The Exeter Entrepreneur Network session took place at Hangar 58, Runway East.

Entrepreneur networking event focuses on business with purpose

Earlier this month, Exeter hosted the third edition of its University of Exeter Entrepreneur Network event at Hangar 58, Runway East, Shoreditch. Exeter’s Student Startup Support team welcomed attendees for an evening of networking and ideas sharing. This event also featured a panel discussion around the theme of B-Corp.

With an increasing desire to make businesses more ethical and sustainable, becoming a B-Corp is one way of showing that companies are adhering to a particular set of ethical and environmental standards.

Special guests included Matthew Aubrey from Bethnal Green Ventures, Julie Dawson from Yoti and Betsy Dillner from The Social Change Agency. Each guest was able to share a different perspective about B-Corp certification, explore how it may influence or shape a company and the opportunities, connections and networks it might enable.

Matthew Aubrey is the Operations Manager at Bethnal Green Ventures. BGV is an early stage investor in tech for good startup ventures that are using technology to tackle pressing social and environmental issues. His role as Operations Manager sees Matthew work in a number of different areas including finance, data & information, selection of ventures and, importantly for this evening, renewing BGV's B-Corp certification.

Julie Dawson is Director of Regulatory & Policy at Yoti; an identity checking system that allows organisations to verify who people are, online and in person. Yoti have a team of 250 in London with over one Million installs of the Yoti app, following the launch last November. Julie leads regulatory and government relations, steers Yoti's ethics framework liaising with their Guardians Council, and prepares Yoti for external accreditations such as B-Corps (ethics and transparency) and SOC2 (security).

Betsy Dillner is Principal Director at The Social Change Agency and has over 10 years of campaigning, fundraising and social change experience. She specialises in developing community leadership and understanding; developing, and ultimately challenging systems of power for social change. Betsy has directed successful user-led campaigns from small charities across the Atlantic that have resulted in bans on letting fees for tenants, the preservation of affordable housing and remuneration for victims of the foreclosure crisis.

Georgie Hazell, Head of Strategy and Growth at Create + Adapt, Exeter MBA and undergraduate (International Politics and Anthropology) said: “It was another great event with the Exeter Entrepreneur Network - so important to hear how businesses and organisations such as B-Corps are helping change the status quo of the concept of sustainability and doing ‘better’ business. As always there was a fantastic group of attendees and I loved catching up with some familiar entrepreneurial faces and meeting new ones. These events are a refreshing take on networking and I always get a lot out of them. Looking forward to the next!"

Emily Davies, Student Startup Manager at the University explained:  “It was another hugely successful networking event, with a great turn-out. Our special guests offered a variety of perspectives on what leading a business with purpose is all about. The B-Corp values surrounding transparency and accountability truly are essential elements for any business."

To discover more about the Exeter Entrepreneur Network follow the Student Startup LinkedIn showcase page or contact Emily Davies, Student Startup Manager on:

Date: 26 September 2018

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