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Sheffield businesswoman advises PM at Downing Street meeting

Jurga Zilniskiene of Guildhawk delivering her message to Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The CEO of Yorkshire language consultancy Guildhawk has advised the Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a meeting at 10 Downing Street, on how to help smaller businesses start and grow and protect established ethical businesses.

Jurga Zilinskiene MBE, founder and CEO of Guildhawk, which opened offices in Sheffield in 2017, joined businesses including Deliveroo and Music Magpie to meet the Prime Minister and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom at a roundtable event.

Lithuanian-born Jurga advised the PM to support companies by building a productive, ethical economy based on merit and fairness, which includes ensuring tax is paid – with no special breaks for companies that keep profits offshore and pay the bare minimum.

In addition, Jurga suggested lending to established ethical companies by introducing a new asset-based lending framework for SMEs – similar to large companies – where securitisation is based on intangible assets.

The PM was also advised to provide businesses with better protection from fraud, by increasing the level of protection afforded to cash deposits held in business bank accounts to provide greater assurance and prosecuting those who commit company and bank insider fraud to deter unethical conduct.

Guildhawk, which provides precision language services in global markets to international clients including L’Oréal, Sony, CNN and Hugo Boss, won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade earlier this year.

Jurga said: “Britain is a great place to start and grow a business. I’m an entrepreneur, owner and coder who experienced the hardship following the fall of the Soviet Union at first hand.

“I went on to grow a British company that’s been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for International Trade. Others can do this if we support them.”

In the two years since opening the Sheffield office, based at Courtwood House in the city centre, Guildhawk has seen the original two-person team grow to 15.

Founded in 2001 by Jurga, Guildhawk is headquartered in London, with further offices based in Sheffield and Lithuania. Jurga selected Sheffield when expanding from London, because it had ‘the best opportunities and the best support from local businesses.’ She also has strong family links to Yorkshire, with her daughter living in Sheffield since university and her husband from Doncaster.

 

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