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Breakfast with the Prime Minister!

26 Nov 2010 13:17:33

“You’ll never guess who I had breakfast with yesterday” is the first thing I’ve said to everyone I’ve met this morning. Not a single one has guessed that on Thursday morning I went to 10 Downing Street to have breakfast with David Cameron.

I feel so honoured to have been invited along with 14 owners and directors of other small and medium sized businesses from all around the UK to talk directly to the guys in charge of running the country about the issues affecting our businesses.

Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor of the Exchequer the Rt Hon George Osborne and Mark Prisk MP Minister for Small Business & Enterprise were all there, all listening much more than they were talking too!

We talked at length about things that Government does and does not do for us and the ways in which they can help or hinder us in the running of our businesses. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to speak on behalf of our businesses and our industries on the issues affecting us, and thrilling to be part of such a lively discussion in which they were clearly listening intently and taking on board what we said.

As an entrepreneur I really hope that this Government can really help to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship in the UK that helps lift us all out of these dark and gloomy economic times.  From where I’m sitting the future looks very bright indeed, we are surrounded by great UK based businesses doing amazing things with a Government that truly seems to mean it when it says it wants to help.  That’s certainly putting a spring in my step this sunny Friday afternoon.

PS. Forget what we talked about, I know you really want to know what they’re all like, that’s the first question anyone has asked! Well from what I could tell they all seemed like thoroughly great people who it was an absolute pleasure to meet.

Stu and I were lucky enough to be invited to a wonderful event last night. It was the launch party for the new green bond from Ecotricity and their wonderful new wind powered car; the Nemesis.

Ecotricity are an amazing and truly inspiring company, they see that it’s not enough to sell green power but that we need to invest in increased capacity and the ability to produce more green energy otherwise there just won‘t be enough available to make the kind of different that we need to.  Ecotricity nemesisThey invest in wind turbines and produce electricity from them which is where the “wind-powered” bit comes from. This electricity goes into the grid and is used to power everything from boiling the kettle for your morning cup of tea to charging up your electric (“wind-powered”) car!

Ecotricity have spent two years working on the car which looks fabulous and is a great way to show that being green doesn’t have to be boring. With a top speed of 170mph and 0-100mph in 8.5 seconds, it’s great antidote to the myth that you can’t get great performance out of an electric car. Apparently it's great fun to drive too, the meanies didn’t let me have a go so I can’t vouch for that though! ;o(

Lucy Siegle who writes on green issues for the Observer was there filming the car and the amazing reaction to it so hopefully you should be able to watch the film via the Ecotricity website soon.

The Ecotricity eco bond is a way for you to invest your money to get a better return that you would at the bank (7%) and because you’re investing directly with Ecotricity you enable them to invest even more in building capacity to product more green energy quicker. It’s a definite win: win situation.

If you’re looking for simple ways to go green and really make a difference without it affecting your life (other than giving you a nice warm fuzzy feeling that you’re doing your bit), then switching your electricity to Ecotricity is a great step. They invest far more than any other energy company in new sources of green energy, which is what we need to do if we want to reduce our reliance upon fossil fuels and make a sustainable change for the future.

Ecotricity don’t charge any more for their energy either, and price match with the 6 main electricity providers so when there’s no premium for using green electricity, what other excuse can you think of for not using it? We can’t change the world overnight, but we can make a difference by working together to take steps in the right direction. Switching to Ecotricity is a very easy first step. We’ve changed over, and I hope you will too. Switch now….

Last night I was at a lovely drinks reception Whole foods Market, Kensington, for the announcement of the Who’s who in Natural beauty 2011.
 Sam Burlton founder of So Organic with her baby daughter
It’s a list of those people who really make an impact in the world of natural beauty, voted for by their peers, the retailers, manufacturers and consultants to the industry and it’s a huge honour to make your way onto the list.

My jaw nearly hit the floor, when the list was revealed and my name was way up there at the top in 2nd place, only behind Simon and Rhodri the lovely guys behind the Bulldog brand.

I’m absolutely thrilled to be on the Who’s who in natural beauty list again and owe a huge thank you to all of my peers who voted for me and to my fantastic team here at So Organic HQ who help me so much.  Thanks to you all.


Day One for our Government Intern

1 Oct 2010 16:41:24

As part of a new government initiative led by Mark Prisk MP, Business Minister, top officials are spending time in the UK’s top small businesses to see what it is like for them in today’s economy. It was Day One today, and David got involved whole heartedly, by packing boxes, sorting files and general office duties, full marks for getting throughly stuck in, even with important calls to handle! We also talked at length about what it is like running a small business in the UK, all the issues and advantages, especially interesting with So Organic. David took it all in, and was taken by how hard we all worked. David said So Organic was a fascinating company to work in, and fast paced, and David was not phased, even when he had to serve coffee to the Baby Massage Club members, mums and babies, in the So Organic meeting rooms! 20 mums and babies all needing attention at the same time, enough pressure for any person, let alone a top government official!

0 Comments | Posted in General In The Press By Stuart Burlton

So Organic, the UK’s award winning online department store for natural and organic products has been asked by the government to help them understand the practical realities for business in the UK. In an initiative led by Mark Prisk MP, Minister for Small Business and Enterprise, senior government figures and civil servants are taking the opportunity to step outside of Whitehall, and into the business world, through week long work placements. Mark Prisk MP said ‘It’s nearly ten years since I last ran my business, so I need to better understand the current issues affecting small firms, if I am to be an effective Minister with responsibility for enterprise. After all, nothing is better than direct experience.’

As part of this initiative, the Deputy Director for Enterprise Policy and Strategy, David Wilson will work with the So Organic Founder Samantha Burlton and Chief Operating Officer Stuart Burlton to see what it is like on the ‘front line’. Stuart Burlton commented, ‘We are looking forward to having David work with us, and showing what running a small business is like in today’s economic environment. The Organic Industry has it’s own challenges, so it will be great to have a senior member of the Department for Business, Industry and Skills working with us.’

The So Organic team have a number of challenges and projects awaiting David Wilson, who is looking forward to stepping in to the business world. David said ‘The experience will be invaluable, and I will be hoping to take back as much knowledge as I can to further the cause of small business within the department.’

The work experience commences in October 2010, and you can follow David’s progress through the So Organic Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and at

0 Comments | Posted in Eco Issues General In The Press Organic News By Michelle Gregory