Phil Batty OBE

In this story, we explore how Phil Batty OBE links his participation in Company programme to his current role as a leader in major event management. Phil's experiences with Young Enterprise and the skills he gained from the programme have shaped his career path and his contributions to significant cultural and sporting events.

Phil’s journey started when he participated in Company Programme whilst at school in Hull.

(The photo here shows Phil Batty with Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor and Sharon Davies, CEO at Young Enterprise, at a Young Enterprise 60th Anniversary event hosted at HSBC’s Birmingham HQ in May 2023).

Phil was inspired to take part in Company Programme after witnessing the success of previous enterprise programmes and recognising the opportunity to explore something outside traditional education. Despite not having a background in business studies, Phil and his friends decided to start a company, Force-7.

Instead of traditional product-based ventures, Phil’s team decided to take a risk and establish a youth marketing service company with the support of their business advisors Jonathan Leafe and Sam Cody. They sought to make projects more relevant to children and young people. One notable project involved creating a primary school magazine, “The Force,” for the Wilberforce 2007 commemorations, which was inspired by the story of abolitionist William Wilberforce. They also worked with and were supported by the City’s youth enterprise partnership, all of which played a pivotal role in shaping their company’s identity.

Their innovative approach and dedication (all whilst completing their school studies) led them to win the UK Company Programme competition in 2007 and travel to Berlin to represent the UK in the international competition. The team’s success was fuelled by their ability to manage clients, multitask, solve creative problems, and gather valuable insights. Their service-oriented company caught the attention of judges, showcasing the potential of thinking beyond a conventional product.

Young Enterprise Experience and Impact:

Phil’s journey through the Young Enterprise programme was characterised by curiosity, problem-solving, and adaptability. The experience of being part of Company Programme taught him valuable skills such as stakeholder management, presenting, and problem-solving. This experience laid the foundation for his future endeavours. Winning the UK final in 2007 exposed Phil to the rewards of hard work and innovation, setting the stage for his future career as a leader in major cultural and sporting events.

Participating in Young Enterprise completely changed Phil’s career trajectory. Initially considering a future in law, Phil’s experience opened his eyes to the world of marketing, public events, and cultural festivals. His success in the programme encouraged him to explore opportunities in the arts and cultural sectors, eventually leading to his involvement in major UK events over the last decade.

Career Path:

After Young Enterprise, Phil grounded his experience in marketing, working with national organisations like British Red Cross, PDSA and British Heart Foundation to develop new campaigns for young people. The support from Hull City Council gave a great exposure to the working of local government set the tone for his transition into large-scale cultural and sporting events.

Major Events Experience:

Phil’s career took a significant turn when he got involved in the bid for Hull to become the UK City of Culture 2017. On winning the title, Phil was appointed Director of Public Engagement and led the volunteering, education, and marketing programmes for the year. This experience exposed him to major event planning, partnership building and strategic campaigns. His role as part of the City of Culture team showcased his ability to manage large-scale projects.

Bridging Sport and Culture:

Phil’s involvement in major events expanded to include sport as well. He was appointed to the Organising Committee for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as the Director of Ceremonies, Culture, and the Queen’s Baton Relay. This opportunity allowed him to explore the intersection of sport and culture, recognising their unifying power and their role in community development. From arranging safe passage for the Queen’s Baton to travel the 72 territories of the Commonwealth during the pandemic, to leading the opening and closing celebrations of the Games; Phil put the West Midlands and the UK on a global stage in 2022.

Building Networks and Partnerships:

Phil emphasises the importance of building and nurturing networks throughout his career journey. From influential mentors during the Company Programme to collaborations in major events, his relationships have played a pivotal role. He attributes much of his success to the support and insights he received from his network and role models during his career so far. Phil is now Chief Commercial Officer for NEWSUBSTANCE and SKYMAGIC, a group of global businesses producing drone light shows and creative events on every continent worldwide.

Phil Batty’s journey from participating in the Young Enterprise Company Programme to leading major events showcases the transformative power of experiential learning. His story highlights the importance of seizing opportunities, building strong networks, and embracing challenges to achieve success in various fields. From setting out in youth marketing to directing large-scale events, Phil’s journey exemplifies the potential that lies within each enterprising young person.


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