transition. Active Hound is a tiny family business going through the typical process of discovering that packing orders saps a lot of precious time away from steering the ship. Outsourcing our distribution means faster despatch, tighter control of stock levels, a more reliable service, more time to focus on innovation but most importantly, more time to concentrate on the customer and hopefully as a result of everything combined we'll attract more customers.”


International Trade


Rainer Hornig, Executive Director, Head of Division Europe, Middle East, Africa: NRW.INVEST GmbH

Rainer Hornig is the Executive Director, Head of Division Europe, Middle East, Africa for NRW.INVEST GmbH. Here he tells Ronnie Ajoku why he is on a mission to educate UK companies on the benefits of investing in Germany's economically vibrant North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Located in state capital Düsseldorf, NRW.INVEST was established in 1 960 with the aim of supporting both foreign and German companies with investment projects and business locations in North Rhine-Westphalia. “NRW.INVEST is a North

to open up new companies and bring companies from overseas and Germany together. We also want to bring innovation to the region,” says Hornig. “We aim at bringing in over

There are opportunities for partnership in the service sector, IT business and other areas. Weighing in on whether the UK should remain part of the EU and how businesses could be 200 companies a year from all affected, he said: “Frankly

over the world and of course speaking, with the strong the UK is a main target for us . discussions on the UK's We already have 1 ,200 British membership of the European Rhine-Westphalia stateowned company. Germany is a companies in North RhineUnion good business people Westphalia. We are the leading would want to consider risk federal republic and North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the area with the greatest number of management. If there is a final most important states. Our goal British companies in Germany! decision against the EU, and “Germany is a strong industrial you have to plan the future of is to create new jobs and our goal is to bring in investments - nation and we have a lot to offer. your company as an


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International Trade international business, you need to be on the safe side and have additional activity on continental Europe. This is the best time to discuss this with British businesses.” Düsseldorf currently has a number of reputable UK companies from diverse industries that are located in the area. “The Vodaphone Head Quarters is in Düsseldorf and the German Headquarters for British Petroleum is also located in our region,” he pointed out. “Another example is Dyson. They have advanced design technology in household goods and they have also come over to North Rhine-Westphalia because it is a region of innovation and design. “We have also had a new investment from AO, the online retailer for household goods. It's a startup company from the UK and they have also opened up in the region. They are now a market-leader in the area and a year ago opened their European Intercontinental Headquarters there. Their building is 40,000 square meters for 2,500 people. “There are a lot of British

example for us.” As the most populous federal state in Germany, North RhineWestphalia is a place that Hornig believes can inspire new ideas for innovation. “You can

Europe on the industrial manufacturing side. But we have to fight to maintain this position because of China, India, Japan and America also. The idea of the so-called bring new ideas and also 'Industry 4.0' is the next level learn from Germany. Not only mechanical engineering to the behaviour of consumers, but combine with IT – to have a also the supplier industry's 'smart factory'. This could be a business modules, rules and big advantage for German application style. It is slightly industry because it brings about better communication to machines and allows them to optimise their production lines for greater efficiency. This is our strongest angle to bring the industry forward.” Manufacturing, however, is not the only focus. different in Germany, but as a “There are other areas that are business person you will find a as important such as IT, way to combine your knowledge media, the service sector and and ideas to achieve success.” retail industries . With approximately 1 7.6 million “Our region is the centre of inhabitants, North RhineAsian businesses. In Düsseldorf Westphalia is responsible for we have more than 500 generating around €625 billion, Japanese companies; it is the accounting for more than 20% leading centre of Japanese of Germany's GDP. With six companies in Europe. Recently airports and 400 international a lot of new investment has flights to commercial come from China and we now destinations around the world, have about 800 Chinese companies investing in mobility is assured. companies in our area. In 201 5 Germany right now, but it is Touching on the industrial alone over 75 new Chinese also a new business module; to reputation of Germany and the businesses set up with their own be online for all types of goods. way forward Hornig says: factories and own research The combination is new for “Germany is still an centres.” Germany. We are looking to industrialised nation. Chemical, To find out how your bring new ideas and new steel and machinery are still company can take management styles to create very important and I believe that advantage of NRW.INVEST new jobs. It is the best practise Germany is the strongest in


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Family Business

How we turned our Dream into Reality


By Jennifer Bell

he dream was always there - a country cottage, children, an apple orchard you know the sort ofthing (and somehow supporting ourselves).

I was fortunate to meet a man who shared those dreams. Married for two years, we left London on a whim. A holiday in Cornwall had cast a spell over us as it has done to so many others. Back in town, we sat in our Jennifer and Malcolm Bell noisy ground floor flat on a busy crossroad and decided that there was no possible reason why we shouldn’t return there. I wrote a ‘For Sale’ sign on the back of a T S EXCITING TO TAKE YOUR LIFE cornflakes packet and a few weeks later, we were on our way. INTO YOUR OWN HANDS AND PUSH Arriving in Fowey we found IT WHERE YOU WILL ourselves jobs. Malcolm as a milkman, myself as a waitress. We also found a tumbledown caravan in a tussocky field with a resident barn owl and settled ourselves in for the offering regular hours and a into the category of ‘kitchen summer. secure income. gifts’. Gift boxes were The next 5 years we worked towards more We visited the main important. They made the setting up a pottery business. and they would say: range more attractive as Malcolm returned to teaching and we suppliers “Don’t you know that there presents, more easily packed had a couple of children. are over 300 potteries in the for transport and stacked in We searched for a cottage with West Country? How d’you stockrooms. The story of outbuildings (mortgages were not you’re going to make a buttermoulds on the side of easy to come by on old properties in think living?” the box gave added interest those days) and researched We had to be different! and later (during the potteries. They fell into three Cottage and barn found, we recession of the early ‘80s) categories: Studio pottery – decided on a few, good we added recipes as well, individual designs which sold through quality, regular designs – which greatly improved sales. galleries and exhibitions. Tourist terracotta pots with lids using With a range of pots, pottery – a mad rush to produce, buttermould designs, second-hand machinery and mainly mugs, during the summer with old which could be repeated. The a couple of part-time lean times in the winter. Commercial pots, in different sizes, fell employees, we looked for pottery seemed the most promising,

"I ’



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Family Business

outlets - the National Trust seemed an obvious place to start. They gave us orders for every outlet in the South West. Growing up in Wales, my grandfather had given good advice: “If you ever want to do anything in life, start at the top, it’s quicker.” I looked to London and a store whose name would carry weight with other potential customers and decided on a favourite store, Liberty’s. Once our pottery was stocked there it attracted the attention of the Design Council who awarded us their coveted black and white label which gave great cachet to the range, and the Americans loved it! To extend our sales we took on a representative to sell for us in London and the Home Counties and we started attending trade shows, the best by far being the one at NEC, Birmingham. I remember agonising over this decision, the high cost of a stand was daunting but the exposure to so many serious buyers made it more than worthwhile. The Design Centre, now sadly defunct and much missed, made it easy to attend foreign trade fairs. They made a block booking under the British flag and arranged for a consular presence to answer our export questions: largely tariffs, product safety requirements and shipping agents. We travelled under this scheme to the USA and Germany, the Frankfurt Messe and did good business. Good staff were essential – reliable people who could run the pottery in our absence and who shared our ethos. It’s important to give good working conditions and pay so that you keep your staff and they are committed to the business, often coming up with good ideas for new designs or speeding up production. Sometimes, enjoying coffee in the garden on a glorious summer’s day, we would take an extra 1 0 minutes but at going home time they would insist on staying on to repay that time. Building the pottery was hugely stimulating. It’s exciting to take your life into your own hands and push it where you will. A business though also exerts its own tyranny; long hours to be worked, deadlines to be met and financial uncertainty. But following your own path makes you feel alive - neither Malcolm nor I would have missed a minute! Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6


Jennifer Bell is the author of Pot Luck; Living the dream in the West Country. The book is available on Amazon and in selected bookstores



Millionaire Mind Intensive T Harv Eker's three-day Millionaire Mind Intensive (MMI) programme is aimed at shaping the minds of people looking to change their lives for the better. The most recent event was held at the Ibis, Earls Court in London and attracted a huge crowd, a testament to it's worldwide the popularity. From the beginning to the end, the infectious optimism of the speakers kept the crowd alive, and if that wasn't enough of a wakeup, the exercises in between certainly did the trick. Focusing on the mindset of people, MMI breaks down the of the real reasons why most people are psychologically set to achieve significantly less than they are actually capable of - while also attempting infuse a more productive way of thinking to enable change. Marcus De Maria must have done T Harv Eker proud as the main speaker/trainer (given the pumped up energy displayed in bundles by the crowd in attendance). Through various written exercises and activities, attendees were able to discover the root causes of their financial shortcomings and those financially better off also learned how to think more productively to expand on what they have. Other great things about MMI include the networking opportunities, mind over matter and bonding exercises - which at the very least ensured almost everyone made a few business contacts or a 'friend'. If you are looking to change your life, make more money or start a business, MMI is worth a visit. Based on principles from T Harv Eker's bestselling books, Speed Wealth and Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, the MMI event was organised by Success Resources. Crowd participation during an MMI exercise

The next Millionaire Mind Intensive event takes place from the 1 4th to 1 6th October 201 6. For further information visit 40

Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6


Music Techpitch 4.5 By Andrew Lockley

London’s music industry has traditionally been a dynamic sector. A new synergy with the emergent tech sector means that there’s now an exciting group of music tech firms on the scene. Music TechPitch is an event which allows these startups to promote their technology, get feedback, and possibly attract funding. It was hosted by 2Pears, at EY’s palatial More London headquarters. The impressive panel of judges included members from Samsung, Cooking Vinyl, and Viadeo. The keynote was by Patrick Bergel, the outspoken Founder of Chirp. This technology does for audio what QR codes did for print. Chirp lets songwriters, broadcasters, and venues send web links to their listeners, without reading out the actual web address. Patrick’s a controversial chap, and his talk was full of great quotes. He described Kickstarter’s crowdfunding site as “the rectal thermometer of hipster desire”. Another soundbite was a response to the traditional chime of “ideas don’t matter, execution does.” Patrick memorably countered “…said a man with no ideas”. I usually daydream through keynotes, but he certainly grabbed my attention. The pitching firms followed a variety of models. Bagzit was

cutting them into a single video. This gives footage with a range of perspectives, as well as capturing kooky fan behaviour. Oliver Squirell’s, “Pop My Mind” allowed artists and musicians to cooperate, creating music around the visual arts. This seemed more a labour of love, than a commercial project. Two apps focussed on music sharing. Trackk, presented by George Mills, enabled easier sharing and commenting on music tracks. However, playback, not sharing, may influence users’ choice of music player more – as social media already facilitates sharing. By Adam’s “Global Music contrast, Brapp, presented by Community” was generalist, Pavan Mukhi, was for sharing whilst Victoria’s Meraki beats, and adapting them to concentrated on audio engineering. It’s difficult to get build up a track. The judges traction for professional social scrutinised Brapp’s traction carefully. networks, or for services Rotor Videos, presented by marketplaces. Getting started usually requires focus on either Diarmuid Moloney, is a quick a highly-differentiated horizontal and easy way to make music market (e.g. composers), or a videos. It’s rather like Instagram specialised and hungry vertical for music videos, with a range of marketplace (e.g. TV incidental special effects. Currently, they’re selling at a bargain-basement music). By these standards, price. However, there may be GMC seemed rather generic, scope for a premium product, and Meraki concentrate on aimed at professionals. The talent that’s tricky to Rotor Videos concept found differentiate. favour with audience and Rowan Devereux’s “FanFootage” allows promoters judges, winning first prize from both. and bands to aggregate the phone footage shot at concerts, similar to Chirp, but works differently. The Chirp audio link is clearly audible to humans, but Bagzit cannot be perceived. This allows adverts to be pushed sneakily to users anywhere there’s music. This could be seen more as a nuisance than a benefit. Adam King and Victoria Masso pitched two versions of a talent network and marketplace.

Andrew Lockley is an entrepreneur and the Founder of Business Training News: Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6



The NACUE Varsity Pitch

By Andrew Lockley

You might expect the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs to be an arrogant bunch, pushing whacky ideas. Not so. The Grand Final, at the China Exchange, showcased enthusiastic, engaging founders - some with seriously impressive businesses. Two material innovations were Adaptavate's plantbased plasterboard, and Comp-a-Tent's biodegradable tents. Both were claiming green credentials, but had similar limitations. Breathable wall panels could wick and retain condensation, which may then rot natural board materials. Long-term hostile environment tests would be needed to disprove this apparent flaw. Likewise, a biodegradable tent is wellmeaning, but not everyone is profligate enough to discard a tent after every festival. Switching to a recyclable design would be an eco-friendly alternative, without the expensive, throwaway approach. Walk With Path offered novel insoles, which vibrate on contact with the ground. While useless for healthy people, these deep vibrations are easier to feel for people with nerve damage. Without such interventions, there's a real risk of dangerous falls for vulnerable patients. This simple, inexpensive advance can potentially prevent a major source of early death and

disability. The firm currently needs funds for clinical trials. Sinclair Fire’s next-generation fire alarm was my personal favourite. They use imaging technology to offer faster detection than conventional heat alarms. This means less fire damage, and fewer lives lost. Worthy, but also very credible – and they have a real sales pipeline in place. If you want really futuristic tech, Medical Realities offers an immersive 360-degree and 3D virtual reality environments for trainee surgeons. Using inexpensive gaming headsets, their content pulls the students right into the gory details. I went right into the operating theatre, and almost forgot the real world around me. Sober Drive seemed weaker than the others. Although the idea of a breathalyser-controlled ignition has benefits, it's not new - and there was no real business model presented, to explain why its time had come. Choosic look to solve the problem of music discovery, and

specialise in new tracks. They use algorithms to surface fresh tunes you'll likely love, and generate a stream of saleable data in the process. Monetising music isn't easy, but this seems quite a credible idea. Seable holidays are a niche operator, catering for blind and wheelchair-bound travellers. Working passionately in a defined niche can be a great way to build a solid SME - as faith in the idea helps keeps the founders engaged, long-term. Tio took innovation into the toy sector, with smart cubes that incorporated lights, motors, and remote control. Think technical lego meets ‘The Matrix’, and you'll get the basic idea. Whilst the idea and execution was great, the system needed more peripheral components to attract a general audience – as the current system required too much ugly DIY to make proper, usable toys. Nevertheless, the core units are well-made, and a great idea. Tio is a high-risk project in a challenging market, but nevertheless one with significant potential.

The event was sponsored by TATA, with additional judges supplied by y-plan, Microsoft and the Guardian.

Andrew Lockley is an entrepreneur and the Founder of Business Training News:


Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6


Bella Cosa

Bella Cosa (launched last October) is a wonderful addition to London’s Italian restaurant scene, bringing the soul-warming food of Italy to the South Quay of Canary Wharf. Perched on the Quayside, the glass-fronted restaurant boasts spectacular cityscape views of Canary Wharf from across the rippling water. A versatile restaurant with a strong Italian character, Bella Cosa has one of the most exciting new talents in Italian cuisine at the kitchen’s helm. Executive Chef Kentaro Torii, renowned by critics in the US and Italy for his Japanese approach to Italian food, is serving his signature contemporary Italian dishes with Japanese flair and


Craft Beer Corner at Bella Cosa

presentation for the first time in the UK. His culinary style combines generations of Italian traditions with modern techniques, as well as Japanese rigour and precision. Kentaro is working alongside a

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purely Italian kitchen brigade, serving dishes such as: Seasonal Risottos; Grilled Octopus, Smoked Potato Puree, Trapani Pesto, Olives, Celery Salad; 5 Cheese Ravioli, Saffron Sauce, Beetroot Puree, Suckling


Wine Room

Bar Isle at Bella Cosa Pig Cheek, Autumn Truffle; and Black Cod in Prosciutto, Baby Cuttlefish in Black Ink, Polenta. The restaurant specialises in dishes based on fresh seasonal produce of outstanding quality, with significant PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin) ingredients imported from Italy. The dishes, no matter how complex the preparation may be, are presented in a neat, unfussy, yet original and modern way. The overall aim is to surprise the customer with both simple beauty and the amazing taste of the dish. On the ground floor, the seating is spread around a central bar and Chef’s Isle constructed of glass, marble and stainless steel, with ‘front row’ seats to watch skilled chefs at work preparing fish, seafood, antipasti, Italian

Salumi meats and cheeses. An additional open-plan kitchen is visible towards the rear of the restaurant, complete with a stone oven producing gourmet pizzas. The upper floor provides casual fine-dining from the à la carte menu. Stylish oxblood red chairs are gathered around white linen covered dining tables, and the contemporary theme is continued in the chic decor using luxurious materials such as marble flooring and statement coloured glass lights. To the far right of the room, an Artisan Beer Corner provides a warm convivial area for guests to enjoy a wide selection of Italian craft beers. Communal scrubbed wooden tables give a rustic and relaxed feel. An adjoining Wine Room

displays the restaurant’s carefully selected wine collection (90% Italian of course!) for those who prefer the grape to the grain. This space is also perfect for private dining. Designed by Italian interior designer Francesco Pizza, the chic interior is spread over two floors including a glass-fronted mezzanine area. On entering the restaurant, guests are greeted with a spectacular ‘living wall’ of lush green plants. Bella Cosa is open Monday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, providing a versatile space for business lunches and dinners, aperitif gatherings, or dining with friends. The restaurant is located on the South Quay of Canary Wharf, a couple of minutes walk from South Quay DLR Station.

Bella Cosa, South Quay, Drewry House, Marsh Wall, London E1 4 9FJ Tel: 020 71 32 1 21 2, Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6



Barrio Launches Brixton Venue Launched in March, Barrio Brixton is the latest addition to the growing Barrio familia, who currently have Latin outposts in Angel, Soho, and most recently Shoreditch. Located in a neighbourhood that is already abuzz, Barrio Brixton takes inspiration from the local markets, arcades and brewers to create a fun, local hangout with delicious food and drink offerings. Founded by Ferdie Ahmed, the Barrio story began in 2007 when he took the leap and replaced his job in IT with the sights, tastes and sounds of Latin America. Barrio is a clash of many Latin influences that all share a passion for food, drink, music and dance, and Ferdie sought to recreate a little piece of this back in his London home. From tequilas and mezcals, to piscos and rums, Barrio Brixton brings its love of sunny spirits to the heart of South London. The new drinks menu, combines popular Barrio classics with new cocktail creations, that are sure to satisfy the taste buds of London’s discerning cocktail drinkers. Beer lovers will also be satisfied, as Brewery-fresh tank beer takes pride of place alongside other local and Latin craft brews, and even in one of the cocktails. Barrio’s food menu has gone from strength to strength since the arrival of group head chef Ernesto Paiva, and Barrio Brixton’s head chef, Heath McDonald. Ernesto has brought his Peruvian heritage to the menu, with a strong focus on Anticuchos, whilst Heath specialises in Baja Mexican cuisine, with a fresh approach applied in the kitchen. Originating from the street-carts of Lima, anticuchos are succulent skewers of spiced, marinated meats, with the marinated ox heart being a classic example. Ceviche is another Peruvian staple featured on the menu, made


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using Barrio’s homemade marinades and unusual ingredients, such as ‘tiger’s milk’. Examples of the food menu include: • Mi Corazon – tender ox heart anticucho in homemade panca chilli marinade, served with ‘carretilla’ fresh tomato salsa • The Way to Amarillo – salmon ceviche, Amarillo chilli, tiger’s milk, avocado, red onion, coriander & chifles • Pork & Chicha Bun – grilled pork belly, chicharron, coriander, red onions and rocoto chilli & sweet potato jam.

Longtime familia friends and drinks supremos, Salts of the Earth, have been working with Barrio on the exciting new cocktail menu. Taking the ethos and energy already established within the Barrio venues, the partnership will explore the rich colours, herbs and spices of the food to ensure harmony. Mexican herbs such as epazote leaves are used alongside delicious tropical fruits, such as guava and prickly pear. Examples of the drinks menu include: • Marocha in the Morning – a long drink of dark rum,


Lima Lickin' Chicken and Sweet Potatoe Fries

mezcal, blood orange, lime juice, orange marmalade and ginger beer • Green Grocer – a refreshing gin mojito of coriander, fresh kiwi, cucumber, lime juice and cane syrup • Wake Me Up Before You ManGo-Go – manly bourbon and Aperol meets mango, lime and orgeat. Located on Acre Lane in

Brixton, the ground floor 200 capacity venue features an outside “El Patio” area for guests to soak up the sun, and the similarly bright interiors takes upcycling to the next level. Guests can expect one of Barrio’s signature and much-loved customized vintage caravans, next to walls adorned with work by local artists and hand-painted

tiles, created by the guests themselves. Open 7 days a week and until 2am at the weekends, whilst offering brunch from 1 0am on Saturdays and Sundays, Barrio’s cantina, cocktails and social space hopes to provide an all week hangout for locals and Latin lovers alike.

Mi Corazon

Comfortable private sitting area

Pork & Chicha Bun

Barrio Brixton is located at 30 Acre Lane, Brixton, London SW2 5SG Volume 3 Issue 1 , 201 6


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The london business journal volume 3 issue 1 2016  
The london business journal volume 3 issue 1 2016  

The London Business Journal covers business activities, entrepreneurs, tips, news, features etc from the UK in general and London in particu...