From London to Lagos BLOG

Powered by passion!

An evening with the ‘management team’.

Power in numbers was never more evident than when the most influential and inspiring women I know came together to an event I hosted in central London on Saturday 22 November. These women that I refer to as my ‘management team’ have been an absolute inspiration and the driving force behind the vision. I felt honoured to have all these amazing women all in the same space and was overwhelmed by the heartfelt tributes being shared in the room. I feel truly blessed to have them as friends and as a fantastic support and together we gain strength.

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. ~ African proverb

CPG_SATURDAY_NIGHT_003

From left to right, the best in the business…

CPG_SATURDAY_NIGHT_002 (1)

Miss World sort of pose

CPG_SATURDAY_NIGHT_001

Photography by Casey Gutteridge

Advertisements

Honoured to speak at Impact Hub Brixton

This month I was honoured to be invited to speak at Impact Hub in Brixton south London. The event was held to coincide with Black History Month and an appropriate platform for Chuka Umunna MP and Shadow Business Secretary to highlight the lack of black and minority ethic people in senior positions, parliament included. The topic prompted a dynamic conversation between students, hub entrepreneurs and the panel as an increasingly common issue. The focus was firmly fixed on what can be done and will be done to ensure companies work towards a more representative workforce particularly in leadership roles – this issue will not go away and nor should it.

The highlight of the event for me was taking along my grandfather and paying tribute to the life he has built for him and his family here in the UK, worlds away from his early life in Jamaica. My grandfather, my hero and an inspiration to many – a graceful man with amazing work ethic and the worlds greatest entrepreneur in my eyes. It was emotional sharing a stage with my Granddad, I’m so proud of his achievements, he stole the show and rightfully so!

Read the full article here.

New Statesman publication

New Statesman online

Nadine, Granddad aka Mr Knight, Chuka Umunna.

Mr Knight aka Granddad and Chuka Umunna MP

Born, bred, live, work and love East London. Take a look at the place I call home from a whole new perspective.

A delightful evening at the NG Network Entrepreneurs’ event at London’s Wayra.

It was a great privilege to be asked by Chuka Umunna MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to speak at the Next Generation Entrepreneurs’ Network reception at Wayra in London last week.

Not really knowing what to expect I arrived almost an hour early (I hate being late) and I was pleasantly surprised by this stunning and stimulating workspace, with outdoor furniture inside, open but closed spaces, a traditional British red telephone box and dynamic wall art including written messages penned by public figures that have previously past through.

Wayra supports tech start-ups with financing and mentoring and is a major new development for Telefonica, and since its creation in 2011 the focus has been building twelve academies, creating silicon valleys all around the world.

‘Girl power’ was certainly on the agenda with THE most empowering speeches from Kanya King MBE Founder of the Mobo Awards, and the insight and knowledge of Ann Pickering, HR Director at Telefonica.

The time had now come for the four of us to tell our story.  Stella Creasy MP introduced us as we one by one emerged from a strategically placed pillar to centre stage and to the applause of 200 women and a few men.  While the atmosphere was electric all I just kept thinking to myself was; ‘don’t fall off the stool, don’t fall off the stool’. I managed to fix myself securely to the stool and floor and finally share my journey.

It was truly great to connect with so many women entrepreneurs and women interested in setting up a business and it highlights the importance of these types of events, where like-minded people can come together and share ideas.

CPG_WAYRA_WOMAN_TECH

Speakers: Back row, from left to right: Stella Creasy MP and Shadow Minister for Business Innovation and Skills, Charmaine Eggberry Director of Wayra UK, Kanya King Mobo Founder, Chuka Umunna MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Front row: Me, Eugenie Teasley from Discoverables, Becky Downing from Buzzmove and Ally Maughan from People Puzzles.

Photography by Casey Gutteridge

CPG_WAYRA_WOMAN_TECH

CPG_WAYRA_WOMAN_TECH_02

From London to Lagos

My first ever visit to Nigeria was a whirlwind week of absolute triumph and exuberation. The 2013 trade mission led by the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Chuka Umunna MP and supported by London Chamber of Commerce and UKTI North West, only confirmed what in theory I already knew, and that was to focus my efforts 110% on West Africa, Nigeria in particular.

The culture, the people and the kindness shown by those I met in just a few short days will stay with me for quite sometime, and for that reason this nation has me hooked.

Travelling together as a delegation of strangers, we all had one mission in mind and that was to secure quality business in Nigeria. This visit was exactly what I had been waiting for and more, flying the flag for British businesses overseas and forging those essential business relationships.

From the 3am business meetings to the constant exchanging of business cards and negotiation chatter, this trip was a real insight into how much work global businesses put into their trade, their craft and securing that deal. What I saw can only be described as poetry in motion, art even, I was mesmerised.

People often ask: ‘why do business in Nigeria?’ and I often answer, ‘why not?’.  In a country where there is a growing consumer class, a population of 167m people, the GDP has risen by more than 6.8% in the past decade, and by 2020 Nigeria is set to be one of the largest economies in the world, and I for one only see opportunities.

Businesses need not be too concerned with what may or may not be perceived as negative about Nigeria, as the positives far out way any negatives and based on the emergence of this nation thus far, and on an epic scale, the rewards will be great for those that take on the mighty Nigeria.

Nigeria; emerging or emerged? I cannot answer that, but I can fully and whole heartedly say that businesses thinking of global expansion should indeed not wait for others to dip their toe into Africa and tell you about their success – take a leap of faith, a pinch of fact and a slice of common sense and make it happen for you.

“It was great to see new young British businesses like Thirty Eight London going out to look at new markets and opportunities in Nigeria. It is fantastic that this new international trade venture is now being launched earlier than planned because of her success on a recent trade mission supported by UKTI and the London Chamber of Commerce. It shows just what can be done and I wish Nadine and Thirty Eight London every success in the future”. Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Chuka Umunna MP.

This is an exciting time for the business, and now the hard work begins…