On the 17th May, Ruth Lowbridge MBE and SFEDI Executive Chair attended the SME Advisory Board meeting at The Westminster Conference Centre in London.
Lead by British politician and entrepreneur, Margot James, the board is made up of only 12 SME industry experts, and as the only awarding and standard-setting body from the UK to be invited, it was a great privilege for both SFEDI and Ruth to be able to represent our values, vision and voice in this prestigious and exclusive group of influential professionals.
Subjects on the agenda included Industrial Strategy, Business Support and Growth Hubs, Brexit, Start-Up Businesses, and Access to Finance. Ruth outlined that a more holistic approach to business leadership and management skills development and support is needed, and how business support should also focus on softer skills and areas, such as mental health.
Ruth also discussed how mentoring and peer-to-peer support was absolutely vital in building skills and supporting SMEs; an area where SFEDI is already flourishing through the positive work of its established Meet a Mentor scheme. Ruth says:
“Being personally invited to join this advisory group is a huge deal and an enormous privilege. However, it is much more than that – this is an opportunity; and opportunity to fly the flag for skills in SMEs, and an opportunity to speak directly to Ministers.
“Effectively, being a part of this group enables SFEDI and the IOEE to actively engage with and influence our Government, and it is incredibly exciting to be politically involved in the shaping of the future of enterprise and entrepreneurs.”