In October, Jamie Gray, founder of eco-friendly promo supplier Buddy Burst, got a chance to put burning business issues on the table when he was invited to 10 Downing Street to discuss international trade.

Jamie was one of almost 20 delegates from the Institute of Directors (IoD) who met with Jimmy McLoughlin, special advisor to the Prime Minister on business affairs, who himself has a long history with the IoD.

“It was a meeting to understand what frustrations we have as start-ups and small companies trying to export abroad,” explained Jamie. “But while export was the chief topic, we also discussed other frustrations that small companies are having right now.

“It was a definite eye-opener to learn the issues facing other young companies from all sorts of industries, and it was great to be able to put them to someone only a step away from the Prime Minister.

“There are so many frustrations that go through your head every day, and most of the time you don’t really know why certain things happen the way that they do. So to have someone that high up either explain these things or agree to pass them on for consideration was very reassuring. I’ve never been to somewhere that prestigious where someone really takes notice and is keen to address your concerns.”