Wednesday 25th January saw the launch of a new Business Masterclass Series from Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District and Merton Chamber of Commerce for SMEs in the London Borough of Merton to learn, engage and discover tangible solutions to pressing business challenges. The first of its kind in the borough, the full series will cover a range of topics the business community have suggested, including navigating economic uncertainty, recruitment, retention and wellbeing in the workplace, cybersecurity, and the future of workspaces.
The South West London Borough of Merton is home to nearly 7,000 businesses including major headquarters, SMEs and start-ups located on high streets, in offices and industrial estates. The first masterclass engaged with this diverse audience at the recently transformed Domestic & General HQ in central Wimbledon, where delegates heard from world-class, local experts Al Grljevic, Chief Operating Officer, Domestic & General, Monica Hunter, Executive Business Coach and Michael Martin, Financial Journalist and Founder of Cannizaro Planning.
The first ‘Managing Business in Uncertain Times’ masterclass provided different perspectives from each speaker. Al Grljevic discussed work culture and how being a disruptor in Insurtech in a B2B2C environment has placed customers and employees first, resulting in improved recruitment and retention; and the emphasis on Customer Lifetime Value is also extended to Employee Value.
On employee retention, Monica Hunter agreed; ‘People work in environments that make them feel purposeful. Talk about your company values, and the purpose and impact of what your company does.’ In his overview of the economy and the current financial challenges businesses face, Michael Martin gave some reassurance and observed; ‘Financial change is constant. It is important for businesses to filter out the noise and focus on the meaningful.’
Craig Hurring, CEO of Love Wimbledon commented:
‘We are lucky enough to not only have a diverse range of businesses in this area, but also leading speakers wanting to engage and support our business community. This is the first of what we intend to be a series of genuinely valuable business events this year, that Love Wimbledon and Merton Chamber of Commerce will be creating, responding to real issues that our business community have highlighted.’
Sarah Austin, Chair of Merton Chamber of Commerce added:
‘It was wonderful to see so many business owners and entrepreneurs come together at our first-in-a-series of Masterclasses. The evening highlighted the value of being able to turn to and rely on trusted support networks in challenging times. The Masterclasses provide an excellent opportunity for our business community to make new connections, share ideas and help one another to achieve their goals.’
These borough-wide live events have been made possible with grant funding through Merton Council. A podcast of the first event will be released early February.