As a finalist in the 2013 First Women Awards held in association with Lloyds Banking Group, and encouraged by the inspirational lady participants, I would urge as many female business leaders, where diaries permit, to put themselves forward this year. It was exceptionally uplifting to learn of the talent throughout our female business community. As a leading lady in the manufacturing sector, I've since had the opportunity to work in a much closer capacity with the CBI leadership programme as well to travel extensively across the world for my own business (which saw me win the North East International Business Woman of the Year Award last November) learning a great deal worth reflecting on in the process.
As our politicians start out on their election/re-election campaign, it strikes me that the only constant our Great British economy can rely on is the oldest of institutions: British Business!
Whilst the global economic picture remains volatile, we in Britain are encouraged by a slight upturn in our economy, due largely to British business's attitude and resilience towards very difficult growth conditions.
Looking back on the coalition's tenure and their re-election campaign it stuck me that when we elect our politicians we actually elect them for 3.5 to 4 years at best and not the 5 we are all lead to understand.
Having had a great many conversations with politicians from across all parties, it also occurred to me that their views on business and our place in society varies quite significantly. Unlike many fellow business leaders and the wider British public, I happen to think that many of our politicians are hardworking decent individuals that went into their chosen profession because they wanted to, and no doubt still do, make a difference to Britain and the lives of the British people. But working within the exceptionally bureaucratic system that is British politics, how inspiring can it be to work within a system that very rarely recognises ' winners' and seems to thrive on criticism?
So how can Britain become 'GREAT' once again and how can we support the lifeblood of our nation? The answer is by supporting the achievers of our country, our business men and women who work tirelessly in their endeavours to ensure the success of their respective businesses. It is in the interest of, not only our politicians, but our entire nation to support these hard working individuals. In doing so businesses will generate the wealth needed to grow the macro picture, which in turn will enable businesses to invest in the innovations that will afford us a seat at the global table as we compete against every other country in our aspirations for continued international development and a bigger share of the spoils.
Therefore, I believe that when every business leader across our nation considers who to vote for in the next general election, they should simply ask themselves 'which party is dedicated to allowing not just my business, but 'British Business' as a whole, to succeed?'
My message to our politicians is simply this: 'what can you do to support the true leaders of our country? Make your position clear on what you propose to do and how you propose to help the nation's wealth generators'. By providing an environment that allows business to thrive, employment will continue to grow and the nation's prospects will continue to increase. You are after all leading the biggest business of all that is 'Brand Britain' and the decisions you make provide the platform for success or failure...
Like time, business waits for no man or woman, it will continue to exist regardless, but if we want it to thrive, grow, prosper and promote a 'feel good factor' for our country's citizens, as well as increasing our nation's fortunes then it's your job to create the environment that allows business leaders to do so.
Jacqui Miller was shortlisted for the 2013 First Women Awards.
This year’s awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 12 June and is hosted by Real Business in association with Lloyds Banking Group.