A Platform for Business, a Platform for Success
Written by Zakiya Patel
In 2016, Karen Lumley MP was nominated for her activism in business promotion within her Redditch constituency. During her stint as Member of Parliament, Karen has consistently promoted and supported the growth of small businesses and enterprises within the area as a natural business champion. Not only has she taken a particular interest in the concerns of these workplaces, she has also made a tremendous effort in reducing unemployment, particularly in ensuring that the younger generation grow up with a vast array of entrepreneurial skills.
One of the primary ways in which Ms Lumley has proactively bridged the gap between enterprises and politicians is by arranging a quarterly Business Leaders’ meeting, where top speakers are invited to offer advice to entrepreneurs on the trade. Additionally, the MP organises a yearly lunch in Westminster, which she says is a fantastic opportunity for business owners and leaders to gain access to their parliamentary representative, as well as government ministers. Aware of the value of time, every Friday she visits local businesses in an attempt to understand issues that they may be experiencing, allowing them to air their grievances without the added pressure of being away from work.
She says that “One of the things I really enjoy about my job is going round visiting some of the many successful businesses that have made their home in Redditch and the surrounding villages.”
Ms Lumley says that “one of the things I really enjoy about my job is going round visiting some of the many successful businesses that have made their home in Redditch and the surround villages”. In making such events a regular occurrence, Ms Lumley has tackled a variety of issues existing for both businesses and young people, and created a platform where growth is nurtured at the grassroots.
Ms Lumley recognises that the “biggest challenges facing many the constituent is making sure they have a firm education followed by secure employment.” To combat this, the MP organised three immensely popular Job Fairs and an Apprentice and Skills fair. Since enforcing these initiatives as the local elective, unemployment in the area has fallen by 64% which is testament to her success as MP. In setting up ‘Young Enterprise’ which teaches children valuable business skills, Ms Lumley ensured that the younger generation are imparted with the knowledge that allows them to set up their own businesses and turn dreams into reality.
Her initiatives represent the very ethos of Grassroot Diplomat, and Ms Lumley recognises that the organisation can “create positive role models at Government level and encourage representatives to lead effectively for the people they represent” just as she had done. Keen to engage with constituents of all ages and profiles, she holds regular accessible surgeries, once more bridging the gap between constituents and MP’s and focusing on growth from the roots up. So the next time you are in Redditch, give Ms Lumley a call because she is always open for business.