St Neots Put Firmly on the Entrepreneurial Map at UK Regeneration Event ​​

In just under one month, St Neots’ entrepreneurs will be standing shoulder to shoulder with the nation’s leaders and influencers at the first ‘Anthropy’ event.  

Founded by John O’Brien MBE, Anthropy 2022 is a brand new event launched to help build back the UK’s people, places and economy following the COVID-19 period. With over 130 sessions, 12 ‘stages’ and 400 lead participants, the 3 days event takes place 2-4 November at the Eden Project.  


Anthropy 2022 will be asking important questions to think differently about how we can all work together to find new ways to make change happen. The event will culminate in the ‘Vision of Britain’. This ‘first of its kind’ publication will bring together findings and outcomes from the talks, discussion and workshops.  


As a town and community, St Neots embodies two of the forward-thinking themes of Anthropy 2022; ‘Our vibrant places’ and ‘Our equity of opportunity’. One man who has been instrumental in driving the success of Cambridgeshire’s largest market town is serial entrepreneur and fierce St Neots supporter, Alex Hughes. Since taking over the direction of family business ‘The Ironing Shop’ in 2015 Hughes (33) has built 8 successful organisations including Silvertone Cleaning Company, Shift Momentum and St Neots Street Food Fest. As a ‘guy that makes things happen’, Alex has built a raft of local entrepreneurs around him, all focussed on nurturing creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and improving St Neots for the community and local businesses. This group is called ‘Shifties’, a free local group who share knowledge and form a platform for business owners to achieve their full potential in St Neots. 


Alex says; “In recent years it’s been amazing to watch the creative spirit of St Neots flow. I’ve been proud to bring so many incredibly talented people on this journey and I’m excited to stand in front of more than 1,000 leaders, politicians, business people, and social impact influencers from across the UK to showcase St Neots and what we’ve done collectively to inspire change.” 


Due to his passion, strategic thinking and ‘we can do this together’ attitude, Alex has recently joined the ‘St Neots Initiative’ as Chair. Run by volunteers, the group is dedicated to promoting and further developing St Neots to be “an even better place to live, work and play!” As part of the promotion of our beautiful town, the St Neots Initiative is a Content Sponsor of the Anthropy 2022 event, alongside household names such as Volvo, KPMG and Ipsos. Representing The St Neots Initiative at the event, Alex will be speaking at sessions in the ‘Our vibrant places’, ‘Our equity of opportunity’ themes. He will also be chairing the sessions exploring collaborative growth through community; how we can bring creatives and entrepreneurs together and activate citizens in a community. 


Former Mayor of St Neots, and fellow speaker at the event, Stephen Ferguson says, “St Neots has survived the difficult last few years and we have become an example to other towns in the UK of how to thrive, encourage creativity and work together to improve. I will be proud to represent St Neots, alongside Alex and local entrepreneur Danielle Bridge at the Anthropy 2022 event, where we have been asked to present a session on ‘Shifties – St Neots’ perspective on people, place and prosperity’. A big thank you to Alex and the scores of people he has around him, helping to improve St Neots, to the point where we are now nationally recognised as an inspiring town”.  


As an extension of his work with fully fledged entrepreneurs and local business people, Alex has recently founded Inspire 2 Ignite CIC (community interest company). Set up to use all profits and assets for the benefit of the community, this organisation helps enable young people with entrepreneurial skills to reactivate their curiosity and creativity that for many has been restricted in their upbringing. The Curious Entrepreneurs will be joining Alex to talk about how to introduce entrepreneurship at a younger age and how it can benefit the people, places and prosperity of not only local communities but the UK as a whole.  





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