Will The Next Dick Whittington Please Step Forward? Harnessing Entrepreneurship In The City Of London To Help Build A World-Class, 21st Century Economy
The City has a long and profound history of an entrepreneurial mindset. It has innovation and invention in its DNA. Much of this has been driven by smart thinkers who are natural problem solvers, many of whom come from socially and educationally diverse backgrounds.
I'd like to explore the hypothesis that since the global crash and increased regulation, "risk" as a concept has been driven out of the City, replaced with a conservative, defensive, steady as we go mindset. In a nutshell, no place for the smart thinkers, who build things. Perhaps best encapsulated by the corporate mindset. They are trying to innovate, but honestly, they lack the entrepreneur's ability.
As we now explore the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce, driving a new era of equity, so we have the opportunity to really bring these smart thinking, problem solvers from their diverse backgrounds to rediscover the secret sauce of enterprise and invention again. Harnessing it to create a new era of inclusivity and equity, really challenge the status quo and build a truly unique knowledge mile, where the only boundaries of the art of the possible are human creativity. Maybe we'll even find a modern day Dick Whittington of legend...
Mark Huxley has worked within the globally iconic Lloyd’s insurance Market for nearly 50 years. He was originally a front-line practitioner at a Lloyd’s Underwriter for the first 20 years of his working life, leaving in the late 1990s to found his first company, which pioneered a new claims service solution for the industry. Growing the company to significant scale within a short timeframe, Mark exited and began what has become his primary focus for the last 20 years. He gained a reputation for his expertise in launching startups, scaling them, delivering operational organisation and helping create brands focused upon mission and cause. The intervening years seeing him help a vast number of clients become the best versions of themselves.
Ever the curious soul he has continued his own entrepreneurial journey founding a number of insurance related businesses, including an early insurtech provider, now a thriving motor insurance provider. More latterly he has become an occasional angel investor, is an active mentor, advisor and NED. He has actively supported the Lloyd’s Lab, innovation hub since its creation. Most recently Mark has taken on the Chairman’s role of Breathe Points, a startup focused upon building behavioural changes in city citizens, encouraging them to reduce their personal carbon impact. Very much the enterprise thinker therefore.
In 2017 Mark was elected a Freeman of the Company of Entrepreneurs, an aspirant Livery Company within the City of London. November 2023 sees him installed as its 10th Master. He is passionate about social inclusivity and equity and serves a number of charities, foundations and other organisations that strive to make the workplace fairer for underserved communities. He is also an occasional visiting lecturer on Entrepreneurial Mindset and Leadership.