WeWantToSee

November 17-21 is Global Entrepreneurship Week which is aiming to foster enterprise and innovation all around the world. European Young Professionals is hosting a big event in London as part of this. If you interested in coming, you can register here. Our speakers include:

Shed SimoveShed Simove Sheridan ‘Shed’ Simove, otherwise known as the Ideas Man, is a modern day entrepreneurial genius. He’s a TV Producer (Big Brother, Big Breakfast, Space Cadets), a Bestselling Author (‘Ideas Man’, ‘Presents Money Can’t Buy’), a Product Designer (‘Cock A Doodle Pad’, ‘Control-A-Man’ & ‘Control-A-Woman’ Remote Controls, ‘The Designer Beaver’, ‘The Gaydar’), a successful corporate speaker and an award-winning stand-up comedian among other achievements…

Check his recent Channel 4 Three Minute Wonder piece here.

Sháá Wasmund

Shaa

Sháá Wasmund, best known for being the whiz kid who helped build the Dyson brand and being a leading internet entrepreneur, has many accolades to her credit including being named one of Management Today’s 35 women under 35, and one of Britain’s “Young Guns” – the brightest young business stars of 2007.  Sháá has advised many businesses, from the government to social networking phenomenon Bebo. Sháá is an intrinsic part of the new wave of UK Entrepreneurs combining real entrepreneurial drive and experience with a genuine desire to encourage and inspire others. Shaa’s latest venture, Smarta.com is an online business platform supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs.

This is a flagship event for Speednetwork the Globe, part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which was founded by Make Your Mark and the Kauffman Foundation, the world’s largest foundation dedicated to entrepreneurship. During the week, 17-23 November 2008, young professionals from around the world will be involved in thousands of events and activities celebrating enterprise.

In the lead up to this event, we thought it would be a great idea to establish a website where we could get people from all around the world to upload a quick video where they tell everyone what they would like to see – whether it be related to climate change, innovation, equality – or even making sure a sports team wins a competition. So check out WeWantToSee!

It would be great if you could take part in this and tell loads of people to participate as well. The site has just gone live, so there is not a massive amount of content just far.

Thanks in advance!

A rather busy week

EYP held our event last night at the Kensington Roof Gardens – a truly spectacular venue. It was quite strange to be in a garden on the top of a building, but fantastic regardless. I hope it isn’t the last time I go there!

GoLow also got mentioned in Greenbang’s list of top environmental start ups in the UK, so it was great to get that recognition for all the work that has gone on. To read the whole report, just click here.

The Firebirds of June and other things

So, I have been a little slack in posting recently although there have been a range of rather interesting things I had hoped to post about.

European Young Professionals is moving into a really interesting phase of life at the moment. Next week we are holding our monthly event and I think it marks a transition into a bigger, bolder set of functions for our members. We are doing a wine tasting with our corporate wine partners, HBJ Wines of Firebird, the most successful Moldovan wine to enter the UK market. The Moldovan Embassy here in the UK is even taking part which is great news. And TM Lewin is also joining the fray as another corporate partner which is also nice. As an organisation that regularly gets 150 to an event, it is interesting to note that it is far better subscribed than most networking organisations I see around the traps. It is starting to take up quite a bit of time, so it is nice to see that we have a few more people joining our committee :p

On a more serious note, the Renewable Energy Foundation released a report last week that I had the privilege to read about a month ago before it was sent out. It discusses the UK electricity industry between now and 2020 and highlights some very concerning trends and potential scenarios. There are some clear problems existing in this industry in terms of supply. It can be downloaded here and is certainly worth a read, particularly in terms of putting the debate for renewable energy in a context of the UK’s electricity needs and the associated costs. I will be going to the Micropower Council dinner on Wednesday night which should be very interesting as well.

Social Networks and Corporate Sponsorship

EYP is going through a big growth period at the moment and some of the exciting work is around establishing relationships with corporate sponsors (which was a discussion point in the recent Make Your Mark get together). We are presently finalising deals with two big companies here in London and the experience has taught me some interesting lessons which I thought I might share.

Sponsorship perhaps implies a one-way relationship where the sponsor is providing support one way. EYP has certainly had support like this in the past, but I don’t see that sponsorship is necessarily the right thing anymore. What is important (particularly with all the belt tightening going around) is the establishment of a relationship that provides value for both parties. In both instances, the relationships are not about EYP getting a bunch of money for an evening function, but building up a relationship over time where we support each other. Instead of being corporate sponsors, these two organisations are very much becoming corporate partners. Rather than spending the sponsorship money in one hit, we can provide benefits for our members over a long period of time which gives membership a degree of value, and at the same time, our corporate partners get support from our members (a nice arrangement). Through these relationships and our own networks, there is a great opportunity pipeline for other corporate partnerships to be built, which drives value for our members.

In some respects, this is no different to one of my personal guiding principles in networking, and that a great network is one where you bring value to the members of your network and for that to be reciprocated.

We have a really exciting event coming up in June where we are going to do a workshop with one of our corporate partners. They have some products from Eastern Europe that are new to the UK market; in a fun workshop environment, we will be coming up with some ideas about how best to promote these products in this market. This is a great way to use the diversity of our organisation (in terms of different skills and experiences, and different nationalities) to achieve some tangible business outcomes. When appropriate I will say a bit more about it, but it is really going to be fun :p