In 2007, Jason Choy and James Ollerenshaw decided to volunteer their time to form a London branch of the Young Directors Forum (YDF) to host events that would help support and develop leaders that were “young in business”. In 2017 we now have a 10-strong Committee of business leaders and a Junior Committee formed of LSBU students who participated in the YDF Student Project this year. Whether you’re in your 20’s or your 60’s, rising to a director-level role is a huge learning curve. The YDF tailors it’s events to support leaders on this learning curve, but opens its events to anyone.
On February 5th 2007, the Young Directors Forum in London hosted its launch event, with Antonio Carluccio as its keynote speaker, who sadly passed away last week. Since this first event the YDF have hosted over 70 events all over London, featuring a variety of speakers from diverse backgrounds and industries. From business leaders like Paul Ettinger (Co-Founder of Caffe Nero), to politicians like Alan Mak, an impressive range of experts have appeared on the YDF stage.
This week, the IoD Young Directors Forum celebrates its 10th anniversary in the surrounding of our nation’s most recognisable landmark, the Houses of Parliament. Our distinguished speakers will be exploring the topic: ‘What’s in store for the next 10 years of entrepreneurship?’ and forms part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The YDF have worked with entrepreneurs from the very beginning, hosting a Business Challenge event for Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2008. Even then, at the brink of the financial crisis, the YDF was preparing members of the IoD and entrepreneurs for the future of business, hosting talks on the crowdfunding revolution, how to build a business during a recession, and many more pressing issues in the world of entrepreneurship. In the present day, we remain at the forefront of issues relevant to business, hosting a panel event with Arbuthnot Latham in September 2017 discussing the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on business.
In 2013, the YDF mentoring scheme was launched. It began with a series of events and interactive sessions teaching young professionals how to network and sell their vision like: ‘A minute to win – speed networking’. Another particularly popular event was ‘Mentoring for prosperity’ in 2015. In the end the mentoring scheme was so popular that the YDF committee of volunteers passed the scheme over to the main IoD, to ensure that it got the full level of support it deserved.
More recently, in 2016 the most successful format of YDF events thus far were launched – the YDF Den. This involves a number of start-up business owners pitching to a panel of experienced investors in front of a live audience (also formed predominately of entrepreneurs and investors). The format was so successful, that a second round was hosted recently in October 2017, leading to 3/5 start-up pitchers moving to due diligence with at least one investor.
And now, with the 10th anniversary only days away, our first decade is ending on an undoubtable high. Celebrate with us a decade of insightful events and help us set the stage for the decade to come by asking: What’s in store for the next 10 years of entrepreneurship?