Abigail and Claire are the CEO and CCO of Little Bee Community. Both are proud members of the IoD 99 and passionate about sustainable business. Last month they were part of the official UK delegation to the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit, which took place in Berlin, Germany. Here are their insights.
This year's summit focused on Digital Trends in Future Business, which was an exciting, but broad and complex theme. For us, the event was an invaluable opportunity to understand the pace and challenges of emerging digital technologies, and the summit’s central theme of sustainability piqued our interest. It was also an amazing honor to represent the UK and be a voice for young entrepreneurs. We have no doubt that extending our networks will be beneficial to both our existing clients and future partners, and we gleaned many insights into the vibrant emerging field of innovative, digital technologies and how these can meet social impact objectives in new ways.
We also wanted to build links internationally, particularly in Europe and to explore whether Berlin could be a future market for us.
After an early flight from London we arrived in Berlin and started our trip with a bratwurst, heading on to the event hosted within the spectacular Haus der Deutschen Wirtschaft. The networking began straight away and continued through to early hours of the following morning. Alex (Chair of the IoD 99) helped us navigate the full itinerary by setting up additional meetings with businesses that were aligned with the goals and values of our own enterprise, and introduced us to the rest of the UK delegation. G20 YEA President for Germany, Carsten Lexa, kicked off the event and the first day included speakers ranging from a talking robot moderator (yes, really!) to Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
During the second day, we actively participated in the communiqué process; this was a document that all attendees helped draft and when completed was ultimately handed over to representatives from the B20 and G20 groupings. We shared our UK perspectives by providing insight on the education system with a focus on the need to bring business and education closer together. We also attended sessions on start-up economies around the world, sustainable enterprise in Africa, and a thought provoking session by US Homeland Secretary on Cyber Security and Data Protection. This was a sober reminder of the risks, responsibilities, and rewards of the rapid pace of digitisation. All in all, it was inspiring to hear all of the successes and failures, and this gave us further insights and ideas on how we can continue to generate value for clients as they evolve in their business journey.
One of the many highlights of our trip was a visit to the UK embassy where we met with the UK’s Director for International Trade to deliver the communiqué and we, along with the UK delegation will be visiting No.10 Downing Street in the coming weeks to talk about the IoD 99 and our takeaways from the summit.
Despite the early starts and late finishes, you will be pleased to hear that we managed a bit of sight seeing at Checkpoint Charlie for good measure! Berlin is a truly incredible city and we look forward to further ventures in other European cities. In keeping with the core values of our start-up, we took full advantage of the social buzz, enjoying dinner and drinks, combined with talking business and sharing stories about our own adventures and misadventures in enterprise.
Most importantly, we made some amazing connections who we know will be part of our own continuing story as a business and we can’t wait for the next G20 YEA Summit in Argentina in 2018. This is an amazing and inspirational, international community!
Abigail Bulley, CEO of Little Bee Community @Abigail_Bulley
Claire Starza-Allen, COO of Little Bee Community @cstarzaallen
Little Bee Community (@Littlebeecom) is a management consultancy that works with NGOs, charities, social enterprises and responsible businesses to create products and services that are sustainable and future fit. http://littlebeecommunity.com/
Learn more about the IoD 99 and the kind of opportunities that it can afford you and your start-up enterprise here.