Last year I had the pleasure of attending the Speakers Corner showcase event at The Brewery.
The evening was hosted by a leading broadcaster Kate Silverton, with speakers including an entrepreneur and a two time Emmy nominee Leonard Brody, marketing and branding expert and curator of Virgin’s digital strategy Alex Hunter, and a founder of Smarta, support platform for entrepreneurs, Shaa Wasmund.
The variety of perspective offered by speakers, each one of them a true expert in their field, combined with culinary masterpieces from the Brewery’s chefs made for a deliciously thought-provoking evening.
Alex Hunter’s insight into Virgin’s brand strategy and the importance of getting ‘little things’ right along with personal approach in brand’s dialogue with the customer was extremely engaging.
It was followed by Leonard Brody’s take on the change of pace in the modern world, with him believing that today unlike never before, the true change-makers are the entrepreneurs rather than religious and government institutions.
However, the speech that has really resonated with me was the one given by Shaa Wasmund.
While the situation has been changing recently, with more and more women taking up managerial positions across a range of careers, the gap is still apparent. For instance, according to The World’s Bank’s Development Report, women represent 40% of the world’s labour force but hold just 1% of the world’s wealth. Thus, it is always inspiring to hear stories of female entrepreneurs, and Shaa Wasmund is one of the pioneers in this area.
Her career began with spontaneously getting an opportunity to interview the boxing star Chris Eubank. She was subsequently offered a job as his assistant and ended up managing all aspects of his PR. This was when she realised that promotional activities are something she is really good at. Shortly after, following another unplanned meeting, this time with an inventor and entrepreneur James Dyson, she started working closely with him to on a launch of Dyson vacuum cleaners. Given how unusual her story is, it comes as no surprise that some have attributed her success to her good looks, and other factors along similar lines. Her response to those holding such cynical view is ‘read my CV and weep.'
And her CV is indeed impressive. Since working for Dyson she started a number of successful ventures, with her latest project being Smarta, the UK's leading support platform for business owners and entrepreneurs, and wrote a best-selling book entitled Stop Talking, Start Doing. However, despite the financial success, Shaa says money does not motivate her nearly as much as the feeling that she is ‘doing something’.
Hearing her speak about the importance of small companies and big companies working together in a passionate and engaging way was truly inspiring for me, since I am also a female working in a male-dominated business.
Overall, it was a wonderful evening. Speakers Corner were able to create a truly stimulating atmosphere and a great space for speakers and attendees to engage.
The next Speakers Corner showcase is taking place in September, don’t miss it!