Jackie Fast set up her business – Slingshot Sponsoship – aged just 26. It wasn’t her first entrepreneurial venture however; as a child, Fast sold homemade bookmarks to her neighbours and ran lemonade stands. Proof that that creative business sense can’t necessarily be taught – it’s something innate you’re just born with. Fast forward past a BA in Visual Arts and Psychology and a Finance Masters,  and the would-be entrepreneur found herself working in London. The only problem? She really didn’t like her boss. So what to do?

jackie fast slingshot

Why, set up your own thing, of course! And thus Slingshot Sponsorship was born: an innovative agency developing sponsorship as a strategic and valuable marketing activity for businesses. It’s a contemporary style of sponsorship quite different to any preconceived ideas you might have about the industry; digital is at the fore, resulting in diverse and wholly integrated campaigns. Four years on, and Fast’s client list is as impressive as her business acumen. We found out a little more about one seriously inspiring young businesswoman. What glass ceiling?

Motivation for me is all about…

Seeing the potential in doing things a bit differently, working that bit harder and getting results that no one else can achieve. Slingshot is a sponsorship agency, but what we do is so much more than sponsorship – we harness the power of collaboration to transform businesses. There are brands and people who do this, but in isolation; whereas Slingshot Sponsorship really champions this new way of thinking in the industry. Luckily I am fortunate to get to choose the clients we work with and the people I work with, so I’m surrounded by people who support my vision – which is my real motivation.

Success means…

Getting to wake up every day and want go to work. It took years for me to figure out what I really wanted to do, in my early twenties I thought I’d just be a nomad! However, through my journey where I’ve done everything from being a visual artist to stockbroker, I’ve ended up doing exactly what I was meant to be doing right now.

jackie fast

I couldn’t have got there without…

A lot of hard work, luck, and some very senior people in the sponsorship industry supporting my efforts. I also had a lot of encouragement from friends in London who had their own businesses, which really helped me take the leap.

I always start my day with…

Checking my calendar. No two days are ever the same for me so I need to ensure I’m prepared and have a plan for what I am doing (and wearing!) throughout the day. Although I typically can be found running in heels, some mornings might see me wearing Hunter boots trekking through the Welsh countryside with our client the Wales Rally GB, in flats presenting sponsorship strategies to Board Directors, or wearing Converse while running sponsorship training at our London office with our Sponsorship Sessions. My family and friends know that if it’s not in the diary, I won’t remember to do it!

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When I don’t feel inspired I…

Go for an amazing lunch with someone inspiring and drink a good bottle of wine.

The landscape for women in business today looks like…

From my experience, pretty good; although more can always be done. Historically it’s not something I used to seek out; however, I have been speaking at a number of women in business events recently and have been blown away by some of the incredible aspirational female leaders that currently are revolutionising their sectors – most of whom, I hadn’t heard about previously. Therefore, I think more could be done to bring greater awareness of these stories and this work to the wider business community.

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The trait I most deplore in others is…

People that say a lot, but don’t actually do anything. I admire action, and deplore inaction.

I’d like to be remembered for…

Changing the way business’ view, use and capitalise on sponsorship – radically evolving the traditional sponsorship model of building awareness through logo badging, to develop something truly transformational.

What makes me happiest is…

Helping people realise their business dreams. Our mission is to help our clients create, drive, and uncover additional sponsorship revenue to support their business growth and ambitions – regardless of whether it is a worldwide leading brand or a one-man band charity event.

jackie fast slingshot sponsorship

Can I run in heels?

Absolutely!

For more information on Slingshot Sponsorship, see the company’s website. You can alo follow on Twitter @jackiefast.