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Volume 3 Issue 3 201 7



Having spent more than 40 years in business (you would never believe it by looking at her), Kelly has learned many valuable lessons on her road to success. In this exclusive interview the former Dragon speaks to us on being an investor, entrepreneurship and how businesses can avoid the uncertainty of Brexit. Page 14


THE PRINCE’S TRUST, L’ORÉAL “ALL WORTH IT” Dame Helen Mirren hosted the launch of a new three-year, nationwide initiative from The Prince’s Trust and L’Oréal Paris to help 1 0,000 young people across the UK turn ‘self-doubt’ into ‘self–worth’. “This partnership between L’Oréal Paris and The Prince’s Trust is a perfect marriage. The Prince’s Trust has a long history of helping young people, and I have been proud to support its work for many years. I also admire L’Oréal Paris for its constant work to re-look at and understand what beauty means,” Dame Helen said.


Ecrebo Secures £12 Million Investment Partnership

Ecrebo, the retail point of sale marketing specialist, has announced a £1 2 million investment from Air Miles and Nectar founder Sir Keith Mills and former Warburg Pincus Head of Europe, Joseph Schull. The new funding will support increased investment in product and technology development for Ecrebo’s digital marketing platform. The funds will also be used to recruit new talent into Ecrebo’s growing team. Sir Keith Mills and Joseph Sir Keith Mills: Air Miles and Schull will join Ecrebo’s board as Nectar Founder part of £1 2 million investment in Ecrebo directors alongside the company’s Founders, Dr Hassan capital teams, is also Hajji and David Vernon. Existing participating in the investment investor Octopus Ventures, one round and will continue to be of Europe’s largest venture

represented on the board. Sir Keith Mills, said: “I am delighted to announce this investment in Ecrebo, who impressed me with their firmlyestablished credentials and leadership within the retail technology sector. Ecrebo’s technology gives retailers the ability to open up a marketing channel that is fully retailerowned, enabling them to reach all their customers and engage them on a one-to-one basis in a way which is personalised, rewarding and convenient. I am looking forward to working closely with the Ecrebo team in the coming months to help them grow the business both in the UK and internationally.”

Mott MacDonald and Essentia Form Partnership

Global engineering, management and development consultancy Mott MacDonald and Essentia Trading Ltd (Essentia), specialist providers in strategic development and healthcare planning consultancy, have unveiled their collaborative partnership to deliver advisory and implementation services globally. The move brings together two of the UK's leading healthcare consultancies to offer technical expertise covering the whole spectrum of consulting from infrastructure development to health system transformation.

"We are proud to partner with from working on global projects Mott MacDonald," said Steve allows us to pass on that wealth McGuire, CEO of Essentia. "We of experience, from the NHS all the way through to some of the world's largest healthcare Hospital Interior (PRNewsFoto/Essentia) infrastructure projects." Richard Cantlay, Mott MacDonald's Global Head of Healthcare Buildings, said: "Partnering with Essentia will mean clients can benefit from a complete specialist and multidisciplinary healthcare believe this integration is a service with a major global perfect fit for customers as it presence. The move sees some enables us to collaborate in of the leading experts in the areas to create better connected healthcare systems. public sector collaborating closely with those in the private Our collective understanding sector."

JMR Software (Pty) Ltd Sets Up New UK Operation Global IT services and data migration specialist, JMR Software (Pty) Ltd has opened a UK office and appointed an operational team to grow its international business.


It marks a move to position JMR Software as an independent entity in the UK market, where over the past 20 years the company has operated through strategic partnerships. The new UK base

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will enable the company to build direct relationships. JMR Software is already supporting financial services’ companies in the UK and around the world.


Spinview Global Appoints New Chairman for Growth Geoff Sutton, ex General Manager of International Media Publishing Group at Microsoft, has joined leading virtual reality company Spinview Global as Chairman. The experienced digital industry executive and pioneer of cutting edge technologies, joins Linda Wade, CEO, Zoran Grahovac, Business Development and Zeljko Radosevic, Head of Technology and Software Services, together with an experienced management team, to focus on growth of the Spinview business in the UK, Nordics and overseas. Following an early career as a

Geoff Sutton: Spinview's Chairman

senior Fleet Street journalist at newspapers including the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and Today, Sutton went on to launch the UK’s first online-only news site MSN News. His subsequent

position as a senior leader at Microsoft through the growth of the internet-era, saw him run MSN, Hotmail, Messenger, Search and online services across UK, EMEA and latterly all international markets outside of the US. Geoff said: “ I believe there is a huge opportunity here to build a big, profitable and groundbreaking business in the innovative VR space. Spinview are 'making VR simple' and I believe we can become the platform that is required by many businesses to host and develop their VR content experiences.”

Across the Divide Celebrates 20th Year Anniversary Leading UK expedition and logistics company Across the Divide, which has organised expeditions around the world and provided logistics and planning support to charities and corporates raising £92million for charity, celebrates its 20th anniversary. In that time, Across the Divide has provided medical support for CBS TV's Survivor Series and helped Helen Skelton run and kayak for Comic Relief. It helped Ben Fogle and James Cracknell ride from Edinburgh to

London, and even Sir David

Mark Hannaford: Founder, Across the Divide

Attenborough has reached out for the firm’s expert support. It has also helped the BBC’s Children in Need Rickshaw

Challenge team to raise more than £1 4million over the past five years. Across the Divide was the first company to provide salaried medical staff on all of its international expeditions and projects, and works with its sister company World Extreme Medicine to train medical professionals to apply their skills to extreme and austere environments, working on expeditions, with endurance athletes and in areas of conflict.

DocsCorp Expands London Office to Great Tower Street DocsCorp has relocated its London team to larger premises on Great Tower Street. Leading the EMEA team of sales, sales support and events personnel is Vice President of DocsCorp EMEA, Ben Mitchell. Commenting on the new

DocsCorp: premises on Great Tower Street

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move Mitchell said: “DocsCorp has posted strong consistent growth in Europe over the past five years. “It's all about efficiency. The majority of our clients are keen to become more efficient so they can transact more business in less time.”



Mobile Working Saves Carers Extra Hour Each Shift A residential care home extra hour per service in North Yorkshire shift to engage has revealed how mobile with residents, technology has equating to 1 5% transformed the way its in time savings staff cares for its on admin work. residents. This new way of Clifton St Annes has working has also implemented the Lou Squires: contributed to MD Clifton Clifton St Annes mobile Caresys solution St Annes from software and winning its services Quality Care provider Advanced, and found its Commission’s ‘outstanding’ carers have gained nearly an rating, held by only 1 % of care

homes in the UK, for both of its homes. Lou Squires, Managing Director at Clifton St Annes, said: “This technology has made us all realise how dated and vulnerable our paper records were, and how time consuming and inefficient it was for our carers to go back and read through notes made by them and their colleagues, which were, at times, unreadable.”

Thales UK Achieves Investor in Innovations Award Thales UK’s Transportation business), focuses on systems integration solutions

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The Transportation business of Thales UK has been awarded the prestigious Investor in Innovation Award. Thales Transportation operates in the UK as a systems integrator in broadly three areas of signalling, supervision and control, and integrated communications delivering solutions for mainline rail and infrastructure, urban transportation, roads, and smart cities. It participates in national and European research projects as well as through open innovation interventions through its supply chain partners. Ben Pritchard FIKE, Innovation Lead from the organisation’s Technical Directorate said: “The continuous drive for safety, efficiency, reliability and the application of digital technologies to serve the ever changing customer expectations are significantly reshaping the landscape of the ground transportation

infrastructure businesses. This means we have to constantly innovate to improve value to customers and users of our solutions. “Investor in Innovations gave us an effective platform to drive our innovation capability for growth.” Pritchard added “The Investor in Innovations programme also provided expert guidance of Advisors from the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, areas for improvement and further focus. We intend to extend the impact of this achievement beyond our business operation to embrace to our partners, suppliers and stakeholders and ultimately, our customers. We are pleased to be the first organisation in the ground transportation industry sector to achieve the Investor in Innovations standard.”


Nielsen, RichRelevance E-commerce Collaboration Nielsen has announced an integration with RichRelevance® through the Nielsen Marketing Cloud that enables retailers to deliver highly personalised e-commerce experiences. Now retailers can harness the power of Nielsen audience data, analytics and technology to engage more shoppers with better personalised content, product recommendations and search results, including those who have not previously shopped with the brand. By delivering a more relevant

experience to every customer – from the first click through checkout and beyond – clients can achieve significant increases in consideration, loyalty and sales. “Approximately 60% of traffic to a retail site or app is anonymous to the retailer, meaning that no data on these audiences is available when they first arrive,” said Nielsen’s Mark Zagorski, Executive Vice President, Nielsen Marketing Cloud. “With Nielsen Marketing Cloud and RichRelevance, retailers can now access rich data on these

anonymous shoppers the moment they hit the site and deliver more relevant experiences from the very start.”

Mark Zagorski, Executive Vice President, Nielsen Marketing Cloud

LWARB Launches Advance London SME Support

The London Waste and Wayne Hubbard: businesses to adopt and LWARB Recycling Board scale up circular (LWARB) has launched business models. Advance London, a Wayne Hubbard, Chief new business support Operating Officer of programme, which will LWARB, said, “London is be open from January host to several circular 201 7. The Advance economy leaders. The London programme will nature of the circular provide free practical economy requires help and advice to collaboration throughout SMEs in London to enable the supply chain and changes

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the way businesses interact with consumers. As more and more businesses ‘go circular’ new opportunities will emerge for SMEs to bring innovative solutions to overcome the challenges that businesses face in this transition. We want London to be a world leader in nurturing circular economy businesses.”


Transport/Motoring News

New Peugeot Expert Awarded Top Van Accolade The recently launched all-new Peugeot Expert has been awarded the ‘Light Commercial Vehicle of the Year’* accolade and ‘Medium Van of the Year’* at the 201 7 What Van? Awards. The panel of judges at What Van?, made up with individuals from a wide spectrum of experience and expertise in this market, were convinced that the all-new Expert van was “an outstanding new van having launched to the market this year”, adding that the new Peugeot Expert “breaks new

compared with its predecessor in terms of quality, refinement and practicality. It should propel the brand to the forefront of what is a very competitive market sector. The new Expert van brings useful innovations to the market and it now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best medium vans on offer. Peugeot Expert: The Compact version of the ‘Light Commercial Vehicle of the Year’ new Expert breaks new ground in the sector and gives its market.” manufacturer a significant James Dallas, Editor of What advantage over competition Van? said: “The Peugeot Expert – particularly withtheurban represents a big step up operators.”

Following Addison Lee’s recent purchase of US company ‘Flyte Tyme’ and the purchase of the Tristar brand in 201 6 (which made it Europe’s largest Executive Car Service), Addison Lee has rebranded its group identity. The new organisation will be called the “Addison Lee Group” and a new logo will reflect the

company’s premium status in the market. The new mark features a graphic device of two corners, designed to reflect the inclusive nature of the group, while the name is written in Novecento Wide, the same font used in the new Addison Lee product identity that launched in September 201 6.

ground in the largest and most important sector of the van

Addison Lee Launches New Group Brand Identity

Tamsin Todd, Chief Customer Officer of Addison Lee Group commented: “This is an exciting time for Addison Lee and for the executive car industry. With the acquisition of Flyte Tyme and Tristar, Addison Lee Group has become the world’s leading provider of executive car services so that our global customers can take advantage.”

Maxoptra Optimises Tahira’s Halal Food Delivery Tahira Food is to implement the Maxoptra dynamic vehicle route planning and scheduling platform to transform its Halal food delivery operation. A leading producer and distributor of Halal products across Europe, Tahira supplies a wide range of products to leading supermarket chains, such as Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Iceland, as well as more than 1 ,800 convenience, specialist and ethnic retailers. In the UK Tahira operates an in-house fleet with


the capacity to deliver up to 1 ,200 product cartons per day

efficiency gains and costs savings and improved staff engagement. The Maxoptra “Prior to the cloud based implementation of solution Maxoptra we simply integrates with Tahira’s assigned a vehicle to a sales and particular sales person and accounting then devised routes based software on the orders they achieved. This created enormous disparity between vehicles with some only being used for a few hours a day while others were struggling with capacity,” said Mahmoud from two warehouse locations. Mostafa, Business Consultant at Using Maxoptra, Tahira has Tahira Foods. already achieved measurable

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Accounting/Banking/Finance News

SME Businesses Not Ready for Tax Digitalisation A recent survey has shown that many SME business do not currently use software to manage their accounts. These businesses will be forced to adapt significantly in order to use software to comply with HMRC’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ project; which aims to see businesses reporting tax digitally by 201 8. Bookkeeping method expressed as a percentage of firms surveyed were; Shoebox (1 6%), Manual records (23%), Computer (i.e spreadsheets) (27%) and Software (35%). The survey was conducted by

the UK200Group, the UK’s of Dains, said: “The ‘shoebox leading membership association method’ users will have to learn how to keep records, invest in software and then spend time inputting the data they collect into the software. Making Tax Digital represents the single most significant change to the UK’s system of taxation in recent times, and many of our smaller business clients are simply not ready for it.” The UK200Group has a nationwide membership of over of independent chartered 1 50 accountancy and law firm accountancy and law firms. that service Richard McNeilly, Chair of the offices approximately 1 50,000 SME UK200Group Digitalisation Taskforce and Managing Partner clients.

New Business Development Director for Canaccord Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management (CGWM) has appointed David Scammell as David Scammell a Business Development Director. Based in the UK, David joins the International Sales Team

and will be responsible for business development within South East Asia. A highly experienced business developer, David has over 1 7 years experience as a wealth management professional and joins Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management from Brooks Macdonald International. David Esfandi, Chief Executive of Canaccord Genuity Wealth

Management in the UK and Europe, said: "David joins at an exciting time as we look to expand our fund management business internationally. Working with multi-national fund platforms and overseas financial advisers, David will bolster our well-established International Sales Team to capitalise further on this significant growth opportunity."

Majority of UK Accountants Plan on Leaving Jobs

The latest data from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and recruitment specialist, Global Accounting Network, has found that 61 % of UK-based qualified accountants plan on changing jobs in the next two years. By comparison, 35% of Irelandbased accountants plan on switching jobs during the same period. The survey, which collected responses from almost 8,000 CIMA members and student

members, also found that almost half (48%) of accounting students are planning to move into a new role in the next 24 months. The most frequently mentioned motivators for changing jobs amongst all groups were; financial reward, scope of the role and promotion prospects. Furthermore, 7% of UK members who plan to take the next step in their careers have their sights set overseas, with Australia, New Zealand and Canada featuring as the most

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mentioned destinations. Commenting on the findings, Adrian O’ Connor, Founding Partner at the Global Accounting Network, said: “It is no surprise that the majority of accounting professionals have aspirations to accelerate their careers in the coming months. Demand for top accounting talent is positively booming and ambitious professionals are taking advantage of this landscape to reach for more rewarding opportunities with greater longterm prospects.”


Finance: Crowd For Angels

Turning the Crowd to Angel Investors


By Ronnie Ajoku

aising capital for business purposes is something most entrepreneurs and businesses have struggled with at one point or another in their lifetime. Indeed, it wasn't that long ago family, friends and the bank were seen as the only hope of budding entrepreneurs – and then came crowdfunding. Crowd For Angels (CFA) is a crowdfunding platform that began just over three years ago with a view to “bring innovative and appealing products and provide funding for companies through their growth cycle.” Founded by Tony De Nazareth, a seasoned finance professional, the platform has witnessed its own steady growth over time. “Crowd for Angels is a regulated platform for debt and equity. We are experienced and not one of those people just trying to do something for the first time,” he summarised. “I started off working for an accountancy practice,” he said while speaking on his venture into the world of finance many years ago. “From there I went into banking. I was a controller for banking in London, Hong Kong and Finland. It was such a long time ago.” The wide range of experience gained was enough for him to branch out on his own and he did just that with EC Capital, an independent corporate finance boutique. “After that I formed my own company called EC Capital, which specialised in lending to listed companies.


In a strange way that led to the idea for Crowd For Angels (CFA). The idea is to fund companies, but through the crowd instead of how we normally do it. “It has taken us about three years and we are one of the best in the country. The business structure has helped us to reduce our workload and gives us an advantage as we have

funding is taking place. Speaking on the type of businesses CFA seeks to interest Tony says that “there are two types of people we need to attract. One is the entrepreneurs that come to look for funding. At the same time we need to attract Tony De Nazareth: investors that can fund these Founder of fundraising pitches. It has moved Crowd For from what is conceptually seed Angels funding to businesses that are slightly more established than a 'beermat' business plan. “It is ideal for people with experience, that have great ideas and have put in some money into what they are doing. We pride reduced overheads.” ourselves on being able to fund Crowdfunding (for the uninitiated the companies and need as many investors as we can get, or those frozen in time) is the because there is no shortage of process of raising funds by companies looking for funding.” having a number of investors investing an amount of money into a given company looking for Tony is also a director of several companies in the finance and the funds. Companies using this method can raise capital either social media space, and is a through equity or debt funding, fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in and in return the investors are England and Wales, an given shares or bonds in the associate member of the company. In the case of Crowd For Angels Corporate Treasurers and a (CFA), companies create a pitch member of the Association of MBAs. on the Crowd for Angels platform, setting out the reasons “With us there is no minimum they are seeking the investment. investment required. We are a true crowdfunding platform in the As a part of this process, way we discuss it. There are companies must decide on a 'minimum funding target' and a people that use the term 'crowdfunding', but their 'maximum funding target' they minimum investment requirement are looking to raise. They must also specify the price is between £500 - £1 ,000! In my of the shares they are offering or view these are wrongly classified the interest rate they are willing as 'crowdfunding' companies because they don't disrupt the to offer investors on a bond, crowd.” depending on which type of

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Advertising/PR/Marketing News

TBWA Worldwide Takes Majority Stake in Lucky Generals TBWA Worldwide, an advertising agency collective and an Omnicom Group company, has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in leading independent UK creative agency, Lucky Generals. Lucky Generals' founders, Helen Calcraft, Andy Nairn and Danny Brooke-Taylor, will remain in their existing roles at Lucky Generals and will retain a significant minority share in the company. TBWA will form a new TBWA UK Group, which will consist of Lucky Generals and TBWA\London, upon the acquisition of Lucky Generals. Lucky Generals and

TBWA\London will continue to Germany, where TBWA and operate as two separate brands HEIMAT successfully operate a similar two-pronged strategy. Helen Calcraft, founding Helen Calcraft, Andy Nairn partner of Lucky Generals, & Danny Brooke-Taylor added: "We have been fortunate enough to have had conversations with many international groups, but Omnicom and TBWA Worldwide were the only ones to understand our desire for autonomy — perhaps because within the new group. The entrepreneurialism, disruption structure exemplifies TBWA's and creativity are hardwired into unique approach to developing their DNA. We already feel like a global advertising collective of we've established a great connected, yet distinct, personal connection with the agencies. It has parallels with team." the group's approach in

Brain Scans Reveal TV Advert Level of Effectiveness

Researchers at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) have discovered what in a TV advert triggers people to find the product online, by scanning the brains of a group of ‘guinea pig’ consumers. This group was shown the adverts of 11 different adverts, all created for the same brand of pain-relieving muscle and joint gel. These scans revealed that an

advert works best when it highlights both a product’s functional benefits and triggers the viewer’s imagination. Together these activate specific parts of the viewer’s brain most intensely, to make the advert more effective. The study aimed to examine online search behaviour, and to find the elements most effective in prompting consumers. The goal was not only to find out which elements, but also to

understand WHY, hence the need to gather the data from brain scans. Linda Couwenberg, who led the research, said: “This study shows that the effectiveness of a marketing message cannot be explained by isolating just one simple brain process. Successful TV adverts trigger a complex combination of processes in the brain."

Nectar and Mail Newspapers Enter Partnership Aimia Inc, the data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company, has reached an agreement for Mail Newspapers to join Nectar, the U.K.'s largest loyalty program. Starting in May 201 7, readers of the Daily Mail and The Mail


on Sunday will be able to earn Nectar points, transitioning from the Mail's current MyMail Rewards program which offers its own MyMail points currency. The partnership will reward Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday readers for purchasing

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print editions of the newspapers. "Loyalty has an increasingly important role to play in the highly competitive U.K. newspaper market," said James Moir, Nectar Managing Director.


An Entrepreneur's Time to Rise

Q&A: EXPERIENCES, CHALLENGES AND MARKETING SOLUTIONS WITH REZA SOHEILY, FOUNDER AND CEO, LONDON ENTREPRENEURS NETWORK Tell us about your and mission, because of this, is people liked and disliked. We entrepreneurial journey from to take this passion and create didn’t gain our success in the start up to now the biggest business show, and marketing from a book, but more “In 2009, I moved to the UK (speaking no English) to study at university. After much hard work and dedication, I almost got a degree. 'Almost? What do you mean almost, why didn’t you get a degree?' is probably what you are thinking right now. See, the reason is because I didn’t attend my final exam due to the fact that I had already started my events business. I started running events in 201 2 and formed the company in 201 3. In the three years since, we have gone from having 1 200 members to over 30,000 members become a part of the London Entrepreneurs Network (LEN). What many people do not know, is that prior to LEN, I started a business doing voucher codes, and before I even moved to the UK I ran a jewellery business in Iran.”

most successful platform for investors and investees, in the world.”

Do you feel marketing is important to success in business?

from experience. Many people when marketing, tend to say and do what they like, forgetting it is about what others like and want.”

What particular parts of marketing do you see as most “Marketing is making yourself known to potential customers so relevant to your type of yes, of course it is important. For business? us, we provide value to people and this ethos alone tends to help market our business and brand very effectively. You could argue in many ways, that, our product is our marketing. Putting on shows and events that other business owners can attend and gain value from is a massively valuable marketing activity for us. I like to look at it in this way, 'marketing is the whole body, not just a part' for our business’s success.”

What’s your vision/mission for being in business?

What challenges have you faced in the context of marketing and how have you overcome these challenges?

“It’s not about money. When I first started exploring the business and entrepreneurial scene over here, I started to see that at many business shows, people were paying a MINIMUM of £3,000 for a stand – the spot in the corner that nobody passes and so is unaware that you’re even at the event. So this is when I started thinking; 'who is putting on events for the startups with little to no money?' There is little availability for those who do not have significant budgets. My vision

“Delivering a powerful and succinct message, in a quick and understandable way. It is important for us to be able to give people the whole picture about who we are and what we do, i.e. the fact that we have a large community, run events, and support investors and investees, but still deliver this message and our value in a way that is creative and encouraging too. In terms of overcoming challenges; trial and error, literally. We had to try a number of things in order to find out what

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“It simply comes back to the key principles of finding needs and solving problems. Let’s face it, with the amount of entrepreneurs in our network, as well as the amount of business people we meet, and are in contact with, we are made aware of the problems, so we endeavour to solve them. Following that, it is about creating messages in a way that impacts potential customers and delivers results.”

What’s next for LEN? “We will soon be introducing an online platform for investors and investees to connect. We see a particular gap in this area as neither crowdfunding, nor Linkedin, really allow them to share relevant and desired data, as well as engage in a way that is most effective and efficient for both parties. We are always growing and so will continue to drive toward our goal of becoming the world’s biggest business show. Finally, the Angel Invest Show that we run is going to be turned into a TV show so people can stay on the lookout for that too.”


Construction/Property News

British Manufacturer Vent-Axia Wins CIBSE Award

Vent-Axia team on stage having won ‘Energy Efficient Product or Innovation of the Year’ at the prestigious Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Building Performance Awards 201 7

Leading British ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia is celebrating winning ‘Energy Efficient Product or Innovation of the Year’ at the prestigious Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Building Performance Awards 201 7. Scooping the award for its revolutionary Sentinel Kinetic Advance Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), the Sussex-based company received the accolade at the event which was held at

Grosvenor House, Park Lane in London, and attended by the biggest names in the industry. Now in its 1 0th year, these respected awards recognise excellence in the built environment. This year over 750 people came to hear England International rugby star, Matt Dawson, announce the winners. The esteemed CIBSE Building Performance Awards recognise outstanding new and innovative products which significantly improve building performance. “We are delighted that our

innovative Sentinel Kinetic Advance MVHR has won the “Energy Efficient Product or Innovation of the Year’ award at the CIBSE Awards 201 7. To be recognised by the industry in this manner, and in such important awards for the built environment, is a real honour” said Ian Mitchell, Product Marketing Manager – New Build Residential. At Vent-Axia we are committed to innovation and continuous development and the Advance really is a new breed of MVHR unit.”

UK's First Comparison Site for Building and DIY Go Banana has been launched as the UK's first comparison website for building and DIY supplies. Its Founder and Managing Director, Rami Naori, spotted a gap in the market after carrying out several property redevelopments.


"The UK building materials industry is a healthy and competitive one, with plenty of big name brands vying for a customer's attention," said Naori. "But there is definitely scope to reduce the cost of construction and the whole life cost of buildings, and one way

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to do that is by shopping around for materials. "We realised there was nowhere for builders, construction companies, building surveyors, property developers and home DIY enthusiasts to compare products, and we believed there was an opportunity."

Construction/Property News

DPS Group Expand to UK, Acquire Alban Technical

Pictured L-R- Tony Mahon, DPS Managing Director CS Europe, Gary Smith Managing Director CS UK DPS Alban Technical, Eddie Kent, CFO DPS and Dave Cattell Area Manager Director of DPS Alban Technical (PRNewsFoto/DPS)

DPS, the Irish engineering and project management group, is expanding into the UK with the acquisition of Alban Technical Recruitment. Alban has offices in St. Albans and Macclesfield and provides contract engineering personnel for the pharmaceutical, medical device and microelectronics industries in the UK. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed. Commenting on the UK acquisition, DPS CEO Frank Keogh said: "We have a substantial professional outsourcing business in Ireland, Mainland Europe and the United

States and expanding into a large market like the UK is a logical step." He explained that the expansion of the professional outsourcing business in the UK will be followed by establishing an engineering and project management business in the UK, focusing on the pharmaceutical, life sciences and advanced technology sectors. "It has always been part of our long-term strategy to establish a presence in the UK." He elaborated by saying that DPS had been looking for the right opportunity to enter the market

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long before last year's Brexit vote and added: "We are delighted with the opportunity to have an established presence in the UK, before the conclusion of Brexit and the UK exit from the EU in 201 9." "Alban is a very successful professional outsourcing company and some of its key people have been involved in engineering recruitment for more than 25 years. We look forward to working with Gary Smith and his team at DPS Alban Technical Ltd., in building up a more significant professional outsourcing operation in the UK in the years ahead."


Entrepreneur Focus: Kelly Hoppen



hen it comes to interior designs Kelly Hoppen MBE is one of the most notable names there is. While her popularity in the UK may have soared during her time as an investor on Dragons' Den, among the affluent ofthe world her reputation had preceded her for decades. Here she speaks to Ronnie Ajoku on her 40plus years in business, entrepreneurship and the need for diversification

Most recently seen as a guest judge on The Great Interior Design Challenge (BBC 2), Kelly Hoppen MBE is definitely an authority in interior design. For the former 'Dragon' (who has created a design brand of international repute) the programme was a perfect fit. “It's been so much fun to film as


design is my number one passion — which has been made even stronger, if that's possible!” She has spent more than 40 years in the business (you would never believe it by looking at her), and in that time has learned many valuable lessons.

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Entrepreneur Focus: Kelly Hoppen

It is no wonder why she is an author of several books in the design space, and investor among other things. Over the years Kelly has seen a lot of changes within her industry. “All aspects of design have changed immensely over the years and it is fantastic what we can now achieve with the help of technology,” she says. Kelly is also a fan of the current wave of entrepreneurship taking place, particularly the increase in the number of women in business. “There has been a huge growth in entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial spirit, I love seeing it. There weren't many in my time when I started out. It's amazing to see so many people having the courage to take risks and put their future in their own hands. The fact that there are so many female entrepreneurs now

just shows how far we have come, it's such an exciting time to be an entrepreneur.” Although she has done extremely well, in retrospect there are a few things she would have handled differently on the road to becoming successful — after all, hindsight is 20-20 vision. The first as she put it is “don't sweat the small stuff! What you might think is a huge mistake at the time can actually turn out to be a great lesson.” Despite the business world's current obsession with predictions, analytics and algorithms, Kelly believes that there is more to successful ventures than that. It has to feel right for the individual concerned and there has to be a good measure of resilience. “Just stay true to yourself and listen to your gut, that's my motto. Nothing is a

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Brexit will inevitably affect business owners now and in the future especially ifthey are trading internationally


Entrepreneur Focus: Kelly Hoppen

mean some businesses will have to diversify into new markets, but for now I would say make sure to keep current business relationships stable. Entrepreneurs should do their research and look for ways to expand. I would say don't panic though, adjust quickly and react sensibly and thoughtfully.”

many of my clients were US based. This meant I had to diversify the business, so I started my interior design school as I didn't want to lose employees. This helped keep everything afloat at the time.”

The situation taught her a few things that served her well moving forward. “It taught me that you can diversify to make Kelly is no stranger to your business survive diversification herself. and to always be open “During the time of the to possibilities; you tragic 9/11 attacks, my never know what it business took a hit as so might bring.”

There has been a huge growth in entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial spirit, I love seeing it failure, if you keep trying it's experience. Its only a failure when you give up.”

With an interesting portfolio of businesses and a reputation for high quality across the world, Most people in the country recognise designs Kelly has been quite busy her as being an investor on the leaving 'Dragons' Den. Dragons' Den (201 3-201 5), a role that since “I am currently working on gave her an opportunity to support 40 interiors projects businesses that she believed in. “I loved over across the globe at the being able to meet young moment. My online retail entrepreneurs” she said of the business,, experience. “Seeing their passion is constantly expanding with reminded me of how I was all those collections. I put a lot of years ago, and still am today. I loved it!” new effort into making sure it reflects my style and make it Brexit, undoubtedly the greatest more readily available for concern for entrepreneurs and businesses at the moment, is bound to everyone. have a lasting effect and in Kelly's “I'm also focusing on the opinion, the survival and growth of a licensing side my business. I business will depend on its adaptability. have several licenses such “Brexit will inevitably affect business wallpaper paper with owners now and in the future especially as Graham & Brown, shutters, if they are trading internationally. It may fabrics, taps, a new glasses


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range with Boots, accessories and jewellery range with QVC and others launching this year. I also mentor and invest in young entrepreneurs,” she added.

Human Resources/Management News

Interrupting Discussions Improves Decision-making Teams make better decisions if they are interrupted with advice during their task, rather than advised before it, new research from UCL School of Management reveals. In a study published in Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, Professor Colin Fisher looked at the timing and impact of formal interventions in decision-making groups. He found that giving teams advice ahead of time to prevent problems from emerging doesn’t work as well as interrupting them with in-process interventions. Decision-making groups value interruptive advice more, which

leads them to share more critical information and make better decisions, compared to groups getting the same advice before they begin their task – even when the difference between receiving the information was only a few minutes. “The findings go against the conventional wisdom that prevention is always better than cure. Teams that were interrupted had more productive discussions on a variety of measures, improving the quality of the decisions they made. Surprisingly, it didn’t matter specifically how long we waited to intervene, so long as the group had already begun its

discussion,” said Professor Fisher. To investigate, he conducted experiments with 1 24 threeperson groups who made two decisions about opening a fictitious new gourmet restaurant. To reveal the best choices, members had to pool their individual information. Groups received advice either before their discussion, or at varying points during their discussions. Videos of discussions were used to measure the discussion length, level of advocacy, and amount of information shared, all of which predicted the likelihood of choosing the correct answer.

'Sensation Seekers' Make Better CEOs, Says Research ‘Sensation seekers’ embrace innovation and make better CEOs, says Jingjing Zhang, Assistant Professor of Accounting at Desautels School of Management, McGill University. CEOs who search for exciting yet risky experiences – such as flying small aircraft – embrace diverse and high-impact innovation projects in business. The researchers examined the

performances of 88 CEOs who were also pilots and 1 ,1 23 nonpilot CEOs in US firms from 1 993 – 2003. This revealed that firms with a pilot CEO are able to increase their number of patented products or services by 66.7% and the number of citations of these patents by 43.9%. Zhang says: “Our research demonstrates that companies led by ‘sensation seekers’, who

display the same thrill-seeking tendencies as pilots, are able to generate more patents with greater market impact than their peers. This is because CEOs with this particular personality typically improve innovation effectiveness and pursue more diverse and original projects.” The research suggests that businesses employing a ‘sensation seeker’ as a CEO are likely to be far more innovative.

‘Long-termism’ Needed in Talent Management Global talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions, has highlighted the need for firms to take a long term approach to people management, despite the perceived need for short-term objectives in a growing gig economy. In response to a recent report from McKinsey & Company

which revealed that companies with long term views outperform their peers, Alexander Mann Solutions has urged HR teams to ensure a similar approach is implemented in talent management. In its report, Measuring the Economic Impact of Shorttermism, McKinsey found that the earnings of firms which

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focused on long term planning over short term objectives grew, on average, 36% more than other firms and their economic profit grew by 81 % more. However, according to the talent experts, the sourcing and management of people is often controlled on a short term basis due to the ambiguity of the gig economy.


Business Growth

Acquiring, Maximizing or Retaining:

Which is most important for your business? couple of component parts:

By Royston Guest

Regardless of your industry, sector, business type, or whether you’re in a B2B or B2C environment, there is a formula for success in delivering accelerated, sustained and profitable business growth. However, most business leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs are either not aware of the success formula and its fundamental principles, or are simply not following it.

Here’s the BIG idea: Strategically, the primary purpose of a business is to Acquire, Maximize, and Retain the right customers. Everything that contributes to this is an investment; anything which doesn’t, is a cost. Let me break this into a


Again, this is true, but what I’m focused on here is unlocking the 1. ‘Strategically, the primary untapped potential of unlimited purpose of a business . . growth. Reducing costs is finite; .’ Note the key word here is you can only ever cut back so far strategically. Over the years, before arriving at a base cost to customers and delegates have serve and deliver your customer challenged me by saying ‘Royston, proposition. It’s never a long-term isn’t the primary purpose of a strategy for sustained growth. business to fulfill a customer need?’ My answer to this question Buying other businesses can be is always: ‘Yes, you are 1 00% another way of driving growth, but right’. However, in the context of with that comes additional cost and your business growth formula, this usually a significant amount of is a given. Here we are focused on change to manage. your business growth not your business essence. What I’m focused on is accelerated, sustained and 2. ‘. . . Acquire, Maximize, and profitable organic, year-on-year Retain the right growth underpinned by your AMR customers’…This statement strategy and the answers to the contains the core principles, the Four BIG questions; all of which hub of your business growth add breadth and depth to the formula. Attract, Maximize, and business growth formula. Retain are three key words, which together form your AMR strategy. 1. How do you increase the number of customers? YOUR AMR S TRATEGY 2. How do you increase the average order value? During good economic times, new 3. How do you increase the business was probably easier to average order frequency? come by, and it didn’t really matter 4. How do you increase the if you lost a customer, because retention of customers? there was always another waiting in the wings. However, in a The first question addresses the competitive market where multiple ‘A’ of your AMR strategy, questions providers are chasing the same two and three the ‘M’, and finally customers, and those customers question four the ‘R’. are more demanding than ever, a Which question do you think most structured, systematic, and businesses focus their time, effort sustainable business growth and resources on? strategy is more important than ever. It’s the first – increasing the number of customers. Now, you may say ‘but what about While this is certainly key for reducing costs, surely that will business growth, the amount of increase my profits and therefore time you should focus on new help me grow my business?’ customer acquisitions isn’t the

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Business Growth same for all businesses. The maturity of your business and the size of your existing customer base, when aligned to your growth ambition, will determine how much focus you need to place on the ‘A’ part of AMR. I always remember reading this headline in a UK business newspaper: ‘A million customers come back to energy provider.’ Now, the challenge I have with this headline is: why did they lose a million customers in the first place?



There are examples of AMR strategy in action in abundance, and I would urge you to become curious There is a danger for every business about them. I’m talking owner, business leader, and entrepreneur of obsessing about finding about TV ads, newspaper ads, online banner ads, and new customers, all the while failing to focus on the customers they’ve already clickable links – even the invested the time, effort, and money to acquire. Which leads me to making it real for you. AMR can be approached from two very different perspectives, depending on the maturity of your business.

flyers that come through your morning post. Read them and take note. The great think about your AMR strategy is that it is agile, designed and tailored to fit your business, not the other way round.

Royston Guest is the author of 'Built to Grow', available to buy from Amazon. For further information visit:

If you’re in the early stages of your business lifecycle, then your focus might be weighted towards AMR and acquiring new customers. If this is the case, then great. Just make sure from day one that you have strategies in play to maximize and retain the customers you bring in and don’t fall into the trap of becoming stuck in the acquisition stage. You will never build a high performing sustained business by just being focused on the ‘A’. What you bring in through the front door will only compensate for what you’re losing out the back door if you’re not looking after your existing customers and realizing the value they can bring to you. If your business is more mature, it might serve you to turn AMR on its head. Start with retention, run an audit of how well you’re doing in maximization and finally, aligned to your business growth ambitions, make up any shortfall in retention and maximization through targeted acquisition activity. Volume 3 Issue 3, 201 7



How Entrepreneurs Can Ensure Themselves

A Comfortable Retirement What I hear frequently in response to that question is that people think they have to save a lot of money in the bank and perhaps have a few millions so they can comfortably retire, but that is hardly attainable for the majority of us. This is because of what ‘the system’ taught us; get a job, save money and retire. No school, or hardly any university, teaches financial literacy.

The answer to the above question is rather simple. All you By Jochen Siepmann need is a steady stream of Most entrepreneurs live and passive income that comes in breathe their business, but month after month automatically. whilst running their firm - doing Passive income means that you sales, marketing and operations do not trade your time for - they forget about their life. This money, but money works for might include spending time with you. Money does not call in sick, their family and planning for has no vacation ever and works retirement. Only once they are 365 days a year for you. old enough to retire do they realise that they actually do not So what entrepreneurs should have sufficient funds to sustain do is to learn how to build up their desired lifestyle for another passive income and take action. 20 or 30 years. There are different ways to do that, but one of the best and In the government’s definition easiest ways is with rental and many peoples eyes, property. Collecting rent from a ‘retirement’ means reaching tenant each month requires retirement age. In my definition almost no time commitment, yet ‘retirement’ means only working yields a good return if the when and where you choose to, property and the tenant are not because you have to. The selected correctly. question is how entrepreneurs can ensure they achieve a Common misconceptions when comfortable retirement, instead thinking about buying a property of being too busy for their family are that one needs to have a lot and having to work until high of money, it’s risky or a burden. age? But all of those can be overcome with the right Volume 3 Issue 3, 201 7

knowledge. There are many landlords who earn a sizeable passive income from property (not to mention potential price appreciation as well). Those are the ones who can look forward to a comfortable retirement. If you are a young entrepreneur you have the advantage of having more time on your hands before retirement and if you start young, you will be able to build up a passive income that pays all your bills long before you reach retirement age. If you are a little bit older and might retire within the next 1 0 years or less, you might have the advantage of having a bit more capital at your disposal to build up your passive income faster. What are you waiting for?

Jochen Siepmann is an investor, trainer, mentor and author of 'The Property Apprentice – How To Earn While You Learn' and 'Increasing Your Profits'



Fashion's Finest 2017 Wow's London Fashion Week Britain's Top Designer Judges: Bernard Connolly, Nicky Johnston, Lewis DuncanWeedon and Lola Royle

Fashion industry professionals and celebrities turned out for this year's Fashion's Finest event, held during London Fashion Week — at the prestigious De Vere Connaught Rooms in London. The brainchild of Deborah St Louis, Founder of Fashion's Finest, the two-day series of events consisted of a pop-up exhibition and a series of fashion shows by both British and foreign designers. Rounding up the weekend's activities was the Britain's Top Designer competition. Judging the designers were Bernard Connolly (Celebrity Stylist and Head Judge), Nicky Johnston (fashion photograher, Britain's Next Top Model), Lola Royle (Fashion Stylist and Presenter) and Lewis DuncanWeedon (Fashion Stylist and Princes Trust Celebrity Ambassador). Hillary Alexander OBE served as a Virtual Judge.


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Lydia Lucy ( X Factor and The Voice) performing on the evening

Contestants included Unbridaled Couture, Charlotte Ambrose, Valdenzie Soares, John Harrera Couture, Chico De Barrio, and The House of RADHA. John Harrera Couture took first place while Chico De Barrio and Unbridaled Couture took second and third place respectively. Lydia Lucy, best known for her appearances on X Factor and The Voice treated the audience to a performance. She later scooped a prize for her dress. Now it its seventh year, Fashion's Finest has grown to become an important date on the fashion calender. Designers showcased on the catwalk included Hangjun Jo (UK), Marina Willms (Germany), The House of RADHA (UK), Chico De Barrio (UK), Sigrun (UK), Giebultowski Jewellery (UK), Anna Krzepkowska (Poland), Miss Boss Fashion (Cameroon), Alisha (Netherlands), Valdenzie Soares (UK), Nitya Singh (India), Nicole Quadrio (UK), Linda Blisset London (UK), Cristina Ghivnici (UK), Eagle Fashions by Richa Kapoor (India) and Antonia Nae (UK) Sponsors and partners of Fashion's Finest include MTV UP!, New Amsterdam Vodka, Rejuvenation Water, the Tanning Shop, Palmers, Exclusive Pix Media, Double Tree, Mr Lee's, White Glo, Thomas Hills, Vivid, Fair Squared and AOFM Pro. Volume 3 Issue 3, 201 7


Women in Business News

Double Silver for Equiom at Citywealth’s Powerwomen Equiom has been sector. As ever, the named silver winner of Sheila Dean - Equiom Global CEO, with presenter Mark competition was Durden Smith and Lina Petkova from Citywealth ‘Company of the Year’ tough and I’m in the Female extremely proud of Leadership (Large, our silver wins in both Institutional) category at categories. I’ll always the Powerwomen be a supporter of Awards. platforms that Sheila Dean then went highlight the excellent on to pick up the silver female leaders in our award for ‘Woman of industry and the the Year’ in the Powerwomen Awards Business Growth does just that.” category, a first for the The Powerwomen Global CEO. The win Awards, which comes just weeks after champions women in Sheila said: “The Powerwomen the wealth sector, was the company’s success at the Citywealth IFC Awards, where Awards is always a fantastic established in 201 4 to highlight event, bringing successful Equiom was named 'Trust female leaders. The ceremony Company of the Year' in three of women and companies together was held at London’s Rosewood across the breadth of the wealth Hotel. its jurisdictions.

Dr Laura N Young Named Scotswoman of the Year Dr Laura N Young MBE, cofounder of Scotland-based charity the Teapot Trust, which provides art therapy to sick children across the UK, has been named Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year 201 6 at a reception at the City Chambers, Glasgow. The value of the charity’s support to children and families in hospitals was recognised by Scotland’s Chief Medical OfficerDr Catherine Calderwood, who Tweeted ‘Huge congratulations to an

Laura Young with the Teapot Trust team

amazing woman really helping sick children & their families – learning from her own experience’. Laura won the prestigious

award, which has been running for 54 years, for co-founding and her voluntary work with theTeapot Trust, which provides clinically qualified art therapists for chronically ill children in hospital, with a particular focus on children suffering from rheumatological conditions. Art therapy can give children an alternative way to communicate their emotions, a distraction from their conditions, or even just a chance to have fun while waiting for appointments and medication.

“Nannies for Grannies” Launched for Elderly Care Like Minders Elderly Care & Companionship, is now offering ‘nannies for grannies’ to help fill the gap in the market for elderly care across the UK. With childcare far more accessible compared to elderly care, the service aims to offer


the same access and flexibility to elderly care that many parents in the UK enjoy for their children. It comes at a time when Government cuts have all but halted free care for low or non-medial elderly people, and therefore offers a low-cost

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solution for elderly people who require companionship and help around the home. The number of people aged 65+ is projected to rise by over 40 per cent in the next 1 7 years to over 1 6 million (ONS 201 5).

Women in Business

Insurance Networks to Support International Women's Day Team GB Hockey 201 6 Olympic Gold Medal Winners: Kate & Helen Richardson-Walsh

Dominic Christian: CEO, Aon UK Ltd

Gender networks from across the London Insurance Market are uniting their efforts to host a collaborative event in celebration of International Women's Day. The event will take place on 7th March and will be held at Willis Towers Watson's London office. International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – past, present and future. The day also marks a call for action towards accelerating gender parity and takes place on the 8th March annually. This year’s theme is #BeBoldForChange On the day, special guests Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh (Team GB Hockey 201 6 Olympic Gold Medal Winners) will lead an interactive discussion based

on their experience of creating a culture that enables high performing teams, navigating tough times and developing resilience together as role models. This interactive session will be facilitated by Jo Bostock, CoFounder and Trustee of the Women’s Sport Trust (a charity that encourages gender equality), Founder of Pause Consultancy (a leadership development business) and author of Women at Cambridge: The Meaning of Success. Dominic Christian, CEO, Aon UK Limited, Executive Chairman, Aon Benfield and Chair of Inclusion at Lloyd’s of London is set to open the event. Christian commented:“11 7 years to reach gender parity in the workplace is unthinkable.

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Times have changed and our industry must move on from the male, pale and stale reality of today and recognise the benefits that not only women, but ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and the LGBT community bring to businesses.” In 2005, the British Trades Union Congress approved a resolution calling for IWD to be designated a public holiday in the UK. This collaboration is sponsored by Willis Towers Watson, Allianz, Aon, JLT, Aviva, Chubb, XL Catlin RPC and Lloyd’s of London and marketed by The Insurance Supper Club, iWIN TWiN, BNY Mellon’s Women’s Initiatives Network, LMA and the Gender Inclusion Network for Insurance.


Women in Business

International Parity at Work Day Launches to Celebrate Contribution and Value of Diversity The inaugural International Parity performers, including the in at Work Day was celebrated house Director of Dreamgirls. globally on 11 th January 201 7. The event was attended by Initiated by Ishreen Bradley, Founder of The Parity Pioneers Movement, International Parity at Work Day is an observance day aimed at championing the value of diversity in the workplace and raising awareness of persistent workplace inequality. Areas of concern include all genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, physical abilities and ages. Organisations and communities in the UK, USA, Japan and Sri Lanka all marked the day in their own unique way. Hosted by Aon UK, London’s inaugural event featured inspirational conversations such as how Harry Specters Chocolates has enabled employment for autistic people that leverages their talent for attention to detail; how the Davies Review and Hampton Alexander Review are changing the landscape for women at work; and how the conversations now need to get more granular if they are really going to have an impact. Performances by talented artists demonstrated the contribution of young and old, black and white, with a multicultural cast of


leading supporters of parity at work, including Heather Melville of RBS, Denise Wilson OBE and Baroness Lorely Burt of Solihull. In America, a global investment bank held a panel session led by

their Executive Directors to discuss how they understand ‘parity at work’, the key metrics they will use to indicate the current state and quick wins that their managers could implement

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to promote parity. Commenting on the day’s events, Ishreen Bradley, Founder of The Parity Pioneers Movement said: “I am delighted that this inaugural day has generated so much interest around the world. Our intention is for a world in which all people are able to contribute their best talents at work and experience being justly recognised and rewarded. International Parity at Work Day takes a positive approach to achieving this goal, and I hope even more countries will join in the celebrations next year.” In Japan, a group of senior doctors started a cause to break the ‘unofficial’ 30% limit placed on female students entering medical school. Their seminar and discussion focused on how to increase young women’s confidence to apply to medical school, and how to lobby universities to give up their belief that women doctors will leave careers early to have families, and so should not receive as much opportunity to study medicine. The event in Sri Lanka, compered by senior MTV news anchor, Mahina Bongso, addressed the need for Parity at

Women in Business

work for young and old, the differently abled, people from different cultures, men and women. CEOs and leaders from

effectiveness and growth. Particular stories of interest were how Shaheen Cader caused a transformation that increased Some of the speakers on the day women in the Neilsen field In London force from 0% to 20% overcoming the many cultural barriers to women working away from Jetwing Travels and Nielsen, as well as a Past President of the home; how Nuski Mohamed is Country, graced the occasion to working to increase world cricket opportunities for differently abled share their views and experiences of maximising the people in terms of physical mobility and vision and how value and strength of diverse Shiromal Cooray has extended communities to deliver the gender-equal environment created by her father for her brother and her into a parity based culture at Jetwing Travels. The commercial director at a leading global pharmaceutical In Japan: Senior doctors discuss the ‘unofficial’ 30% company said: limit placed on female medical students Volume 3 Issue 3, 201 7

“Thank you so much for a very inspiring evening! I loved the program and the diversity of people I could get in touch with. There is so much we can do – and we should start right now.” International Parity at Work Day was founded by Parity Pioneers, a movement of global professionals who seek to maximise the value of workplace diversity through leadership and cultural development. By supporting individuals and organisations to overcome cultural and institutional barriers to parity, particularly at leadership level, The Parity Pioneers Movement hopes to accelerate the realisation of the societal and economic value of diversity.

To explore how The Parity Pioneers Movement can make a difference to your organisation visit


Women in Business

The Sweet Scent of 'Blessings'


By Ronnie Ajoku

elinda Brown is an author and Founder of the Belinda Brown premium luxury brand. Her life today is a far cry from where she grew up in West Africa.

As chronicled in her book, 'Blessings', Belinda overcame hardship and personal tragedy on the road to becoming the first black female luxury perfumer. Her Blessings Perfume range, that includes Blessings Pour Elle, Blessings Purple and Blessings Red, is unsurprisingly available in London's iconic Harrods' Salon de Parfums. Finding a solution to a personal dilemma has been known to be the genesis of more than a few businesses, especially when it comes to personal taste. “I had been Belinda Brown: Author of 'Blessings' and Founder of Belinda searching my whole life for a certain Brown Limited, a premium luxury brand scent. Eventually I realised the only way to get the scent was to make it myself. One holiday I went to France with my daughter and decided that I could do it!” The catalyst occurred when a friend introduced her to Roja Dove, the renowned perfumer, and with an ignited passion for haute perfumery, coupled with his mentorship, Belinda created her own premium line called Blessings Perfume. “The smell I was looking for was one that took me back to the smell of my happy memories and childhood; the smell of a greasy pomade called STELLA. As a little girl my mother would know I was lying if I said I hadn't been playing outside because dirt from the playground stuck to my pomadecovered legs gave me away. Nigerians of my generation will recognise is the smell of Jasmine de Blessings Purple available in Harrods and from Grasse from France's perfume Priced from £695.00 region.”


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Women in Business Belinda carefully targets her niche, focusing on those that appreciate premium quality scents. “The ingredients I use are some of the best in the world,” she says. Additionally, the unisex range has created room for expansion within the market. “One good thing about Blessings Perfume is that the unisex fragrance makes the family complete, so there really are 'blessings' for everyone out there.”

Not one to have all her eggs in one basket, her other interest is a stunning handcrafted crocodile skin handbag line called Malaika. Also a high-end luxury brand (prices range from £850£4,950), “the items are all handcrafted by seasoned artisans, and the quality of their work rivals the most exclusive designer handbags. Buyers can also personalise their Malaika purchases with their own initials, name or symbol, which is goldplated inside and out to create a

unique masterpiece.” Using her influence for good is important to her. “I support a motherless babies charity in Kenya called the Diani Beach Children's Home. It's located a few miles away from Mombasa and I try to visit them about once a year and help to build schools in that area. I have always done my charitable duties quietly only close friends and family know about it.”

Malaika Supreme Crocodile Top Hand Bag. Price £4,950.00. Available from

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The book, 'Blessings', by Belinda Brown is available from Amazon priced £9.99. For further information on Belinda Brown visit:


Technology News

MindX Awarded Innovate UK Grant to Revolutionise MindX has announced a £225,000 award from Innovate UK, the United Kingdom's innovation agency. The government grant contributes to the development of next generation software tools for candidate screening and assessment as well as employee training. The MindX solution allows employers to realise significant productivity gains and cost savings, for example, by shortening time-tohire and lowering employee turnover. MindX's innovative product introduces gamification and big data analytics to psychometric

assessments and employee training. On the MINDX Enterprise Portal, employers easily configure customised

mini games and interactive quizzes. Candidates and employees access this content through the MINDX Mobile App. Clemens Aichholzer, Founder and CEO of MindX, said: "MindX leverages the latest developments in tech and science to upgrade the recruitment process. Despite the continued rise of HR tech, key areas of hiring related to spotting and growing the best talents remain firmly stuck in the past. This is now changing; companies can't afford ending up on the losing side of an assessments and training increasingly digital war for programs that integrate scientific talent."

'David and Goliath' Case Sees Landmark Ruling A landmark legal ruling has Since Google’s algorithms track been secured by UK200Group the browsing history of the member firm Virtuoso Legal, in a potential Argos UK customers, case between retail giant Argos those browsers who came to the and Virtuoso’s client, a relatively website at were likely small US-based software to see adverts company, Argos Systems for Argos UK Inc. itself and/or for The case concerns the Argos UK domain name competitors,, which such as John was registered by Argos Lewis. Systems in 1 992, and the Virtuoso decision has wider Legal, a Leeds implications for the future and Londonof the operation of Google based advertising. intellectual Liz Ward: Principal Argos UK brought the property at Virtuoso Legal lawsuit after noticing that specialist law a significant number of firm, defended customers were accidentally Argos Systems in the High visiting the .com domain rather Court and Deputy Judge than the domain, and that Spearman found that Argos Virtuoso Legal-represented Systems was not infringing the Argos Systems’ website at trademark or passing off rights had begun to display of Argos UK. advertisement banners, which Liz Ward, Principal at Virtuoso were powered by Google’s Legal, said: “This case AdSense programme. underlines the value of domain


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names and the internet as a marketplace as a whole. The fact that the retailer Argos was willing to put so much time and resource into prohibiting Argos Systems from using Google’s advertising banners is testament to how fierce the fight for online territory has become. Firms used to compete for real estate in areas where they could attract most customers and clients, but that fight is now about clicks, not bricks.” Peter Duff, Partner at Morisons Solicitors and member of the Executive Committee of the UK200Group, said: “We’re very proud that Virtuoso Legal has won this ‘David and Goliath’ case, which sets a precedent for digital marketers for years to come. It also represents an important win for businesses at the smaller end of the scale, and helps to preserve the web as a place where small firms can compete with bigger firms on a more even basis.”

Apps For Business

LEADR: Data Capture Made Easy LEADR is an app from Media Base Direct that makes data capture easier, thereby shortening the sales process. Daniel Jain, LEADR's Head of Product, says of its conception: “LEADR Data Capture took birth from the need for making data capture quicker, simpler and more engaging. When a business attends a trade show for example, they need to capture prospects’ details. If they decide to use paper they will need to write everything up in a hurry while still trying to have a conversation, then re-type it all electronically and upload it onto their systems for follow-up.” MediaBase Direct are datadriven marketing solutions specialists. “We have been delivering data excellence successfully for over 20 years, always ensuring data compliancy,” he explains. “We specialise in Data Capture, Storage, Cleansing and Handling, Visitor Management, and Experiential solutions. One of our most recent solutions are Book My Sunbed and wReception Book. BookMySunbed is making sunbed wars a thing of the past and allows you to enjoy your summer to the fullest, allowing you to reserve sunbeds through a clever and beautiful system while our e-Reception Book is a smart, modern, compliant and simple way to welcome your company’s visitors.” Speaking on the impact of Brexit on businesses relying on customer data Jain says that it “has certainly impacted business in one way or the other. From our stand point the vote was just

are ever lost.” LEADR Data Capture can be used for all business activities and is available worldwide on iOS and Android to all companies. The application is used predominantly at trade show and exhibitions by exhibitors to capture their sales leads compliantly and electronically, resulting in a more successful exhibition. “In the upcoming year, we are looking to implement a LEADR Data Capture Universal CRM can be used for all business activities integration system so that clients can export and is available worldwide on iOS and their leads from their Android LEADR dashboard to specific CRM’s of their choice. In addition, we example would be that any are looking to introduce Badge records of your customers or prospective customers will need Scanning, in which exhibitors to be kept for a minimum of six can use at business-to-business years. That would mean a lot of (B2B) events to capture paper and administration if you business information in a streamlined manner,” he said of are not using a paperless their planned expansion. solution.” So how does it work and what Jain is also optimistic about the current wave of app developers are the benefits of using it? “LEADR makes the process of emerging from the UK. “The UK capturing leads and turning them App Developers have never been more talented. Due to the into sales interests quick and prodigious success of Facebook, compliant. Simply put, you Instagram, Snapchat etc. More download the app, create an account (which can be linked to individuals are intrigued about the ideology of Apps and are how many devices you want), personalize the app to suit your learning about app development as a career from a young age.” needs and brand, and you’re good to go. Once you capture a lead this will appear on your dashboard in real time, ready to be followed-up. The dashboard also allows you to see which device captured what. The main benefits of the app are that it is clever, quick, focused around a conversation, and that is data protection friendly. The data is stored on a private UK cloud server and therefore no leads a wake up call for some companies that need to improve their data processes. With that being said one of the biggest changes in data protection in the last 20 years will be the General Data Protection Regulation, which will affect UK and EU businesses alike, regardless of Brexit. “The legislation will have an impact on everyone capturing, storing or handling data. An

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Why Failure is Important for Creativity


reativity expert Claire Bridges, ChiefSpark at Now Go Create and author ofthe new book about creativity in business, In Your Creative Element, takes a look at why you need to get comfortable with failure ifyou want to push yourselfcreatively. Claire Bridges book 'In Your Creative Element' contains case studies from the NHS, United Nations, Twitter, Punchdrunk, Sky Media and Paddy Power.

A couple of years ago I saw comedian Michael McIntyre perform a small gig in front of just 400 people. There was no fanfare, very little prepublicity; McIntyre simply wanted to come out and try out some new gags. The show was mesmerising because it was completely unpolished – he admitted it was a work in progress and he even carried some notes, which he quietly added to from time to time.

Some of the jokes, of course, went down a storm. Others fell flat. He genuinely didn’t seem to mind which way they went – he just wanted our feedback (delivered in the form of chuckles of varying intensity or tumbleweed) as it gave him ideas about where he should focus his efforts.

changing one. To try and explain how this process all works – and also demonstrate to people that anyone can increase their creative quota – I spent the past two years writing a book about it. In Your Creative Element contains a breakdown of what I’ve identified as 62 ‘creative elements’ that contribute to our individual and collective creativity and failure is one of them.

Accepting failure in business isn’t just about prototyping physical products to see what works, it’s PR), and I now run a creativity about getting out there and training company (Now Go bench-testing all of those ideas Create) which has trained more and concepts that would be than 1 0,000 people. easier and safer to simply shelve. It’s about understanding ITH EACH that it’s OK not to get things right FAILURE COMES every time – and to give staff permission to think a little Essentially, he was prototyping SOME SORT OF differently without fear of being his gags. His failures were every fired or ridiculed if they fall. bit as important to him as his UREKA successes. I believe that creativity has a MOMENT place – and value – in every This insight into McIntyre’s Creativity appeals to me industry, not just in the obvious creative mind was fascinating to because it’s such a beguiling candidates like advertising or me, as I’ve spent most of the mix of science, art and some the performing arts or product past decade learning about slightly less-understood development. An accountancy creativity and studying the ingredients that can transform a practise is likely to be creative process. Before then I mediocre idea into a worldoutperforming their competitors worked in creativity (chiefly in




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down the road if they are able to out-think them (with new ideas, products and services). Likewise, the online retailer who has spent time to properly understand his customer, creatively contemplate the design and marketing of his estore and embrace bold new ideas is more likely to thrive than his stuck-inthe-mud rival selling exactly the same thing. Creativity will give a business – any business – a shot in the arm when stagnation sets in. And I believe wholeheartedly that creativity can only really flourish if you let failure in.

As part of the creative mix, however, failure can be a tricky element to get to grips with. Failure hurts. Believe me I know, I’ve pitched for (and lost many) hundreds of pieces of business in my former PR career but as my colleague always says “when you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”

While the invisible slap of a floundering idea that you loved will certainly sting the hardest, surviving it and moving on does come with a cast-iron guarantee that you’re adding a vital new component to your creative toolkit. For those who fear Along with grit failure to the point that (another one of they refuse to try the elements) anything new or different, it’s one that growing a business may will likely be nigh on impossible. make you But as the Michael stronger. McIntyre story shows us you don’t have to bet the farm – you can take small bets, with smaller stakes – he might have fallen flat on his face in front of hundreds, not thousands of people at the 02. And yet, with each failure comes some sort of Eureka! moment. Out of the ashes comes the phoenix. Out of the Apple Lisa came the iMac. Out of 5,1 26 failed attempts came James Dyson’s revolutionary dual cyclone bag-less vacuum cleaner.



Claire Bridges is the author of 'In Your Creative Element' (Published by Kogan Page). It is highly practical and packed with case studies and tips from creative experts and organisations. Volume 3 Issue 3, 201 7


Book Reviews

By Matt Davidson

LEADING TEAMS – 10 CHALLENGES, 10 SOLUTIONS Working as a team is something every one of us will have to do at some point in our careers and that means you’re probably going to come up against communication problems and personality clashes that get in the way. As a business leader, it will be in your hands to get things back on track and create an environment and atmosphere where positive results can be achieved, and this book will be a big help. Leading Teams highlights the ten most common obstacles teams face, and provides simple, effective strategies to enable leaders to overcome them. The authors, Elisabet Vinberg Hearn and Mandy Flint,

have drawn on their experience of working with more than 200 teams at some of the world’s top brands, revealing fascinating insights that are applicable to businesses of all sizes. People are of course the most important aspect in any team, so as well as outlining problems and solutions; Leading Teams focuses on the human element to look at behaviours of teams and leaders and the impact issues might have on their thoughts and feelings. The very simple solutions are designed to create positive changes in team dynamics that will be invaluable as your own team grows.

Leading Teams – 1 0 Challenges; 1 0 Solutions by Elisabet Vinberg Hearn and Mandy Flint is published by FT Publishing, priced £1 4.99.


With increasing pace and expectations in the workplace, rising job-anxiety in times of economic uncertainty and rapidly advancing technology, it is more important than ever to develop mental resilience and focus in order to stay healthy and get the job done under pressure. A growing number of people are discovering the benefits of how ‘mindfulness’ empowers them to focus their attention on the ‘here and now’ in life, and this new book is a great, practical guide to how you can experience the benefits of mindfulness yourself

at work. Written by two Practitioner Psychologists, Dr Michael Sinclair and Josie Seydel, the book draws on their front-line experience of helping hundreds of pressured executives with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and stress. It is written in a way that is both accessible and engaging, packed with scientifically supported mindfulness techniques and simple exercises that readers can easily incorporate into their everyday routine in order to keep calm and focused.

Working with Mindfulness by Dr Michael Sinclair and Josie Seydel is out now, published by Pearson, priced £1 3.99 38

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Bobby Fitzpatrick: The Trendy Bar with a 70s Touch Conveniently located close to the three train stations in West Hampstead (so no excuse to drink and drive), Bobby Fitzpatrick is a new pizza and cocktail bar with a difference. The difference being that it's a 70s throwback dedicated to Bobby Fitzpatrick, a legendary character whose penchant for rum and passion for gambling is matched only by his love of Formica and brown shag pile carpet. The venue's lounge provides a homely feeling reminiscent of the 70s, with original wallpaper, furniture and lighting. There are also board games (that are just as fun to play today as they were then) and other 70s memorabilia. On the wall are autographed photographs of celebrities such as Kate Bush, Leo Sayer and Olivia Newton John. Inspired by Bobby’s travels in The Caribbean (‘Bobby’s Rum Diaries’), cocktails and rum remain at its core; alongside an exciting pizza menu. The rum-laden cocktail menu draws from chapters of Bobby’s personal history; the ‘Alison Mahoney’, a spiced rum concoction, is named after his date to senior prom, alongside cocktails using other spirits such as the ‘Sanford University’ with vodka and cherry cola reduction. The food menu also has dishes such as Bobby’s signature hamburger with a Red Leicester middle and deep fried pickles, and chicken nuggets with dunking sauces. The dessert menu includes mini doughnuts as well as a show-stopping banana pie. So if you have a taste for good service, exciting drinks, or fancy a good night out with friends this is the place for you. Fancy a game of Connect Four anyone? Many of us did at the press launch! Bobby Fitzpatrick, 273 West End , London NW6 1 QS. Telephone: 020 74331 989.

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The London Business Journal Vol 3 issue 3 2017  
The London Business Journal Vol 3 issue 3 2017  

The London Business Journal Issue 3 Volume 3