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29th Mar, 2012

A Guide to the Disruptive Business World
by Ricky Kothari on March 29, 2012 13:39


On Wednesday, March 21, Darren Fell founder of gave an insightful presentation to JCI members on a "Guide to the Disruptive Business World".

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Darren's first company Pure 360 an email marketing firm which he sold for 8 million dollars succeeded in disrupting  online marketing.  However, it was his newest venture,  an E-business that is hoping to disrupt the traditional accountancy model that his presentation focused on. It even has one of the founders of eBay and Skype as an investor!

Darren  provided  JCI members with a great account of the trials, tribulations and barriers to entry I might face when starting up my own company. From evil accountants trying to smear his name to the overwhelming need for it to succeed, especially when a lot of his own money was riding on it.

It was a delightful,inspirational and thought provoking evening tracking Darren's journey, and his expansion into disrupting the accountancy profession.  He even came down afterwards for a drink at the pub... You can't get much better than that!

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Blog written by James Schirn (JCI London Member)


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27th Mar, 2012

Pretty In Pink
by Soraya Bowen on March 27, 2012 21:12



Question: What is hot and pink?

Answer: JCI London Hot Pink Ladies


JCI Hot Pink Ladies before the race- from l-r Mehnaz Siddiqui, Soraya Bowen, Alexandra Illsley and Sofie Sandell.jpg

 Left-right:Mehnaz Siddque, Soraya Bowen, Alex Illsey and Sofie Sandell

The JCI London Pink Ladies are back again for our annual 5k run for Race life and picnic in the park if the weather permits.  We are looking for new recruits to join us in 2012.

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26th Mar, 2012

Going for Gold
by Soraya Bowen on March 26, 2012 11:16


JCI London annual charity pub quiz night is back again this year with an Olympic theme, in support of UN Nothing But Nets campaign.

It’s going to be a night of champions’ before the event has even happened.Sarah Beckwith and her team will be in attendance to defending their title and our resident public speaking Champion, Alex Illsley on the mic as the quiz master.

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Sarah Beckwith clutching the coveted JCI London 2011 pub quiz trophy

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25th Mar, 2012

The Fold – Entrepreneurship and Professional Fashion
by Alekhya Mukherji on March 25, 2012 19:04


As a member of the JCI business team, I had the great pleasure and opportunity to invite Polly McMaster from The Fold to JCI for a unique event. It was an evening all about business fashion!

Events » Business events » The Fold evening_Polly.jpg Polly has a diverse background working in various roles in the “City” before going on to do a MBA where she co-founded The Fold which specialises in business fashion for women. It was a great opportunity to listen to Polly’s story of starting her own business and the challenges she faced with no experience in the fashion industry and how she got to where she is today.

We had a very interactive session with lots of questions from the group around Polly’s experiences. I was particularly positive about the honest and frank responses from Polly  on her motivation to start a fashion business to the challenges she faced. We all left the session with lots of practical tips and suggestions on what to look out for when opening your own business (not just in the world of fashion).

Polly went on to provide some very interesting insights into the importance of dressing for work and how this can have a direct impact on how your managers and colleagues perceive you at work and ultimately how it can impact your future career.

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The fun (especially for the ladies) started after this informative session. Everybody had the unique opportunity to browse and try on the latest collection of The Fold in a very relaxed atmosphere and maybe even negotiate a bargain. Something you won’t get in regular shops!


All in all it was a great insightful evening for all, even for the few men in the room. Some fantastic gift ideas for partners and friends as well!   


For more information on The Fold –

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23rd Mar, 2012

Nine weeks to the Edinburgh Marathon for NBN - eek!!!
by Alexandra Illsley on March 23, 2012 20:26


OK, as some of you may know last year Soraya and I ran round Loch Ness for Nothing But Nets. So when I came back did I get some well deserved R and R? Hmm..I got an e mail. It was from Soraya, along the lines of 'Would you be interested in doing the Edinburgh Marathon in May? I fancy doing my first marathon.' Turns out JCI Sheffield were going to Edinburgh to run the Marathon for Nothing But Nets and some amongst us felt that there needed to be some JCI London representation in support. How could I refuse?

So, I find myself going for the marathon hat-trick and Soraya has taken the plunge and is going for the full 26 miles. May seemed quite a way off when I agreed to this but now it edges ever closer. It is just over nine weeks to go and am I marathon ready?

Well, I have been trying to do regular runs but they have been on the short and sweet side. I do need to up the distance over the next few weeks if I am to get round, never mind beat my time in Loch Ness. 

However, I am sure what will help Soraya and I up our training is the thought of many bednets being bought. The name of the campaign 'Nothing But Nets' really does say it all. It really is nothing but nets. A $10 bednet can save a life and we would really appreciate it if you could use the link below to find out more about this important campaign and buy a bednet.


Many thanks, Alex

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13th Mar, 2012

A Recent Council Decision
by Simon James Bucknall on March 13, 2012 22:19


As you may or may not be aware, everyone involved in JCI at local chamber and at national level is a volunteer.

It's something we do in addition to our 'day-jobs'. The organisation provides fabulous opportunities, both work and non-work related, but as you might imagine, you get out what you put in.

Last week, we had a really good council meeting - our third of the year - where we brought together the members of the team. Reviewed progress, took some decisions, approved a budget and, ooh, had some fun along the way. Cracking marzipan, by the way, Anke!

One of the key challenges we face - like any voluntary membership organisation - is maintaining visibility. Particularly in a city like London where there is SO much going on, just getting events and initiatives onto people's radar can be a challenge!

For this reason, one of the key topics discussed at our meeting last week concerned marketing - or in other words, 'getting the word out'. Personally, I've lost count over the past three years of the number of times I've been asked "So what other events are coming up?" I guess I can only conclude that we can't always rely on the website!

So, as a Council, we'll be working harder to get the word out on our event - so that you know what's going on, when it's happening, and how to book. Because in the end, it's all about members and guests coming along, participating and as a result helping to make our events happen!

We're of course sensitive to the danger of over-kill. The last thing we'd want is for you to get TOO much from us - and we won't always get the balance right. But we'll do our best and, I'll be honest: in the end, I'd rather you heard too much than too little!

So, be gentle with us - we're doing our best. And of course, feedback welcome...

See you at an event soon.

Simon Bucknall

2012 President, JCI London




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6th Mar, 2012

How about a JCI London book club?
by Alexandra Illsley on March 6, 2012 21:58


Hello all, we hope this post finds you well. 

How would you like the opportunity to get together and discuss your favourite books with other young professionals over a coffee or a drink?

One of the ideas that the social team is hoping to develop is a JCI London book club. Members could get together once a month ready to discuss the book their members have chosen. The options are quite varied - you could find one with hints about business to mull over, or recipes for cupcakes as well as popular fiction novels. The choice would be up to the members and we would do our best to accommodate all tastes. Part of the joy would be you may well get to read books that you would never have thought of reading.   

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So if you like the sound of that then please do get in touch ( letting us know which evenings would be best for you. We are also open to suggestions for book titles and venues. 

Many thanks, the Social Team

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6th Mar, 2012

JCI UK Marketing Academy-part 2
by Soraya Bowen on March 6, 2012 19:35


Kathryn's story continue.......

Sunday morning at 9am isn’t a slot I would envy the speaker. I’d expected a slow, gentle start to the second day, to ease us in, but that’s not what we got. Local businesswoman, social media coach and motivational speaker Kym Hall, came and fired us up for the day in addition to delivering a fantastic training on harnessing the power of social media, focusing particularly on Twitter.  

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Social media session with local business women Social Media Kym

I’d always avoided it myself, uncertain about the platform’s etiquette or whether I would even have anything interesting to say. Kym talk about her tips and experiences was a real highlight of the weekend, leaving us all feeling energised, and me in particular inspired to start putting her advice into action. Although I’m still just a baby chick, my Twitter confidence is growing daily and I hope soon to spread my wings even further! Current JCI National President Solveig Malvik also very kindly came to train us on how to manage and edit the JCI website: a vital tool for any would-be local (or national) JCI Marketing Directors. The final session was on measuring the impact of your communications and marketing activities – after all, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. The most important lesson I took away was to try things out, and if something’s not working, stop doing it. The more I thought about it on the way home, I realised this was good advice for life, not just for marketing!

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5th Mar, 2012

Happiness! Does being intelligent make it harder to find happiness? Blog by Trang Tran (JCI London member)

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I used to think that happiness is just simply each person’s state of mind. It is your choice to be happy in your life or not. But an evening with Andrew Stead, CEO/Founder of Vibrant Energy and Perfect Happiness Org, has broadened my mind about happiness. Andrew Stead was our special guest at the recent JCI business event. And he proved to be an excellent choice with his insights in corporate world – Banking with Goldman Sachs to Entrepreneurship with a start-up and now the development of Happiness in the workplace. 

He started with an interactive session on meditation, helping us to relax our minds and bodies after a long working day. I personally could feel the differences after following his instruction. From there, we moved on to his interesting journey on finding the ideas on happiness at workplace.

Thanks to his wide experience and many interactive questions, he drew a bigger picture on causes and consequences of happiness, relating to individual, society, economic, etc. He is truly a very insightful and entertaining speaker, giving us further food for thought around finding happiness at our workplace and personal lives.

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5th Mar, 2012

JCI UK Marketing Academy - part 1
by Soraya Bowen on March 5, 2012 13:06


Read Kathryn Kneller account on attending her first national training event:

Bright and early on the first sunny Saturday of spring, 19 JCI members from up and down the country met in Sheffield for the JCI Marketing Academy course. Some were already professional communicators; others had marketing roles within JCI; still others were entrepreneurs keen to improve their skills: all were keen to learn how to market our products, services and brands more successfully. The weekend agenda was jam-packed, and I’ll admit to having my doubts about whether such an ambitious schedule could do more than scratch the surface.

But the mix of classroom-based teaching, round-table discussions, and practical exercises over the weekend, led by JCI Marketing and Communications Directors Kate Senter and Claire Evans was incredibly effective. The first session, on generating effective PR, was full of useful tips and takeaways on subjects from writing style, to good photography, to cultivating relationships with journalists and editors. We learned how to write a press release which gets read, makes it onto the pages of the publications your target market is actually reading; and, crucially, which generates the kind of buzz you want.

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