IWG, the leading flexible workplace provider, and E2Exchange (E2E), the London-based entrepreneurs’ community with 30,000 Ambassadors to date, has marked a year of supporting SMEs across the country with its latest #ScaleUp2Success event, held at the impressive new Spaces building at Tower Hill.
The event, which focussed on a number of topics, including the challenges entrepreneurs could face when scaling up a business, bought together 200 SME leaders from across the country. Attendees heard from an expert panel including IWG Founder and Chief Executive Mark Dixon. When asked about the challenges facing entrepreneurs when scaling, Mark Dixon emphasized the importance of maintaining culture, namely a strong collaborative culture within companies and across businesses as they grow.
Mark Dixon, Founder and Chief Executive of IWG announced: ‘At events like this you get inspiration and start to see your business in a different way. As businesses get bigger, you need to stay fresh, focussed, and continue to re-establish your purpose. I am still scaling up… opportunities continually change.’ It was encouraging to learn that a founder such as Mark Dixon recognises the importance of face-to-face connectivity in order to remain relevant in your industry.
The panel discussion, which was hosted by the Deputy Editor of the Sunday Times, Sarah Baxter, bought together four of the UK’s brightest business minds. Joining Mark Dixon on the panel was Alison Cooper, former Founder and Managing Director of En Route International and Palm Grove Investments. Diane Perlman, CMO at Blis, standing in for Sarah Wood OBE who was unable to make the event, and Ed Bussey, Founder and CEO of Quill, the content production platform.
The panel discussed how to maintain focus, retain talent, how to find the right investors and raise capital. Alison Cooper shared insights from her journey with En Route International, which provides innovative food and service solutions to the travel markets around the world. Despite popular opinion, Alison did not want to go straight to the banks for financing as the business grew. In fact, in 2012, one of its main suppliers, dnata, purchased the majority stake in the company. Ed Bussey also identified the problem of sourcing the ‘right advice’ and following the right path for your business. For him at Quill, aiming high does not mean building a unicorn, it means slow and steady growth in order to achieve your goals. The discussion further emphasized the importance of E2E in helping businesses to connect with the right entrepreneur or service and solve key scale up challenges.
Commenting at the event, Shalini Khemka, Founder and CEO of E2E and Member of the Mayor of London’s Business Advisory Board, said: ‘E2E’s focus is to help founders of scale up companies connect with like-minded individuals and access a suite of services which reduce the burden of non-core activities. We complement IWG’s capabilities as a world class office provider by providing an ecosystem of support surrounding fundraising, investment, legal help, technical and infrastructural support, recruitment of talent and much more. Together, our aim is to ensure that we provide access for current and prospective IWG clients and in doing so with E2E, build the largest entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UK.’
With its creative community design and fully charged entrepreneurial spirit, Spaces Tower Hill was the perfect location to host the lively and informative discussion and continued IWG’s dedication to supporting small and medium enterprises across the length and breadth of the UK.
Richard Morris, CEO of Spaces and Regus UK, comments: “IWG UK and E2Exchange are natural partners. Both organisations share the same commitment to nurturing high growth entrepreneurs and believe in the business benefits brought about through collaboration. There is no doubt that this gives our clients an incredible opportunity to access such an extensive network of business leaders. We look forward to continuing working together with E2E to help even more SMEs scale up to success.”
This dedication has been furthered by the suite of SME-focussed events which have already taken place in cities across the UK including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Sheffield. With each event designed to inspire, teach and facilitate networking, the partnership has reached more than 2,000 entrepreneurs and C-suite executives.
Alison Cooper is an E2E Ambassador who has been on tour with E2E and benefited from 3 months free on office subscriptions with Spaces and Regus UK as part of her E2E membership offering.
Having sold En Route International to dnata, part of Emirates Group, she started her new business venture Palm Grove Investments and needed to find somewhere new to work. Alison states: ‘As someone now heading up a new start up, I felt it was important that I based myself in a flexible working space which enabled me to meet new individuals and companies. It’s a great atmosphere to work in and I was able to save 3 months on our contract as an E2E Ambassador.’
Three months free on Spaces and Regus UK subscriptions is just one of the host of benefits available to E2E Ambassadors.
E2E is a community created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Our mission is to be a catalyst for entrepreneurship by bringing founders together to provide access to other entrepreneurs of high growth businesses, access to finance through our investor community and access to non-exec directors.
E2E’s former Honorary President is Sir Richard Branson, Special Adviser Luke Johnson and its Board include; Lord Bilimoria CBE DL, Duncan Bannatyne OBE, Kanya King MBE, Hugh Chappell, Russ Shaw and Darryl Eales. Its corporate partners include UBS, KPMG, Regus, Memery Crystal, PitchBook, IndusNet, L3C, Ellis Whittam, Experian and EXE London.
Over the last seven years, E2Exchange (E2E), the entrepreneurs community, has evolved to over 30,000 entrepreneurs and 2,000 investors & non-exec directors who embrace the power meeting people face to face and building long-lasting relationships.
We excited to be starting 2018 with some exciting news:
We have become the largest entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UK through our partnership with Regus UK.
We’ve launched a £50 million financing facility for SMEs in collaboration with Downing.
We are offering, 3 months free on selected Regus UK and Spaces suite products exclusive to E2E Ambassadors.
We are offering, 3 months free use of Ellis Whittam’s HR/employment law support services exclusive to E2E Members.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more about our membership benefits.