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Welcome to Jimmy’s Jobs of the Future, presented by me, Jimmy McLoughlin, a former Downing Street Adviser on business and entrepreneurship.
Today, we welcome one of my favourite entrepreneurs, Alexandra Depledge who runs the architectural company, RESI, which is looking to revolutionise the way we improve our homes and doing so via extensions.
As Alex talks about you only go through this process perhaps once or twice in your life, so inevitably the consumer has a hard time navigating all of the different options and knowing how and when to ask the 'right' questions.
I first met Alex in 2014, when she was running the cleaning company Hassle.
I had just started work at the Institute of Directors, and I had been tasked with modernising the look and feel of the grand institution who had a rather traditional headquarters based on Pall Mall.
For our American friends, that is the same street which Clarence House is on where Prince Charles lives on …
It is a grand building, and about as far away from a stereotypical East London start up hub stacked with ping pong tables that you could get.
Simon Walker, the Director General of the IoD at the time, himself a man who had been Press Secretary to the Queen, could see a new wave of entrepreneurs coming through and we were working on lots of different approaches to attract them to engage with and become members of the IoD, after all it had originally been founded in 1906.
So I was tasked with reaching out to that younger wave of entrepreneurs making their way … disrupting old traditional sectors.
I was writing a report on the sharing economy, which was trying to persuade the Treasury to increase tax allowances.
This brought me in touch with many great entrepreneurs, like Debbie Wosskow, Greg Marsh and today’s guest Alex Depledge.
I had clearly made quite an impression on Alex, as she asked me to apply for the CEO role of the think tank and lobby group that she was Chairing at the time called the Coalition for a Digital Economy …
All I will say about that interview is that fingers crossed today goes better …
Suffice to say, I didn’t get that particular role, although another impressive female would call me in the following weeks and an altogether different role.
Alex Depledge is what the UK needs more of … an entrepreneur who has sold one multi million pound business, who then decides not to sit on a beach or even angel invest, but is determined to try and repeat the success.
She’ll talk us through how she wants to disrupt the housing industry and by making process for extensions much more streamlined and better for the customer …
If you have ever been through any building work … you’ll probably be nodding your head in agreement at that statement.
She also tells us how she is hoping to float the company in a few years time, which is such an interesting space given, Deliveroo, the Hut Group and Darktrace's IPOs over the last six months.
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