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PRESS RELEASE – 16th July 2018

Meeting at No. 10 Downing Street

Emma Wood – founder of both Hothouse Wealden Growth Agency and recently launched multi-media events platform The Big WOW, was invited by Emma Jones MBE and Founder of Enterprise Nation to a meeting at No. 10 Downing Street on Thursday 5th July 2018.

Alongside 15 other invited delegates, all of which were from rural areas across the UK, she met with the Prime Minister’s special adviser Jimmy McLoughlin. The fundamental aim of the meeting was to outline the various challenges faced by self-employed and SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) in rural areas and establish which measures could be implemented to help improve or resolve these issues.

With over 35 years in business, Emma has always been passionate about supporting small local businesses in the Weald. She set up Hothouse Wealden Growth Agency with the intention of sharing her knowledge by giving numerous businesses invaluable advice on strategy and marketing to help them develop and prosper. In May she also launched The Big WOW, specifically designed to empower individuals, communities, organisations and businesses to promote any form of consumer or B2B event across the Weald of West Kent, South Surrey, East Hampshire, Central and East Sussex.

Today, representing the Wealden community, Emma has encapsulated her recommendations in a report ‘Business in the Weald’ and handed this over to both ministers and attendees at today’s meeting. Having on the ground experience of dealing with a number of new start ups Emma has identified these difficulties and highlighted the problems with funding, lack of advice, the desperate need for the improvement of vital broadband and telecoms services, unsatisfactory transport links, infrastructure and lack of available local business premises.

Prior to the meeting each delegate was asked “What is the one practical thing that I would do if I was Chancellor?

Emma’s response to this question was clear: “I would set up a task force for funding and business advice in each rural area, not just for start-ups and those that want to grow, but for those that need to diversify, by providing dedicated resources aimed at bridging all funding gaps that have been left by risk-adverse high street banks, the declining role of investment banks and the cautiousness of private investors.”

Hopefully the discussions that were held at Downing Street and the contents of the report she left with the Prime Minister’s office will be taken on board to achieve much needed resource for these rural communities, which can surely be a positive and beneficial outcome for the entire UK economy.

Contact details for this press release & the report: Emma Wood – 01580 715772 –    

Words by Emma Panetta – Big WOW features

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