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We're delighted to announce the next in our flagship series of 'Back to Business' events, taking place on Wednesday 23rd September between 8.30am and 1pm.

Our conference will feature inspiring guests including Emma Jones MBE, founder of Enterprise Nation, Miriam González Durántez, founder of Inspiring Girls, Andrew Stevens, Director of UK Small Business, Vodafone, Eleanor Mills, award-winning editor and CEO of, and Liz Whitaker, Amazon bestselling author The Power of Personal and P2P Marketing Expert.

We're thrilled that this year we can welcome so many more attendees, from wherever you live, as for the first time we'll be presenting this informative and inspirational event online.

Earlybird tickets are available at a cost of £29 for a limited period.  Please click on the booking link to secure your place.


Why attend?

This September's interactive conference 'Back to Business - Reconnecting and Reskilling' will be the fifth in our successful series aimed at helping you build your skills, expand your network and grow in confidence. So far, we've helped over 1500 delegates reconnect with the workplace, either in the corporate world or as small business owners. In this challenging year, with the increasing digitisation of business, shifting work dynamics and employment uncertainty, you may be taking some time to reassess your options for the future, and we are here to help.

Who is it for?

This event can support anyone:
- starting or building a business
- wanting to learn a new skill

- returning to work after a break

- hoping to regain their confidence
- switching careers
- graduating from school or university and entering the workplace
- wanting to expand their network and connect with like-minded people
- looking for

What's happening?

Thanks to our sponsors, St James's Place Academy and Vodafone Business, we're bringing together experts who will lead online keynote talks and breakout session workshops on topics such as career change, fundraising and investment, branding and social media, leadership, and much more. They'll give you that boost to take the next steps along your journey, whether that be returning to work after a career break, upskilling for a new role, or building a business.

Scroll down to meet just a few of our sensational speakers, and we'll be sharing more exciting news with you over the coming weeks.

To register your interest, or for more information about 'Back to Business - Reconnecting and Reskilling', please email Events Director, Caroline Edwards at

Please click on the Book now button to buy and secure your Earlybird place.

How will it work?

We're thrilled that this year we can welcome so many more attendees, from wherever you live, as for the first time we'll be presenting this informative and inspirational event online.

Registration and online networking from 8.30am until 9.00am
Keynote talks from leading experts and industry leaders from 9.00am until 11.30am
Online roundtable workshops and networking sessions with leading experts 11.30am until 1.00pm

This won't be like your usual Zoom meet up! Using an innovative and experiential platform, iBreakthrough, we'll be welcoming into our virtual conference centre! You'll travel up in the 'lift' to one of the floors for the keynote speeches and then you'll be able to move around freely to join virtual tables for your chosen workshop. You'll also be able to network online with attendees and speakers, at our more informal networking tables, to help you make those vital new connections. All the instructions for using the platform will be sent to you before the event, and we can't wait to see you there!

Please note timings are approximate and subject to change.


ELEANOR MILLS: 'Life After Covid - How the pandemic has changed all of our lives'
CEO,, Chair of Women in Journalism

Research from bodies such as the UN and Fawcett Society estimate women have been put back 20 years by the recent crisis.  What aspects of lockdown are likely to endure and cause permanent shifts? What is life likely to look like now? Eleanor discusses how much of the New Normal is likely to stay that way. In addition to giving her keynote speech, Eleanor will also be hosting one of our networking tables.

Eleanor Mills is CEO of which offers thought-leadership, media consultancy, media training (by women for women) and expert-led therapeutic retreats to help women through life transitions so they can lead their best lives after forty. She is currently writing her first novel – about female mid-life crisis and reinvention. She is Chair of Women in Journalism and an award-winning Editor, writer and columnist. Until summer 2020 she was Editorial Director of The Sunday Times and Editor of The Sunday Times Magazine. During her career at News UK which span two decades she was also Saturday Editor of The Times, a columnist for News Review and the Home section and cut her teeth as the paper’s main interviewer interrogating everyone from Theresa May, David Cameron, Sheryl Sandberg and Charlton Heston to Dawn French the Dalai Lama and One Direction.

Throughout her career Eleanor has been an outspoken advocate for women and diversity, serving as a board member of the New York based think tank the Centre for Talent Innovation which advised top companies on how to achieve more diverse leadership teams. She is an in-demand motivational speaker and appears regularly on radio and TV (her personal highlights include irritating Piers Morgan so much by making a mildly feminist point on Good Morning Britain that he banged his head on the desk). She is a trustee of the Society of Editors, a board member of Reporters Sans Frontiers and on the advisory board of HerSpirit, a not for profit which helps to improve the health of women from marginalised communities. Other publications include Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs: 100 years of the Best Journalism by Women published by Constable. She is married and lives in London with her husband and two teenage daughters.

MIRIAM GONZÁLEZ: 'Inspiring the next generation of women'
International Trade Lawyer, Vice-Chair of Board, UBS Europe, Founder, Inspiring Girls

Miriam González is an international trade lawyer and the founder and chair of Inspiring Girls.

Miriam currently leads the trade practice of US law firm, Cohen & Gresser, splitting her time between California, Washington and London.

She is Deputy Chair of the Supervisory Board UBS Europe SE, having previously served as a Non-Executive Director of the Board and Chair of the Audit and Remuneration Committees of UBS Limited and as non-executive director of Acciona. Miriam is also a Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations as well as a member of the International Advisory Board of the Circulo de Empresarios in Spain.

Miriam is the Founder of Inspiring Girls International, a global charity dedicated to raising the aspirations of young girls around world by connecting school girls and women role models. The campaign currently operates in sixteen countries from Mexico to Singapore. The campaign has also developed an online Video Hub that allows girls all over the world with access to the internet to view a huge range of self-recorded interviews by women about their job and career path.

Miriam holds a degree in Law from the University of Valladolid and a Masters in European Policy from the College of Bruges.

She is the author of “Devuelveme el poder” on the need for political reform in Spain, and “Made in Spain”, a book of recipes and anecdotes to help raise funds for Inspiring Girls.

Miriam lives with her husband and three boys near Palo Alto.

EMMA JONES MBE: 'How to show your entrepreneurial streak'
Founder of Enterprise Nation, business expert and author


Following a degree in Law and Japanese, Emma joined international accounting firm Arthur Andersen, where she worked in London, Leeds and Manchester offices and set up the firm's Inward Investment practice that attracted overseas companies to locate in the UK. In 2000, bitten by the bug, Emma left the firm to start her first business, Techlocate. After 15 months, the company was successfully sold to Tenon plc.

The experience of starting, growing and selling a business from a home base gave Emma the idea for Enterprise Nation which was launched in 2006 as the home business website. The company has since expanded to become a small business membership community of over 75,000 people who benefit from events and support: online and in person.

Enterprise Nation also presents a campaigning voice to government and the media on behalf of its members. Since launching in 2005, the Enterprise Nation team has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder Emma Jones MBE, Enterprise Nation continues to be the most active UK small business community and a leading campaigning voice for small business.

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Joining Enterprise Nation connects you with resources, community and connections you need to reach your business goals.

Backing Britain

In March 2011, Emma was one of eight co-founders to launch StartUp Britain, the national campaign to encourage more people to start a business and support existing businesses to grow. Over a period of 3 years (March 2011 to 2014), Emma led and managed the private sector campaign that facilitated mentoring, hosted Industry Weeks, toured the UK with entrepreneurs and experts, launched special projects such as PopUp Britain and had a critical role to play in record results of people becoming their own boss. In February 2019, Theresa May appointed Emma to co-chair the Prime Minister's Small Business, Scale-up and Entrepreneurs Business Council. A position she still holds.


In June 2012 Emma was awarded an MBE for Services to Enterprise. In November 2015 Emma was appointed by the UK Prime Minister as a Business Ambassador with a focus on increasing international trade. In July 2016, Emma was appointed SME Representative for Crown Commercial Service.

Books and Events

Emma is the best-selling author of the business books Spare Room StartUp, Working 5 to 9, Go Global, The StartUp Kit and Turn Your Talent Into a Business. She hosts the popular one-day business class StartUp Saturday in London, and speaks at several other business events. Emma regularly appears in the media commenting on small business issues.

ANDREW STEVENS: 'Maximising the opportunity of digitisation'
Director of UK Small Business, Vodafone

As Director of Small Business, Andrew is responsible for leading Vodafone’s efforts to provide the right support and technology to enable small businesses to evolve and grow at pace in the marketplace.

Andrew and his team have played an important role in offering connectivity and business tools to help small businesses continue to operate during recent unprecedented times. Most notably, offering unlimited business broadband and Microsoft 365 business standard for free for six months, and launching a free platform called V-Hub which helps small businesses develop the digital capabilities needed to pivot and adapt their businesses online.

Andrew is passionate about supporting and amplifying small business voices by driving greater two way collaboration. At the beginning of July, Vodafone launched a new weekly podcast,Business Unusual, created to offer guidance to the small business community and inspire start-up and scale-up businesses to navigate the new normal. Each half hour episode sees presenter Claudia Winkleman speak with a business owner to discuss their approach to dealing with the changes and challenges, before and during the Covid-19 crisis.

This month, Andrew and his team have launched a new small business ambassador programme, working with a number of founders to better understand their challenges and how our technology can help them evolve their businesses. The series is called #ThinkBigStartSmall and showcases how 5 successful entrepreneurs have built up their businesses. They share the tips and advice they have learnt along the way, and offer guidance on how Vodafone’s technology can help small businesses with their own growth and transformation.

Andrew is committed and focused on how Vodafone can continue to help small businesses build a connected digital future, enabling them to be in the best position to survive and thrive.

LIZ WHITAKER: 'Only Connect ...'
Amazon bestselling author The Power of Personal, P2P Marketing Expert

Liz Whitaker is a P2P (person-to-person) marketing expert, creator of a business intelligence tool,Propella® and the Amazon bestselling author of ‘The Power of Personal – How to Connect, Convince and Create Exceptional Client Relationships’. According to Liz there are plenty of organisations and people who are happy to help you achieve your goal, ambition or dream of a new job, a promotion or setting up and growing a business. In fact you know many of these people already. And there has never been a better or more important time for women to get out there and build a business. Liz’s keynote will shine a light on the value of ‘connecting’. She will share some of the techniques in her book showing you how to use your authentic personality to stand out from the crowd, how to find the right people and how to use personalisation to connect with them - because people buy from people, and they always will. Along the way she will also share some of the tips from her own entrepreneur journey. Liz has been working with professional services and wealth management companies for over 30 years showing them how to use communications to grow their businesses, recruit and retain top talent.


Make the day your own: bring your questions to our Round Table hosts.
Access advice from leading experts and ask questions to people specialising in:
Social Media, Brand and Marketing, Building a network, Career change, Communicating with confidence, Raising funding and investment and much more.

Gee Foottit 'Have you ever wanted to start your own business, but weren’t sure how to?
Academy Engagement Manager, St. James's Place

Gee is from and lives in London with her husband and 3 year old daughter. She has 20 years’ experience in Financial Services,
Wealth Management and Banking sectors. She obtained her Diploma in Financial Planning in 2012 and has worked in roles
across the industry including investment strategies, Fintech, business development, mentoring and has a passion for helping
others succeed. As an Academy Engagement Manager, she has an eye for what makes a great financial adviser. She is at the
forefront of finding new talented candidates for SJP, inspiring their next generation of financial planners and loves being
involved in the first steps of life changing decisions. Gee has been chosen as one of the finalists of the Women in Financial
Advice Awards 2020. Under the category of ‘Most Inspiring Returner’, she runs up against 8 other finalists. This award is
given annually to a woman who can demonstrate that on returning to work in the UK Financial Services sector, whether it
be from a sabbatical, for health reasons, maternity leave or indeed anything else, she has acted as a role model to other

Addie Pinkster 'How to present your business with confidence, and to close with investor (and other) opportunities'
Founder and CEO Adelpha. Independent corporate financial advisor.

Addie is the founder and CEO of Adelpha, where she runs the Corporate Finance Team. Adelpha works with UK-based tech companies across a number of sectors that are growing from £10m to £150m of Enterprise Value. Prior to founding Adelpha, Addie spent 15 years in investment banking, most recently as Head of Hedge Fund Strategy at Citi. She has a portfolio of private investments, a number of NED and board positions, across commercial, not-for-profit and government backed organisations. This workshop will be focused on presenting your company or idea with a view to closing investment and other opportunities. No prior work is needed to attend the session, and we will focus on taking each idea and pitch forward, as well as building the confidence and direction of all attendees. Don’t worry if your business is not tech-enabled, or if you don’t have a clear business or idea to bring to the session - the session is designed for all.

Alex Webb 'Confidence & resilience at work and home'
Founder TLRdynamics and Flying Start XP

During Covid, have you become more confident or less confident?  Why?  Is it due to uncertainty, change, disruption or pressure? Join us to discuss the correlation between confidence and the ability to be resilient in and out of the workplace, introducing a basic framework to build both.

Alex is an experienced behaviour change specialist who enjoys working with individuals and teams focusing on behaviour profiling and awareness, of self and others, to create high performing teams. A C-Me and Resilient Leaders accredited trainer, Alex helps build leadership muscle by focusing on Awareness, Leadership Presence, Resilient Decision Making and Clarity of Direction. Understanding ‘who you are’ as well as ‘what you do’ underlines her work.
Alex has had a mixed career within events, sports TV and media, entrepreneurship and technology. With her roles as an Events Director and Programme Director, Alex has created, designed and facilitated workshops, events and programmes for an array of ages including clients such as TfL, Innovate UK, Prince’s Trust, Girls Day School Trust, Sky, Vodafone, Umbro, Lego and GSK
Alex has worked across many industries including pharmaceutical, technology, TV & Media, education, telecommunications and FMCG. Her knowledge of working with B2B and B2C gives Alex great experience to guide clients with their development needs.

Helen Pritchard 'Learn to shoot video on your smartphone & get publishing your content'
Orchid Digital

Orchid Digital is an affordable and full service video production company helping people gain confidence on camera and producing video content that works for their business.
Helen is a Corporate TV and web channel self-shooting producer, with over 18 years experience working within radio production, television and the music industry. Her company Orchid Digital has produced hundreds of short videos for a variety of companies to bring them new audiences and increased sales. She loves helping people keep calm in front of the camera and getting the best for their video.



Georgie Krone 'How to use social media to further your business'
Georgie Krone Social
Georgie helps brands get started with social media for business or helps boost their current online presence. She’s a firm believer that when equipped with the right knowledge and skills,business owners can be brilliant at managing their own platforms. They know better than anyone their target clients, suppliers, products, and services. Through One 2 One advice or tailored workshops, Georgie gives businesses the tools and confidence to create a meaningful and standout social media presence.

Georgie came to social media marketing via the unconventional route of a City solicitor. After bringing up a family, she re-evaluated her career and embraced a completely new challenge.She requalified with in-demand skills in social media and digital marketing bringing her into contact with equally ambitious business owners who want to grow in the ever-evolving world of social media. Georgie is based in Winchester and London, but has clients across the country. Her One 2 One< sessions are held remotely by video call or in person. Group workshops take place online or in person in her workshop studio near Winchester. She also runs workshops by arrangement with other hosts.

Lauren Brener & Frances Para-Mallam 'From social to site - Digital Marketing 101'
Founders, DUO Creative Media

DUO Creative Media are a digital marketing business, founded in 2016, specialising in creative media strategy and planning upfront - not as an afterthought. These are the fundamentals of any digital projects. They work across digital brand development, campaign creation & digital strategy and have worked with an array of industries from Finance, Retail, Travel, Automotive, Tech & FMCG. They support businesses to get under the bonnet of their brands to help be a sounding board for new ideas, new directions & understanding performance in a fast paced digital era.
Lauren Brener has a background in creative industries ranging from both brand and agency side. She started her career in the retail industry working brand side for the likes of VF Europe and LVMH when she then transitioned into creative planning within a digital performance-marketing environment. She speaks fluent German and has a grounding in French & Italian.
Frances Para-Mallam has a background in creative (graphic design) before transitioning into strategic and creative consultancy on agency side. Her analytical experience with her creative know how, provided her with the tools to start up the first creative department within a traditional performance marketing business.

Annie Armitage '‘Headshots – the importance of a first impression’
Annie Armitage - photographer

Annie Armitage found her true creative niche after her son Peter was born and she began taking pictures of him. Recording those
cherished moments as he began to grow became so important. She knew she'd finally found the perfect outlet for her creativity
so went back to university to immerse herself in photography. Annie set up her portrait photography and family lifestyle
business from her home in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey in 2007 and it brings together so many facets of her life. She loves
being with people – getting to know them and finding out about their lives. That's why she is able to put clients at ease so they
get the best out of their photoshoot whether they are a corporate headshot client or a family. Annie's roundtable workshop will
cover the following:
• Why a professional headshot is important
• How to prepare for your shoot
• What to wear?
• Branding Photography - what is it and how it can benefit your
• How to look good on Zoom

Milo Skene 'Changing Career – how to go about finding your next job in the current crisis’
Managing Director, 18-07 Careers

Milo's talk will cover - What do you actually want to do? What is the best way to go about finding a job with Covid-19 restrictions?
How to present your authentic self in the best light? Tips on CVs, applications and interviews. Milo is the Managing Director of 18-
07 Careers. He is a certified Master Coach and co-founded 18-07 due to a strong belief that people can and should strive to have
fulfilling and enjoyable careers. Milo has been training, mentoring and coaching people for the last 15 years and has helped
hundreds of people throughout their careers. Milo’s speciality lies in helping people to find out what they genuinely want from a
career and to then secure job offers. This includes:
Career Direction (incl. Psychometric Profiling)
How to go about job searching
CVs, cover letters and applications
Advanced interview techniques
Salary negotiation
Wellbeing during the job search

Milo also mentors and advises start up and scale up companies from Latin America opening offices in the UK.

Joy Foster ‘How to leverage social media in order to return to work, change careers or start a business’
Founder, TechPixies

Joy is an award winning entrepreneur who helps women upskill with modern technology in order to return to work, change
careers or start a business. Joy was named as one of the 100 Faces of the Vibrant Economy by Grant Thornton and in 2018,
she was named IoD Startup Director of the Year for London and the South. Her business, TechPixies was named Women in
Business Startup of the Year 2018 and Enterprise Nation Female Startup of the Year 2017. Joy and her company have been
profiled in Forbes for raising £150,000 and Stella for breaking down barriers for women wanting to re-ignite their careers. In
April 2019, TechNation named TechPixies 'one to watch' in the EdTech space. In 2020, TechPixies online Social Media Magic
course won the Digital Course of the Year Award from Digital Women. TechPixies have also secured a place on the UnLtd
Thrive Award 2020. 

Lucy Standing ‘The reality of career change and starting over when you’re over 50’
Founder, Brave Starts
Lucy is a chartered psychologist and founder of Brave Starts (our partner is the awesome Emma Jones you’ll have heard this
morning). Brave Starts specialises in helping people over the age of 50 - this is the demographic which most wants to make a
career change, but who face the biggest discrimination barriers. Brave Starts runs programmes which feature job shadowing and
chances to explore different areas people might be considering. Lucy has previously worked in the corporate sector as a Global
Head of Recruitment in Strategic consulting and investment banking before working as a business psychologist in a specialist
consultancy. More recently, she’s also run a hotel (which she sold once she turned it around) and she’s now the Vice Chair of the Association
for Business Psychology – the professional body in the UK for the profession. She has 3 children in three different schools, so when
she’s not working, she’s busy trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

‘Amazon Small Business Accelerator’ by Enterprise Nation

Amazon Small Business Accelerator is a free, online educational programme for anyone who wants to start a new online business or grow an existing one. In this session, find out more about how the online learning is tailored to your experience level, with a comprehensive curriculum covering website building, selling online, social media, marketing, managing cashflow, selling on Amazon, and identifying growth opportunities.



At the beginning of the event day, during breaks and throughout the workshop sessions, there will be networking tables available for you to join. We will have several expert table hosts available to get the conversation going and help you network with speakers, workshop hosts and other attendees.

Louisa Warfield
Louisa Warfield Art Consultancy
Louisa Warfield read Geography at Oxford, was selected for the fast track graduate programme in Marketing at Unilever. She had
a fulfilling and successful career there and developed world class, award winning marketing mixes that included Magnum
Seven Deadly Sins. Following the birth of her second child, she gave up her career to raise her family and support her (now ex)
husband in his career. Fast forward 12 years and Louisa found herself filing for divorce, handling a brutal divorce proceedings
and attending our conference in 2018 panicking about how on earth she was going to return to the workforce and support her
herself. Louisa now works part time as a Private PA, runs two successful art businesses (Louisa Warfield Art Consultancy and Surface
Inspirational Contemporary Art), runs marketing workshops for small businesses, has an airbnb business, rents the house out for
shoot locations and even rents her car parking space to pay for her coffees! Louisa is here to talk about how Back to Business
2018 helped her so much, what she did following her attendance and why a portfolio career has been so rewarding whilst giving
her the ultimate flexibility that, as a single mother of three, she  needed.


Councillor Samantha Rayner
Deputy Leader, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Samantha is Cabinet Member for Windsor, Cabinet Member for HR, Legal & ICT, and Armed Forces Champion.
She’ll be sharing the great benefits of volunteering.





Samantha Lawton
Franchisee & Associate, Women in Business Network (WIBN)

With a degree in hospitality - events have always been part of Samantha’s career for the last quarter of a century! It was only
though when she needed to start promoting her new counselling & hypnotherapy business in 2008 that she stumbled across
networking and more importantly the Women in business Network (WIBN) and was hooked on the power of networking
from the moment she walked in the door. Fast forward twelve years, not only did she enjoy that first meeting so much she became a member straight away, but
eighteen months later decided to become part of the business and opened her own WIBN networking groups. She was the first
WIBN franchisee ever to be awarded Associate Of The Year and today she manages one of the largest patches in the capital,
running eight of the London WIBN groups. Being part of WIBN for her is not only about the potential business growth, but also, and
most importantly, it's the camaraderie and support from likeminded business women – it’s the conversations you have & the
connections you make.

Stephanie Dillon
Founder & CEO, Inclusivity; Co-Founder, Reignite Academy
Stephanie Dillon is Co-Founder of the Reignite Academy and Founder of Inclusivity Partners. Her earlier career was spent working with multinational recruitment companies across London, Sydney and Melbourne. In 2015 she launched Inclusivity to provide opportunities for so many candidates, women in particular, who were failing to make shortlists, largely due to recruitment processes that reject people with non-linear CVs. She has since run many returner programmes for, and placed returners back with, blue chip companies across sectors as diverse as Financial Services, Telecommunications, Oil and Gas and the Legal Sector. Stephanie is also an experienced career coach who works with individuals to reignite their career. Stephanie can help with conversations around returnerships -what are they, who are they for, and how to get the most out of the experience.







The St. James’s Place Academy is delighted to be the headline sponsor for this year’s event. They provide high calibre and driven individuals an exciting opportunity to build a career in financial planning and wealth management as part of a two-year career change programme. It offers an opportunity for them to build their own financial planning and wealth management business or join one of their many established Practices as an Adviser. The programme begins with six months of blended learning, including some face-to-face workshops at one of the four Academy training centres. On completion of the six months, delegates will be affiliated to one of St. James’s Place 22 national offices local to them for ongoing support.
Other financial training
In addition to the St. James’s Place Academy programme there are a couple of alternative opportunities available for those individuals who are currently working at, or have a preexisting relationship, with one of our St. James’s Place Practices.
Next Generation Academy
The Next Generation Academy is aimed at individuals who currently work in a St. James’s Place Practice in a supporting role but would like to take their career to the next level and gain the necessary skills and qualification to provide financial advice to clients.
Paraplanner Academy
The Paraplanner Academy develops individuals to become fully qualified, decision-making Paraplanners who can provide expert support to the St. James's Place Partnership.


Vodafone Business is a proud sponsor of the ‘Back to Business’ event, helping small businesses get through the Covid-19 crisis and return to work.

As part of its mission to build an exciting digital future, Vodafone Business will discuss how the newest technologies will help inspiring businesses across the UK to keep connected, get back on their feet and return to growth.

Visit Vodafone’s V-Hub platform for one-to-one support with a dedicated business advisor, as well as access to an online knowledge centre aimed to help your business #KeepConnecting. This entire service will be free throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.



We are delighted to be supported in this event by Merton Chamber of Commerce. They help local businesses grow through networking, marketing, workshops, awards & events.

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