(4) Similarly, how do you believe Brexit has impacted the overall business landscape? Where do I begin? I was firmly in the ‘remain’ camp and feel even more strongly since the referendum that we should endeavour to rapidly find a pragmatic, practical solution to the uncertainty that the vote has meant for all businesses. The energy and huge resources that we are having to put into the Brexit negotiations could be far better spent on other much needed areas. In my sector, there was a lot of European support and collaboration?? this hopefully won’t disappear but as a marketplace for projects, employment and funding, the lack of clarity is unhelpful and frankly worrying. I genuinely believe it was one of the worst events ever to happen in my lifetime. My opinion is that the negative effects will be felt for many years to come, sadly. It has led to a seismic shift in my own thinking about the future. (5) How has it affected your own company? It has affected my thinking and forward planning in terms of marketplace and growth areas. Many colleagues had in the last few years spent a lot of time cultivating European contacts and clients, to their great benefit. I was busy with UK-based work but as soon as the vote started to look uncertain and once the result was confirmed I made the decision and took active steps to pursue opportunities beyond Europe. I sought collaboration with another UK-based company that was well established in China, working on a wide range of exciting cultural projects. I was fortunate to have this chance and, after working on several projects successfully in the last year, have decided to concentrate mainly on projects in China for the foreseeable future. The work is fast-paced and challenging but also very interesting professionally in terms of working with Chinese colleagues and understanding a culturally different approach to design and content development for new museums. The Chinese authorities recognise the high quality of UK design expertise and our creative approach to storytelling (they tend to take an academic and didactic approach to content, which is not especially family friendly?? and families are the big market for cultural destinations). It’s still early days but I enjoy the overseas travel and a different way of working. (6)?What are the key things you?ve learned helping other companies? Learning is a two-way process, it benefits both parties; there’s always something new to learn; enterprise can start, and be successful, at any age (it?s not just for under 25s). People really value shared insight and wisdom, including insight from the many mistakes and errors of judgement that? inevitably happen when building a business. (7) Would you say business confidence is on the rise? I feel there is much uncertainty among colleagues and fellow businesses, but equally everyone I know manages to maintain a positive and upbeat attitude, and a determination to succeed. The community enterprise I’m involved in is?optimistic of its future success and that constructive attitude among a team always bodes well. (8) With growth on the cards, what are your future ambitions for Heritage Angel? Maintain and build collaborative business relationships and to seek lower volume, higher profitability project work, especially in China ? selecting the right projects to work on will be vital. To continue to champion UK expertise in my sector and have a business that I continue to enjoy well past any retirement age!
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