18 Jul 2023
Baroness Ruby McGregor Smith CBE and entrepreneur Michael Hayman MBE will be amongst those chairing the work of the British Chambers of Commerce’s new National Business Council.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has announced five top business leaders who will each chair one of its Future of the Economy challenges.
Last month, the BCC announced the formation of its new National Business Council, with Heathrow, Drax, IHG Hotels & Resorts and BP joining as the first founding partners. The National Business Council will provide a new unified voice for firms up and down the country, developing business-backed, pro-growth policies to support the UK economy.
The Future of the Economy initiative will be driven by the National Business Council, with its members uniquely placed to help shape BCC policy thinking and engagement around core business challenges.
The challenges and appointed chairs are:
- People and Work: Baroness Ruby McGregor Smith CBE, former CEO of Mitie Group PLC and former BCC President.
- Global Britain: Michael Hayman MBE DL, co-founder of StartUp Britain and Chairman of Entrepreneurs at Coutts & Co.
- Digital Revolution: Priya Guha MBE, Venture Partner at Merian Ventures and former UK Consul General to San Francisco.
- Green Innovation: Lisa Witter, entrepreneur, CEO of Apolitical Foundation, Co-Founder of Apolitical and emeritus member of the board of directors for Climate Counts.
- Future of the High Street: Sebastian Munden, Chair of WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and Ad Net Zero, former Chief Executive of Unilever UK & Ireland.
The overall initiative will be led by BCC President Baroness Martha Lane Fox.
Baroness Martha Lane Fox, BCC President, said:
“I am delighted to be chairing the BCC’s Future of the Economy initiative, which will look at key strategic challenges facing the UK economy, including People and Work, Global Britain, the Digital Revolution, and Green Innovation.
“I am looking forward to working with the Chairs of these challenges, as well as members of our new National Business Council, to address these issues and the opportunities they present for UK businesses.”
Baroness Ruby McGregor Smith CBE, Chair of the People and Work Challenge, said:
“As former BCC President, I’m delighted to be working once again with this brilliant organisation on their new Business Council by chairing the People and Work Challenge.
“Working with business leaders and experts on this issue, we will develop a comprehensive plan to reform the labour market and tackle skills shortages which are crushing the ability of many UK businesses to expand and grow.”
Michael Hayman MBE, Chair of the Global Britain Challenge, said:
“The future of the UK’s place in the world and its access to global markets has never been more crucial to the prospects of economic growth than it is today. The BCC represents a phenomenal cross-section of UK businesses, so many of which trade globally.
“I look forward to working with the members of the BCC Business Council on the Global Britain Challenge to develop new ways to support UK exporters, and ensure Britain remains ones of the best places in the world to invest.”
Priya Guha MBE, Chair of the Digital Revolution Challenge, said:
“I am delighted to be chairing the BCC’s Digital Revolution Challenge. The ever-changing world of technology is of huge strategic importance to businesses, yet many have yet to harness the invaluable opportunities it can offer.
“Convening business leaders and industry experts, our work on this challenge will ensure British business is ready for the pace of exponential change to come.”
Lisa Witter, Chair of the Green Innovation Challenge, said:
“The BCC is a strong business voice leading UK firms’ transition to Net Zero. With their top-class research unit, they have unparalleled insights into the opportunities and challenges facing businesses as they look to cut their carbon emissions and environmental impact.
“This vitally important Green Innovation Challenge will work towards our goal of delivering on Net Zero and realising the huge economic opportunities of green growth along the journey.”
Sebastian Munden, Chair of the Future of the High Street Challenge, said:
“The Future of the High Street Challenge is all about ensuring we create and sustain thriving local communities and economies. The place of business in towns and cities across Britain is in a constant state of flux and change, with new and emerging trends influencing urban design and business activity.
“I look forward to leading this challenge, understanding the megatrends driving changes and new requirements for our urban spaces, and how businesses can prosper and best serve the needs of citizens in this environment. We will be developing recommendations about the role business can play in re-imagining British high streets of the future.”