By Emma Mcleod,

Find out why GQ magazine named Oli Barrett ‘one of the 100 most connected men in Britain’*, when he visits Exeter on 31 May to speak at the Like Minds Business Breakfast.

Buoyed by a passion for enterprise and social innovation, Barrett is a regular speaker and facilitator at business events across the globe, having led no less than eleven trade missions to the US, India and Brazil.

And he really does know what he’s talking about.

The originator of several successful enterprise initiatives, and with an MBE to boot, the visionary Barrett has a reputation for encouraging others to realise their potential. He co-founded StartUp Britain, and launched the young enterprise scheme Tenner; inspiring over 100,000 pupils to see what they can achieve in one month with just £10. Successful projects have also included the international project WebMission, alongside Long Run Venture, and the award-winning Volunteer It Yourself; where companies such as Wickes help young people fix their own youth clubs.

Barrett also co-founded Cospa, an agency that works with brands to connect CSR with marketing, and has also undertaken a key role as Director of International Development at non-profit and voluntary organisation the Marketing Academy. Barrett’s success can be attributed to his geniune interest in bringing people together, sharing ideas and making connections:

“When you introduce people, you are not always going to wonder whether they are going to be best friends – but will they have an interesting conversation and can they help each other?”

As if these accomplishments are not impressive enough, Barrett is also the man who introduced “speednetworking” to the UK. In fact he plans to warm up those travelling to the Like Minds conference, from London to Exeter on the train, with their very own speednetworking workout.

It is this often unorthodox approach to networking, and his track record for inspiring others, that makes Barrett such a refreshingly honest and fascinating speaker. The Evening Standard sums up his appeal:

“The man who has made it his mission in life to make others think about becoming entrepreneurs…Barrett is almost as well known in tech circles for his absolutely terrible jokes as his endless enthusiasm for inspiring others.”

The Like Minds Business Breakfast, presented in association with leading Marketing, PR and Design agency Astley Media, are held at the stunning Luxury Business Club Dean Clarke House set in Southernhay, the heart of Exeter’s elegant Georgian Business Quarter. This series of Business Breakfasts help illustrate the standard of speakers you can expect at our annual Ideas Festival held in Exeter on September 29th.

Tickets for the breakfasts are limited. Click here to book your place and find out more about Like minds.