Corporate Vision May 2017

52 CORPORATE VISION / May 2017 , ‘We don’t network, we connect. We don’t lobby, we influence. We don’t hold events for the sake of it, they all have a purpose. Most importantly, Downtownmembers get a return on investment.’ These are the words of Downtown CEO FrankMcKenna and, as amission statement, he’s hit the nail on the head. Following his success in achieving the CEO of the Month - UK accolade, we interviewed him to find out more about howDowntownworks tirelessly to support economic growth, entrepreneurial spirit and business success in the North of England and theWest Midlands. Diverse, Dynamic & Entrepreneurial By way of introduction, Downtown are setting the agenda surrounding the development of regional devolution and power sharing, which they believe will help with the much-needed rebalancing of the UK economy. They will work to build a powerful network of highly ambitious entrepreneurial and high growth companies, which will positively contribute to the Northern Powerhouse and West Midlands Engine. The firm’s influence is built on the diverse range and high calibre of their membership across the north of England and the Midlands - and their speed-dial relationships with key policy makers at regional and national level. Their goal is to provide an unparalleled service to their members, which will give them the opportunity to meet new clients, raise their profile, and build better businesses. It’s a simple logic, but Downtown believes that simplicity works. CEO Frank McKenna explains more about the firm’s background in his own words. “Established in Liverpool in 2003 to provide leadership to the private sector, by articulating the views of its members to the public-sector agencies that govern the city; and to create modern networking environments that would attract entrepreneurs, business owners, decision makers and high growth companies, award winning Downtown in Business (DIB) has now established its services and brand in Lancashire, Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham. DIB has earned a reputation as one of the most influential, effective business organisations in the North of England and the West Midlands. “Brokering connections and deals, shaping public sector agendas, organising the best attended events in the region, hosting high profile gala dinners and attracting prominent speakers from the worlds of commerce and politics, DIB is the fastest growing business club outside of the capital. DIB also has a London office. Here we host regular, exclusive ‘influencer’ events with our members and key London-based political and business figures.” In summary, Downtown’s four key delivery elements are: Connecting: Over the last decade Downtown has facilitated B2B introductions that have directly led to over £1 billion worth of deals being done. Their connections service is provided by experienced relationship managers who will work with you to draw up an action plan and help you meet your potential future customers and grow your business. Growing: Downtown in Business is a champion for the private sector. They are an influential, independent business membership organisation that has a diverse, dynamic, entrepreneurial, and growing membership – with excellent connections across public sector agencies too. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Influencing: With Downtown’s members, they meet and brief senior international, national, regional, and local politicians and decision- makers, influencing public sector agendas to promote business-friendly policies. Downtown promotes healthy private-public sector partnerships and work with the various levels of government to encourage co- operation and cohesion. Communicating: Downtown shares intelligence and research with their members and through events, briefings, reports, and bulletins. The firm helps you raise the profile and awareness of your business through regular bulletins that are circulated to a database of over 28,000, and their quarterly business magazine DQ. There are also opportunities for you to promote and market your products on their website www.downtowninbusiness. com and on their social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. CEO of the Month - UK Frank proceeds to turn his thoughts towards winning the CEO of the Month – UK award and in this vein, what he does to stay motivated in his current senior job role. “The award is an indication that the business is heading in the right direction. We won a big investment in the latter part of 2016 through Funding Circle, and I think the reach and the profile of the company has significantly improved since then. From a personal perspective, I am absolutely delighted with this acknowledgement, which 1612CV29