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Creating Positive Footprints....

interprise:2012 at the Museum of Liverpool

The Museum of Liverpool proved a stunning venue for Stage I of Pink Shoe Club's annual enterprise debate in partnership with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship.

Delegates comprising business leaders, academics and SMEs from across the North West, were joined by students from Alsop High & Broughton Hall, as well as members of the Schools Parliament.

With fabulous waterside views and a light and airy space, it was a brilliant place to Pop-Up! Starting with a buffet lunch and a mouthwatering array of sandwiches, we were very well looked after by events manager Jackie and her colleagues, as delegates arrived and mingled before the debate itself.

Then to the more formal proceedings, as event chairman Jill Pay introduced the powerful panel of Nikki Hesford, Jeanette Kehoe-Perkinson & Stu Anderson.


Our keynote speaker Steve Rotheram MP gave a lively welcome and praised Liverpool’s entrepreneurs past and present, drawing attention to the history of Liverpool and its links with business people, and now the many opportunities going forwards in this modern city.


Each panellist was then asked by Jill to suggest their ‘top tip’ for success in enterprise – Stu Anderson advised emerging entrepreneurs to enter awards (not just Shell LiveWIRE!) this is a great way of raising your profile, making lots of good connections and getting expert feedback on your business – you’ll also increase your confidence and although you may not win you can learn a lot from failure!

Jeanette Kehore-Perkinson stressed how important it is to be true to ourselves in business, and how much we all gain from collaborative working, as pooling ideas and resources benefits everyone - reminding us of the quote ‘never look down on someone unless it’s to give them a hand up’.

Nikki Hesford was clear that whilst it’s great to listen to ideas and take advice from experts, it’s your business and in the end it’s up to you - you have to have faith in yourself and follow your own path!

Delegates then broke into 5 discussion groups, each led by a leading businesswoman – Alison Loveday, Diane Shawe, Sara McKee, Susan Greenwood & Vanda Green. All groups came up with lots of great ideas. Once each group had chosen its BIG idea, we recovened to debate the suggestions under the deft chairmanship of Jill Pay.

Ideas ranged from establishing an enterprise hub, holding everything start-ups need to know in one accessible place;  the suggestion that entrepreneurship needs to be part of the curriculum; that deferring university and getting started earlier in business should be encouraged; and that the wisdom of older people could be better utilized with skills being shared or bartered between young and old.

Una McBride announced the results of the vote for best BIG idea, and the clear winner was the suggestion that enterprise education be embedded into the curriculum from primary school onwards. This and all the other great ideas will now go direct to Ministers & Parliamentarians via the APPGE.

Helene Martin Gee thanked each of the panel and the delegates for all their ideas and energy. She thanked the amazing Museum of Liverpool for its generous sponsorship, especially Janet Dugdale, Julie Ehlan and her team, thanks also went to Jackie, to Brian, and to MSP Sound for sponsoring the sound equipment.


We then dispersed for more networking and some fab pink fizz, and several delegates enjoyed a special tour of the museum with the charming Sophia.

Congratulations on a brilliant day to Una McBride, driving force behind the whole event! A massive thank you to Chris Martin for greeting delegates and organising us all, along with Gabby, Megan & Natasha, plus thanks to our wonderful student scribes.

Stage II takes place at the Houses of Parliament on Monday November 12th during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

A Royal View for the River Pageant

To continue the Jubilee weekend celebrations, Pink Shoe members had a spectacular view of the remarkable river pageant.

With the essentials of English sparkling wine, smoked
salmon and strawberries we watched the spectacle unfold




Luckily we were sheltered from the rain and were able to enjoy this historic moment in our usual style.

Diamond Jubilee Tea Extravaganza

To launch the amazing Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, Pink Shoe Club held an afternoon tea at the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace of the House of Lords.

Guests were asked to dress as for a ‘royal garden party’ and they certainly didn’t disappoint! An array of wonderful outfits in every shade and style were topped with cocktail hats and fascinators.



For those arriving without a hat, a very special handmade jubilee mini fascinator was available thanks to Pink Shoe’s clever Ling Tyler-Bennett.

Patriotic lapel badges were presented by Ling to the gentlemen guests too.

Each guest was announced by the House of Lords toastmaster, then enjoyed Pimms in the Cholmondeley Room as networking got underway. Moving to the terrace, everyone admired the room which was decorated with bunting and flags. We then enjoyed a traditional tea, laid out with union flags as for a street party!

Helene welcomed guests and let us know that two of the flags were from her husband Lyndon’s family – and if they appeared a little careworn it was because they’d been used for Victoria’s Jubilee!



Networking continued on the terrace itself, with great views of the river and bunting flying in the breeze.


Angelo and his team then served the sparkling wine and we had the Loyal Toast led by Jill Pay. 



Finally, a stunning end to the celebrations with a song from Chloe McLaughlan – at 14 years old, Chloe took the occasion in her stride and sang beautifully, despite her music disappearing due to technical issues with the House sound system. We were then treated to Rule Britannia from international soprano Rachael Russell, with everyone joining in for the National Anthem!

Many guests then had a very special private tour of the Houses of Parliament from Jill Pay, including her previous residence when Serjeant at Arms! Finally, celebrations carried on for guests at Roux, Parliament Square who made us most welcome.