A day with David Cameron
Connectivity has become one of the most crucial issues facing many UK businesses. Poor internet connections are slowing down workplaces, leading to frustration, wasted time, and missed opportunities – and this is especially vital for startups, who often work in disruptive markets where innovation and speed is key (and who don’t have the money for the kind of infrastructure that major companies do).
The news therefore that Virgin Media Business are making a game-changing investment of £3 billion into the UK’s infrastructure – Project Lightning – is incredibly welcome. It will make a significant difference to the UK’s small business scene, and is predicted to boost the economy by a whopping £8 billion.
It seemed fitting therefore that some of our amazing startups got to celebrate the launch of this initiative by meeting Prime Minister David Cameron in Birmingham last week. Each entrepreneur got a few minutes to speak with the Prime Minister, sharing the story of their business and talking about the challenges they faced. It was a great opportunity for the PM to see first-hand the sheer innovation and range of the businesses springing up in the UK today – here are the ones he met.
Lindsey Ahmet, Designer Bear Boutique
“It was great to relate to the Prime Minister as he talked about his daughters budding seamstress skills – he said he was going to go home and tell his daughter all about my Designer Bear Boutique,” said Lindsey, founder of Designer Bear Boutique. Lindsey creates beautiful keepsakes out of babygros and other fabrics, a business idea that was born from not wanting to throw out her son’s baby clothes.
Nat Peat, Gennex
“It was great to talk to the Prime Minister - he was really down to earth and got the concept of Gennex really quickly. He also said well done, which meant a lot,” said Nat Peat, co-founder of Gennex. Gennex epitomise the potential out there for using tech for good, creating sustainable energy solutions that benefit people worldwide. The PM was especially interested in hearing about their new partnership with a UK school, helping new generations of children learn about sustainability.
James Day, Mous
“It’s nice to know that the Prime Minister suffers with the first world problems of tangled and lost headphones,” said James Day of Mous. It’s an issue that affects us all! The PM was so impressed he ended up taking one home.
Ricky Kothari, T-Sticks of London
Ricky had put a question to the Prime Minister just days before at the British Chamber of Commerce annual conference, asking about international trade for UK businesses – an important issue, as commerce and supply within India and China are key aspects of his business. “The Prime Minister and Secretary of State thought the innovation of T-Sticks was a great concept, and he seemed to really enjoy his sip of Minty Moroccan Green tea,” said Ricky. The PM also invited him along on his next trade mission to China.
Juan Garcia Alvarez, Carpe Nux
They’re nuts, but not like you’ve seen them before – Carpe Nux’s innovative flavours are already stocked in Selfridges. Apparently the PM’s favourite nut is walnut, so it’s no surprise he enjoyed soy-glazed walnuts and the grown-up rum-spiced pecans the most.