The Evening Standard’s first ever Young Progress Makers day hosted at the RoundHouse in Chalk Farm on Wednesday 25th January was certainly a day to remember – it was the ultimate show case of how entrepreneurship and young talent can and will thrive in London, the ‘concrete jungle where dreams are made of.’
The day bought together a unique gathering of designers, entrepreneurs, tech innovators and politicians and included workshops, panel discussions and mentoring sessions, all seeking solutions to the challenges facing 18-to-25-year-olds in London. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear the insights of influencers and experts ranging from Sadiq Khan to comedian and actor Humza Arshad, Lily Cole, Baroness Shields and a range of other impressive entrepreneurs and change makers. It was a day to stimulate thought, conversations and future action around some of the most pressing issues of the day such as what will artificial intelligence mean to us in the future and how can we make sure technology is a force for good. The Startup Kitchen were privileged to attend the event with a number of our young entrepreneur startups who have been gaining mentoring from the SUK flagship mentoring sessions. Amongst the attendees there were representatives from Box of Prints, Secure on Site Security, Les Deux Amies and Crowdfooding.
There is no doubt that every single person in the room, young founders, social change makers or otherwise walked away with something really powerful to help fuel their visions and career journeys. “Incredible, inspiring and insightful” were all words that several of the young business owners remarked after the event and the energy in the room was palpable. The breadth and diversity of speakers meant there was a real mix of thought leadership and role models from different walks of life illustrating that opportunity is all around and there for the taking. One mentee quoted;
“It provided a practical resource of information from active thought leaders and entrepreneurs who varied in age and experience, also the ability to interact with them made it priceless. It’s really important for events like ESYPM to exist because it teaches young Londoners that anything possible. You can be a black boy from Peckham and be in a Star Wars movie or be the son of a Bus Driver and be the Mayor of London; the world truly is our oyster.I don’t think anyone left the ESYPM event not feeling inspired, from the Speakers to the panellist the day was absolutely incredible.”
Top take aways include the Q&A sessions with young change makers due to their ‘honesty and authenticity’ and there were different favourite speakers “I really enjoyed Jusnah Gadi, Founder of Young Music Boss story of perseverance when it comes to launching your own business,” and another mentee quoted their favourite speakers as young entrepreneurs Alex Klein, Bejay Mulenga, and Beanie Major.
Other empowering themes from the day included the value of perseverance and consistency above all else, story-telling being fundamental to build a solid business behind an idea, gaining credibility early on and the power of being your own boss. One mentee also remarked how motivational he found the words of Lloyd Dorfman talking about how ‘young entrepreneurs anywhere can start businesses from their bedroom’ and Fabien Riggall talking about ‘the power of social networks, taking risks and not needing to tell people whats going to happen.’
Overall there was a real invigoration that London is the best place in the world to seize the day with opportunities with powerful words from Sadiq Khan “you have to risk the fall to know what it means to fly.”
Said Zara Afflick of Box of Prints “I was inspired and truly encouraged by those who shared their story on the lead-up to success in their business and how to make a change in London and it was lovely to be introduced to other business minded individuals.”
More information on the event can be found through the below link: