Small businesses are the backbone of our country, and when it comes to growth, some find the scaleup push a challenge. What’s truly great about Britain is our community of entrepreneurs; experts in all things business that are driving our startup climate forward, while willing to give a leg-up to those facing small business challenges and roadblocks. Did you know that small businesses and SMEs turned over £2 trillion last year alone? Small business owners should be celebrated. And that’s just why The Drum, in partnership with Mailchimp, is hosting a breakfast event on September 16th called Small Business Stars.
Small Business Stars will put some of the brightest minds behind small businesses from around the UK under the spotlight, providing inspiration, advice and conversation around issues facing up and coming entrepreneurs in today’s business climate. We’ll hear from the minds behind big players in UK industry from a range of sectors over a bit of brekky and a brew, what a way to start the day.
Here’s a who’s who and what’s what of Small Business Stars 2019. Mark your calendars and stick on your entrepreneurial hat.
Palmer Houchins, director of integrated marketing, Mailchimp. Palmer leads a 15-person channel strategy team that is responsible for all of Mailchimp’s advertising, social media, email, and events marketing. Houchins has led media strategy, planning and execution for Mailchimp since joining in 2012, including the Cannes Lions Grand Prix award-winning campaign, Did You Mean Mailchimp?.
Julie McKeen, CEO and co-founder, Sarka London. Jules was on the Board of leading creative agencies including Lowe and TBWA before moving to entrepreneurship in 2008. With a passion for trying to solve real problems for women, she scaled her first multichannel fashion business to 14 countries and sold it in 2012, since which she turned her hand to headhunting chief marketing officers for tech-focused consumer businesses and consulting to founder boards to help them with investment pitching, customer strategy and building their senior teams. Right now she’s diving back into a second startup as she leads a senior team from Burberry, Tesco and Sky in a new data-led D2C startup, Sarka: Motherhood without Compromise.
Andrew McLean, joint head of planning, PHD. Originally from Glasgow but now living in Kent, Andrew jointly runs the strategy department at PHD UK, with the responsibility of making sure PHD remains at the forefront of innovative planning and rigorous strategy work across the office’s client base.
Ryan Hall, founder, Vaunt London. Ryan has been at the forefront of growth for a number of leading independent agencies, including his own business, Nice, then Karmarama and subsequently Accenture Interactive. Following his journey from startup, to scale-up and enterprise, he returned to working in the SME environment by launching a D2C niche perfume brand and an up-and-coming Property Tech startup.
Moderator: The Drum’s very own associate editor Sonoo Singh will be moderating our panel of discussion with the morning’s small business leaders, picking the brains of our Small Business Stars.
We’ll kick off the morning’s event with breakfast on arrival, to get you ready for the day ahead. Following our panel session, you’ll have the invaluable chance to ask questions of our panelists, and we’ll finish up with some time for networking with others from the small business and SME world.