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In conversation with serial entrepreneur Emma Sinclair, MBE

Emma Sinclair shared her entrepreneurial journey with Axel Threlfall, Editor-at-Large at Thomson Reuters at EntrepreneursTalk@Cass

by Kyla Jardine (Senior Communications Officer)

Cass welcomed Emma Sinclair, MBE for the first EntrepreneursTalk@Cass of the new academic year.

Talking to Axel Threlfall, Editor-at-Large at Thomson Reuters, about her varied careers spanning from investment banking to becoming a serial entrepreneur, launching and growing innovative businesses in a variety of sectors.

Entrepreneurship is a universal language.

Emma Sinclair, MBE

Axel Threlfall listens as Emma Sinclair addresses the audience

Before becoming an entrepreneur

There's no doubt that Emma's business mind was moulded from a young age. "I used to read the Financial Times in the back of my dad's car on the way to school. It was just something that we did. By the time I was at university I was trading on the stock market."

But the serial entrepreneur hasn't always been as confident and forthright as she is now. "I was painfully shy as a child and right into adulthood." she admits. "One day I read an interview with Beyonce in Vanity Fair about how she had to create an alter ego called Sasha Fierce to overcome stage fright." Emma eventually overcame her shyness and is now a frequent public speaker.

There's no 'right' way

"There's no right course of action you should take. When you start something, it never usually ends up how you expect or imagined. When you run a business, you become a jack of all trades, regardless of the type of business you run and you'll use a lot of different tools at different times....collectively it takes a lot to run a business....more than just passion."

Emma speaks candidly about warming to opportunities rather than sectors. It's one of the reasons she's a serial entrepreneur spanning different industries. She said, "You don't have to be passionate about a sector to be in business... but you can find that passionate drive in other areas, such as technology or delivering to your customers. Passion doesn't have to be sector driven."

Social enterprise

When asked about capitalism versus social enterprise, Emma is resolute: "for me there's no either or."

She added, "I was taught that the person who pays the cheque is just as important as the one who spends it. When it comes to my businesses I always think about what can I offer? Through my work with Unicef, I've come to understand that entrepreneurship is a universal language."

About Emma Sinclair

Emma is a former investment banker and the youngest person to have floated a company on the London Stock Exchange, at 29.

She's a serial entrepreneur, who now co-leads global software company EnterpriseAlumni. Their software powers the corporate alumni networks of some of the world’s largest companies. Outside of her day job, she is a regular business commentator in the media.

In 2014, she was appointed UNICEFs first business mentor and has just completed UNICEFs first crowdfund to roll out Innovation Labs in refugee camps in her capacity as a UNICEF advisor. In 2016 Emma was awarded an MBE by the Queen for Services to Entrepreneurship.

Watch the highlights of EntrepreneursTalk@Cass with Emma Sinclair, MBE below. The full talk is available on our YouTube channel here.


About EntrepreneursTalk@Cass

EntrepreneursTalk@Cass (in partnership with Thomson Reuters) are intimate, in-depth interviews with some of the UK’s most innovative and inspirational tech entrepreneurs. Meet them up close and personal at Cass Business School, with plenty of time for your questions.

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