Interview with Laura Bennett: the newest and youngest member of the Sheffield City Region Board

8 February 2018

Shefnews have spoken to Laura Bennett, a consultant in entrepreneurship and the digital economy, who has worked for Tech North prior to joining the Sheffield City Region, Local Enterprise Partnership board in October 2017.

Laura has been working with digital business leaders looking at the strategy for digital economy in the North of England, supporting and bringing together their networking capacities.

Speaking about her new job, Laura, 33, said: “My role on the LEP board is to provide that insight into the digital economy that the Sheffield City Region might not have in their direct, day to day world.”

“We are looking to boost the economic growth and to create more jobs by capitalizing on the digital creative activities. We already have some large employers in the area such as The Floow, Sumo Games and WanDisco so we are looking to drive them forward.”

During the board meetings Ms Bennett has been stressing how important it is to look forward and ahead at the power of digital industrialisation 4.0, that is the new industrial revolution where systems communicate with each other via cloud computing and internet networks.

All of this is fundamental to give opportunities to new generation thinkers and entrepreneurs in the face of Brexit and an uncertain, more and more digitalised world.

Questioned about the challenges that our generation has to face now, Bennett said: “It’s not just about learning a profession and having the “hard” skills but also about entrepreneurship, creative and design thinking. It’s about looking at a problem from different creative angles and being able to solve it.

“We should not teach the future generations on how WE want to solve the problems but giving them the knowledge and the instruments to face them on their own.”

Laura finished the interview by saying how the Sheffield City Region has a history of independent thinking, ambitious people and has very close network at business levels and in the city local politics that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to invest and bring to life their ideas.

She hopes that her role will inspire other people to work in the area.

Written by Francesco Munari

You can find me on Twitter at @frajourno

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