“You have been invited to meet the Prime Minister next week!”
When the email hit my inbox I dropped my iPhone on my desk! (Luckily it did not break!) I like most twenty something’s in business have dreamed about going to Downing Street, having my picture taken against the back drop of THAT black door and meeting the leaders of our government, but I never really expected it to happen!
I mean if I am being honest my day job feels not very glamours at times, especially working in a fulfilment style environment with HGV’s and fork lift trucks coming in and out of our yard all day – it’s not exactly a plush office in a swanky glass tower! So I think I can be forgiven for not really appreciating the fact that my little business employs a team of people and supports many other businesses who supply us – and that actually that is very glamours and worth merit and celebration!
As some of you know I am a massive Sage One advocate and use the system to manage the entire finances of @SuperfoodMarket. I think it is so important for business owners to personally manage the finances and people involved in their businesses, especially in the early days when knowing what is coming in and out and who is doing what is so important.
I have worked with @SageUK on many different projects and pieces of content in the past, all of which has been aimed at encouraging and supporting individuals in business. So when Sage reached out and told me they were partnering the Start Up Britain tour travelling the length of Britain to encourage people to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams I had to get involved!
Sage are one of the sponsors of the Start Up Britain tour, which is a government backed initiative funded by a range of support organisations from across the UK’s business support landscape. The bus tour kicked off in Downing Street yesterday and will be coming to a city near you in the coming weeks!
Make sure you make note of the date near you and put it in your calendar as you do not want to miss out on the amazing support available!
And I couldn’t not include a picture of the bus! I mean common – its very impressive and British!
The night before I met David Cameron I was bursting with excitement, so much so that I lost my iPhone and had to dash back up to Asda after leaving it on the self service checkouts, luckily a very honest customer handed it in and I had it back within an hour or so. After iPhoneGate (yes I am calling it that!) I finally got to bed at 1:30am, and set my alarm for 4:30am (THREE HOURS SLEEP!!), also we had a big event that evening so I had to have my travel bag and an evening dress ready!
4:30am came far too quickly and that was it time to set off! I arrived in London a little after 10am and decided to park at my old Ealing apartment and get the District line to Westminster, total travel time 5 hours+ but it was so worth it as I was back in London after almost SEVEN months developing our international fulfilment centre in the North of England. It felt so good to be back in my second home, I am such a Londoner at heart!
I arrived at Downing street at around 11am and within half an hour I had met with some of the amazing team at Sage and 40 other incredible entrepreneurs who shared their stories with me – I felt so inspired and at ease with like minded people. We continued to make our way through security and then took turns to have our photo’s taken next to that beautiful black door.
At around 12:00 the Prime Minister came out and was all smiles, he even made some very funny jokes which really put us all at ease! I think it is easy to forget that he actually lives at Number 10!
When the PM saw the bus he joked “Let’s all hope its not one of those new Boris busses!” We then took it in turns to speak with the PM and show other cabinet members and business advisors our products and a little background on our respective journeys.
After about an hour the PM had to dash off to a meeting and the bus needed to set off to its first venue!
My commute back was so beautiful, it was such a perfect day at 24 degrees with a slight cool breeze and clear skies. It was the first time I had been on my own in months and I suddenly found myself in this really reflective head space. What a CRAZY two years it has been and what a rollercoaster I have been on, meeting the PM was almost like confirmation that the business is doing ok and that I guess I should be proud of what I have built – and encourage others to do the same if I can. All in all my commute back took just four hours, I arrived back at the office just in time to grab my suitcase, passport, hand bag and then change into my evening dress for the event!
I would just like to say a massive thank you to Ellie, Paul & the team at Sage One and also Matt & the team at Start Up Britian for inviting me along. I had the best day ever!
And now off on the next adventure!
Speak soon!! xoxo Gemma xoxo