Tyneside entrepreneur Jules Quinn will join the likes of Vince Cable, Ed Balls and William Hague to speak about how Britain’s next Government can encourage business.
The Northumbria University graduate, who was named Young Businessperson of the Year at The Journal’s 2012 North East Business Executive of the Year Awards, will join political leaders at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) annual conference in London today.
Drawing on her experience as founder of design-led tea company, The TeaShed, Ms Quinn will join a panel discussion to focus on how the next Government can growth across the business landscape.
She will be representing young people in business at the major national event.
Ms Quinn launched The TeaShed in 2011 at the age of 22, as she was finishing her degree in Fashion Marketing.
Her teas, which are largely imported from Sri Lanka, are available online and through high street retailers such as Fenwick, John Lewis, Moonpig and the V&A. She is now focussing her efforts on the international market, with a distributor in Japan and many direct overseas customers.
As a precursor to the BCC appearance, Ms Quinn was last year selected by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and UKTI, to launch the government’s Business is GREAT initiative, which aims to empower small businesses with support and advice.
Ms Quinn was supported in her own enterprising activity by Northumbria, which has been ranked as the best university in the UK for graduate business start-ups based on estimated turnover.
Since 2009, Northumbria has supported the development of more than 100 graduate companies, including The TeaShed. These companies employ 950 staff, mainly in the North East, and are trading nationally and internationally with a combined estimated turnover of £62.2m.
Speaking about the invitation to take part in the conference, Ms Quinn said: “I’m absolutely flattered to have been asked. It will be amazing to be up there with some extremely successful and influential people. Hopefully I can provide a voice for young people in business.”
Northumbria’s vice-chancellor and chief executive professor Andrew Wathey said: “It is indicative of the quality of this new generation of graduate entrepreneurs produced by Northumbria that Jules has been selected to represent the future of British enterprise, following in the footsteps of other renowned innovative Northumbria graduates such as Jonathan Ive and Tim Brown.”
The British Chambers of Commerce annual conference will see the political speakers will be joined by the likes of Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at The Financial Times, John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow Airport, and António Horta-Osório, group chief executive of the Lloyds Banking Group.