Jodie Hughes is a 30-year-old expert in Entrepreneurship who is currently working with the NatWest Entrepreneurship Team running the Milton Keynes Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub as an Entrepreneur Development Manager. Her role is to connect the hub to the local eco-system making sure those Entrepreneurs on the programme not only have access to the network within the bank but also the fantastic connections around the hub including universities, local enterprise partnerships, investors, mentors etc.
Previously she worked at Entrepreneurial Spark (NatWest took over the partnership in March 2018) opening the Milton Keynes hub in 2016 coaching a large number of Entrepreneurs then opened the London hub in 2017 enabling approx. 60 Entrepreneurs. Her job was to challenge and focus the Entrepreneurs to become great people who in turn will build great businesses.
Before joining Entrepreneurial Spark, Jodie worked with several start-ups, mainly in the food industry, in sales, operations and marketing. She worked for companies such as Innocent Drinks, Peppersmith and Mallow & Marsh.
Jodie also bought and ran Adspad, a company focused on marketing and advertising to students, that had several marketing materials placed in University catering outlets. She grew distribution from one to seven Universities and the product range from one to three in just a year.
In her last year at Stirling University (studying Business) Jodie founded My Health Cards with Mike Bandar which produced health cards for people with different allergies and intolerances. The aim was to help those with an allergy and/or intolerance get food when out and about that was safe for them.
Both Adspad and My Health Cards were award winning companies and over the course of two years Jodie won a range of awards including a Santander Entrepreneurial Award, Intuit 100Up Award, Scottish Institute for Enterprise New Ventures Award, Shell LiveWire Grand Ideas Award, Global Entrepreneurship Award and UnLtd Social Entrepreneur Award.
Whilst at University, Jodie was an Intern, for three years, with the Scottish Institute for Enterprise. Her main role was to promote Entrepreneurship to students and encourage them to consider starting their own business upon graduation. Jodie ran a large number of events including Enterprise Days, Women in Business and How to Start Your Business Journey. She won Intern of the Year for her work within this role.