I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to be part of the StartUp Britain family. I attended a StartUp Britain marketing event yesterday, the first in a series of events for this week. I was inspired by so many people. Successful entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs just starting up and aspiring entrepreneurs hungry for information to help them get started. We had incredible speakers from many leading businesses; including Emma Jones StartUp Britain Co-Founder, Lord Young, Intel, Intuit, Facebook, Zoe Jackson from Living a Dream and Naomi Kibble from Rocktails to name just a few.
It’s always fantastic to be in a room filled with positive people. People with a can do attitude – and that are taking steps to create the future they’ve dreamed of. It’s wonderful to see so many people in business and thinking about starting a business, there really has never been a better time.
I will tell you a story about an experience that I had with one of the attendees yesterday. It touched my heart and really hit home at just how incredible the StartUp Britain campaign is, and why I’m involved with it as a local business champion for Richmond.
I have changed the name of the character I spent time with, to protect her identity.
Maria is a Brazilian national who came to the UK 10 years ago to do a PHD. She got married and had two lovely children, a boy and a girl. Maria endured a physically abusive relationship with her husband for a number of years. She lost her self-confidence and self-esteem and very much felt trapped. She finally mustered up the courage to leave him for her own safety and that of her children. She said that she had no other choice. Maria moved in to a women’s refuge and was there for 7 years. She’s finally came out of that recently and is determined to start a business to change not only her own circumstances, but those of her children’s. She wants to lead by example and to be a good role model for her kids. Maria intends to start a business and has an incredible idea. She is so thrilled to be part of StartUp Britain because without it and with very limited funds, her business would remain an idea. Maria is thrilled with the guidance, help and support she has already received from some incredible free events and is now working with a mentor, to help her get the momentum she needs, to help her every step of the way to get her business off the ground.
Maria is an incredible woman, an inspiration. When she told her story i could see in her face just how traumatic it was for her and to this day how it still brings her to tears. She’s not bitter, she’s not stuck focusing on the past, she is very much focused on the future and realises it’s up to her and no one else to create the life she and her kids deserve.
This story and many stories like it are the reasons why I got involved with the StartUp Britain campaign. Thanks to Lord Young, Emma Jones and all of the other co-founders to launch and run such an incredible campaign to encourage, inspire, motivate and support so many people to go in to business for themselves and not be by themselves.
For those of you who are not part of the StartUp Britain family, sign up today and tap in to some of the best entrepreneurial brains in the country.
Here’s to inspiring and promoting enterprise throughout the length and breadth of Britain.