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Meet the L Marks team: Joe Richardson

Before joining L Marks, I started my career at Barclays, working in the corporate banking sector. I learnt a huge amount there but realised quite early on that working in banking in a huge organisation wasn’t right for me. I was more drawn to the fast-pace and dynamism of a small firm so I moved to a boutique investment management company. I then decided to continue downsizing and took the ultimate leap of faith to start my own company in the e-commerce space, raising capital from an angel investor and pursuing the business full-time for a few years with a view to expanding across the UK and the US. I stepped away to join another startup as the first employee with a remit to form and scale the company successfully. Eventually, my journey led me to L Marks where I have the chance to pursue my passion for building new businesses while making a real impact on the people and organisations we work with.

My current role involves leading our Intrapreneurship and Venture Build programmes. The aim of these programmes is to work closely with the employees of world-leading organisations to develop new pioneering solutions for the business and, alongside, embed an entrepreneurial ethos to drive growth. It’s incredibly rewarding to see the people we work with across the globe, many of whom would never have considered themselves entrepreneurs, pursue their passions and build businesses with our support.

If a 5-year-old were to ask me about my job, I’d say I help people working in big companies build new things.

Before logging on, I usually spend about an hour commuting from the South East, getting on with life admin on a train.  These days I make a coffee and am ashamed to admit that I listen to Piers Morgan have an argument with someone on GMB.

My day is usually spent catching up with the Intra team in London in the morning and the American team in the afternoon. As we currently have four programmes running simultaneously, every day is incredibly varied, ranging across programme activities, supporting the intrapreneurs, meetings, check-ins and updates and planning with the clients. Inevitably, there are always problems to resolve as well. I also try to review our overall strategy and delivery of the programmes.

My worst work habit is that I have mild OCD and am always telling everyone to disinfect their laptops and desks. So, our new way of life during the pandemic, with sanitisers and the huge emphasis on hand-washing, has been great for me.

My favourite thing about L Marks is the impactful work we do. Every day we get to work with inspiring and entrepreneurial individuals looking to build new businesses and make a positive impact. We become another member of their team and play a huge part in making their idea a success. The L Marks team isn’t bad either.

My proudest moment since joining the team was seeing the first cohort from the Intrapreneurship programme graduate in March 2020 and 4 business ideas selected for commercial implementation. All of our hard work and, of course, their hard work, had paid off and we had 11 individuals from a huge corporate ready to take their business idea to the market. No less important were the achievements of another 20 or so employees who participated in the programme and now had valuable innovation and entrepreneurial skills to take back to their roles.

When I log off, I get down to the driving range or play 9 holes. I try to do that at least twice during the week and will probably play on both days on the weekend. The L Marks team captured my love of golf (and the extent to which I hate cheese) on my virtual birthday card: