On Thursday 17th June 2021, The Great British Expos opened the virtual stage to business owners and entrepreneurs so they could tell their inspiring stories to hundreds of SMEs.
As well as listening to journeys of struggle and adversity, the audience of small and medium enterprises were able to pose questions and ask advice to the keynote speakers.
Guests included Paul Waite, the CEO of Aspen Waite and sponsor of Great British Expos, who explained his entrepreneurial journey from selling plums at 8 years old, to creating an award-winning, Top 100 Accountancy Firm.
“The single biggest thing that makes an entrepreneur is vision.”
Also speaking was Mary Flavelle, the ‘Queen of Networking’ and the driving force of Ladies Who Latte, a free networking event for ladies only.
Steve Smith, the founder of Poundland – a chain which 85% of British households have shopped in – told the story of how he started at a market stall with his dad, and ended with a chain of stores in an industry worth £5 billion, making £1.7 million a year.
“No bad products, only bad prices.”
Lynsey Jones gave an inspirational account of how she went from fighting for her life to sharing her 25+ years of experience in the energy sector to help educate businesses. She summed up the importance of transparency and building client relationships with the phrase: “People buy from people.”
Lynsey is also a huge advocate of charities for better mental health, assisting people who are going through the same experiences that she had.
Multi-Award-Winning ‘Transformational Leader’ Jacynth Ivey spoke about why self-confidence is important in business, and why ‘it’s okay to be different’. She also explained the different types of racism and sexism that she had to face throughout her career, including one particular account when someone that she worked with “asked ‘When did you last go home?’ and to that, I replied ‘I go home every night.’.”
The event also included a presentation on the government Kickstart scheme, which greatly benefits young people who are looking for employment. The placements are fully funded for small to medium sized businesses who are willing to provide the training and experience.
Alison Edgar MBE described ‘the art of getting what you want’, explained how metathesiophobia – the fear of failure – can affect businesses, and how to push past this by rationalising fear in order to increase confidence.
The Great British Expos organises conferences throughout the year. For more information, dates, and to book your free tickets visit their website at https://www.greatbritishexpos.co.uk
[by Abigail King]