Patricia is part of our Alpha-X team, which runs an Inspirational Speaker Series, amongst other projects. Here she writes about our most recent Lunch and Learn on entrepreneurship and building growth.

Last month we invited Laura Parker, Strategy Manager at RBS and Director of the Growth Builder Programme. She demonstrated the impact this programme has had on young businesses and shared her insight into how you can bring entrepreneurship and your passions to your daily life, to get more from your career.

Laura graduated with a degree in Economics from Newcastle University and, like many of her peers, fell into the banking sector as it seemed the obvious step. Outside of work, Laura continued to foster her passions for travelling and adventure and, although she enjoyed banking and was learning from professionals with many years of experience, felt she was missing something. After a few years, she had met a lot of smart and interesting people but felt her day-to-day job wasn't fulfilling her completely. However, she felt that change was hard to come by in a traditional type of organisation so began to think of ways to incorporate different interests into her daily life.

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Laura spoke about "intrapreneurship" and the power of taking up side projects in addition to day-to-day responsibilities to develop interests and passions. As a Strategy Manager at RBS, she has led several innovation projects and volunteered to run the Growth Builder Programme, which allowed her to explore entrepreneurship, meet amazing new people, and add value and learning to her existing role, making her whole working experience more enjoyable.

The Growth Builder Programme aims to help small businesses that are past the startup point and have a high-growth rate to achieve sustainable growth and long-term success. Laura fell in love with this idea when she discovered that around 68% of jobs created in the UK stem from high-growth small firms, even though they make up a small percentage of total businesses in the UK. She found that, although there is increasing help and support for companies in the startup stage, a lot of companies in the next phase of growth would also tremendously benefit from the guidance of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders - a gap that the Growth Builder aims to fill.

Having learnt immensely herself from the entrepreneurs that joined the programme, as well as the mentors that offered their time to help these growing businesses, Laura has decided to step into the unknown and start the next chapter in her life. She told the team that her intrapreneurship experience and growth mindset have maximised her learning and opportunities inside an established business, which in turn has given her the confidence to take time off and travel around the world, in search of her next adventure.

She trusts her capacity to run projects and create opportunities for herself and looks forward to trying new challenges, which could include working for a high-growth business, a startup, or starting something herself.

As a company with an ambitious and entrepreneurial outlook on our work, we were inspired to look outside of our comfort zone and introduce passion projects to our day-to-day. We look forward to seeing where Laura's path takes her.

Laura's Recommended Reading List:

  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship - Bill Aulet
  • The Lean Start-up - Eric Ries
  • Creativity Inc - Ed Catmull
  • Switched On - Sahar Hashemi