LDC hosts inspirational event in partnership with The Prince’s Trust
8 Nov 2023
8 Nov 2023
Klara Klarowicz, Investment Manager at LDC, hosted an inspirational networking event and all-female panel discussion as part of The Prince’s Trust ‘Brilliant Breakfast’ campaign. Here, Klara shares some insights and learnings from the event.
I had the opportunity last night to welcome more than 100 guests to an evening of networking, inspiration and empowerment at The Bloomsbury Hotel – a fitting venue for an event like this given the hotel was originally built for the Young Women’s Christian Association and officially opened by Queen Mary.
Mandy Hickson, a former RAF pilot, opened the event with an inspirational speech about the perseverance and resilience it took for her to become the second woman to fly a Tornado GR4 on the front line. Her stories of the 45 missions and three tours of duty in some of the most hostile environments imaginable, including patrolling the ‘No Fly’ zone over Iraq during the conflict, were both captivating and inspirational.
Throughout her career, Mandy was instrumental in uncovering some of the unconscious bias in the military and it was enlightening to hear the strategies and behaviours she adopted when the stakes were at their highest.
She stressed the importance of needing to trust those around you to build high performance teams; how embracing cognitive diversity in the workplace can help teams to better solve the problems they are faced with; how an aspirational mindset in the face of adversity can help anyone to carve their own dream career path and how you ‘cannot control the uncontrollable’ so focus on what you can control – your reaction to it. In her own words, “Dream it. Believe it. Do it.”
Following Mandy’s keynote speech, it was great to be joined by Lizzie Carter, founder and CEO of Only Curls and winner of The LDC Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the British Business Excellence Awards 2022; Sedge Beswick, founder of social media marketing agency SEEN Connects; and Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls and one of this year’s winners at The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders.
Each of them has built deeply impressive careers and together we discussed how they’ve overcome many of challenges – the barriers, biases and glass ceiling – women in business face today. My key takeaways from the discussion included:
I think I speak for all our guests when I say that it was fantastic to be surrounded by so many inspirational women and having the opportunity to discuss our shared experiences enables us to learn from and support one another.
The event was part of The Prince’s Trust ‘Brilliant Breakfast’ campaign. With a £5,000 year-on-year donation from LDC, the campaign raises funds to support young women who are facing adversity, helping them to change their lives for the better and setting them on a path to fulfilling employment. This year, LDC celebrated four years and counting, of a partnership with The Prince’s Trust formed to inspire the next generation of UK entrepreneurs, we’ve pledged to support up to 10,000 to launch, grow and sustain their own businesses over the next five years.
We had the honour of hosting three Prince’s Trust young entrepreneurs in a marketplace at the event – Sophie Rogers from High Vibe Alignment (holistic and well-being brand with a focus on crystals and wellness sessions), Kamilah Nasir from Kam Creates (creative and bright jewellery) and Georgia Leslie from Coconutpalm (sustainable fabric homeware and accessories).
LDC extends our thanks to all the inspirational women that joined our event this year.