Bloomberg presenter shares best business advice after setting up her own venture

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Ms Hyde joined Bloomberg in 2008 as a corporate finance reporter and has since made a name for herself by interviewing economic and political leaders from across the world. From Hilary Clinton to Ursula Burns, Ms Hyde has seen entrepreneurial spirit and business minds like no other and shared some of the most memorable moments and commonalities that she’s noticed from behind her news anchor desk.

The mother-of-two has found no shortage in things to do as between interviewing some of the biggest names in business, philanthropy and politics, she has also set up her own charity alongside her husband Ben Floyd.

She explained that the humanity and family behind the business leaders of the world is what really stands out to her, as this form of support extends to all the entrepreneurs she has met and she used this to fuel her own entrepreneurial journey.

“You have those moments just before you go on air or go out to a stage, these moments of

quiet chat, and get to understand someone a little more. For example, going on stage with Sheryl Sandberg just after Father’s day, and the importance that day has for her, her need to share her grief, her story, her hope having lost the father to her children.

“Or Ursula Burns saying the reason she’s so passionate about helping other businesses become more diverse is that she felt as an American executive she had to leave her country during the Trump years because she didn’t know what the country stood for anymore. Didn’t represent her.”

“These moments of executives depending on families, depending on kindness, has made us feel that’s what the world needs and it needs more of it. You can hear from every humble leader is how important family is and how far a little bit of kindness can go.”

She added that this consistency is in no way accidental, saying “we stand on the shoulders of others”.

She continued: “Ursula Burns in particular, so much of her grit and determination came from her own mother’s determination for her. She knew what poverty was about but she went out and by hook or by crook she would be educated by the highest possible degree.”

This was Ms Hyde’s first piece of advice to budding entrepreneurs and successful business people alike: “Find those supportive relationships.

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Bloomberg presenter shares best business advice after setting up her own venture
© Caroline Hyde Caroline Hyde

In her own entrepreneurial venture, Ms Hyde had found this support in the form of her husband: “He has this can-do attitude largely I’m sure because he’s had loss in his life and has had barriers put in front of him that I haven’t been able to realise but he has this determination to grab life by both hands and think about how he can build something.”

Ms Hyde added that successful business people are also not afraid of asking for assistance when needed, whether it be financial, logistical, marketing or design.

“You are so powerful when you lean on others. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know everything, get experts on board that will help you in your cause,” she noted.

One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs and business owners face is lacking confidence when they first start out, to which Ms Hyde advised that rather than focusing on ‘Why you?’ one should focus on ‘Why not you?’

Inspired by the generosity and community she saw across the world during Covid, Ms Hyde and her husband launched the world’s first Kindness Advent Tree and their new charity Inspire.

“I had that worry of why would I be any good at making a toy that suggests kindness, and I stepped back and thought why wouldn’t I?”I sat here not knowing what impact I could possibly have during a time of an economic, health and social crisis. Luckily through my work I’m able to hold people, who are accountable, to account.

“I can ask big CEOs, executives, leaders what they are doing to ensure that they are being more diverse within their rank, what they’ve done to ensure their employees feel supported and give back what’s needed or in fact if they’re not doing that then why not.

“I realised I had the ability to ask the questions but what could I build? And that was a terrifying discussion my husband and I just wanted to feel that we could make some sort of an impact. That’s where he came in saying ‘Why not us?'”

Pursuing this passion to make an impact is something many entrepreneurs share, and Ms Hyde noted that they should focus on maintaining those values and passion so that each and every entrepreneur is able to make the world a better place.

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“What has again and again impressed me with everyone I’m lucky enough to interview, whether it be Lewis Hamilton or Hilary Clinton, it’s the passion about what it is that they’re doing and they’re building. The rest will follow if entrepreneurs have that passion.”

She noted that the rise in entrepreneurs, side hustlers and small businesses during Covid is also no coincidence, but new business people should not expect smooth sailing now that economies are opening to full capacity once again.

“Since the darkest days of the Covid crisis, we’ve seen a return of optimism – the economy bouncing back, consumer confidence improving. But this is still so fragile – just look at the drop off in retail sales recently, in worries about cost hikes, supply chain issues…things we’ve experienced as new charitable entrepreneurs trying to get our toy manufactured and shipped. It’s tough to take a risk right now, to start a new project….to depend on people’s willingness to buy.”

She added that there are also a flurry of hidden barriers and inequalities in the system facing women and people of colour: “I am sure many would-be entrepreneurs have heard plenty of talk of addressing these limitations – talk of easier access to finance, access to shelf space whatever your gender or race. But there’s talking the talk, and then there’s walking the walk.”

This is the inspiration behind Ms Hyde’s newest series on Bloomberg: The Unequal Recovery, exploring how the improved economies aren’t actually benefiting everyone.

“What was originally a health crisis became an economic crisis became a social crisis. Living in America during the George Floyd ramifications where businesses realised they needed to ensure we focused on equality.”

Ms Hyde continued: “There is much positive to come out of the disaster that has been Covid.”

She noted the effect of Covid on both a macro and micro business level has been incredibly important in shifting corporate values to match their consumers, providing a more human aspect to large corporations.

“I feel they’ve all come to know and realise ‘We are nothing without our employees, we are nothing without our stakeholders’ and shareholders now are demanding a business be run in the right way. Yes, it’s about profit but it’s about people as well. The way in which you treat your employees, the way in which you source your goods.”

Bloomberg presenter shares best business advice after setting up her own venture
© Caroline Hyde Caroline Hyde with her husband and two children

She added that this pivot has been inline with the consumer mindset as individuals seek out products created in a way that aligns with their values and is sustainable in the longer term. “Business has become a lot kinder,” she said.

“I think we’re at an inflection point, Covid has taught us, taught business, taught leaders you need to be kind to yourself, to your teams, be kind to the world around you and build something that you think will make the world a better place.”

In addition to this, investors have also turned towards the bigger picture, providing “an access to finance that we didn’t have before” which may be fuelling the small business boom that started during lockdown.

Ms Hyde continued: “There’s so much innovation going on at that level: How can we ensure that small businesses have access to these funds, how can we ensure those that have previously been left behind, the underrepresented when it came to banking? Banks realised they needed to have stronger relationships with entrepreneurs, people of colour, underrepresented minorities to ensure people are able to build the businesses they want.

“I think entrepreneurialism is having a boom, Gen Z and Millennials have ‘can do’ attitude and this desire that if they can’t see something they make it and make it better themselves. Hopefully large corporations also see how they can support small businesses within their supply chains, for example in the Bloomberg pantry, it stocks produce made by local black entrepreneurs. Big businesses can now look local and individuals want to look local, how can we help spread kindness locally in a world where we have become so globalised in our purchasing power?”

Ms Hyde herself was also caught up in this flurry of entrepreneurship, as she found herself and her family stuck in New Zealand during the 2020 lockdown.

“It felt like luck but I had Sasha at the end of 2019 so I was on parental leave for the first few months of 2020. We had decided we would go travelling because my husband got some Amazon parental leave as well so February 29 we set off from New York just before Covid became a reality.

“We got stuck in New Zealand of all places. Everyday I was on the phone video calling with other mums in my group who had children around the same time and I would hear sirens. It was so raw and visceral but we were sat in New Zealand at the time which felt like one of the safest places on earth,” she commented.

Throughout the majority of 2020, many turned to New Zealand as the epitome of what country leaders should have done and how citizens should have respected lockdown, with their minimal numbers and somewhat relaxed atmosphere. For Ms Hyde, it did seem it was the safest possible place, and it was here that her entrepreneurial spirit was inspired.

“In New Zealand people would put these rainbow pictures in their windows but also hide teddy bears around their gardens or in their windows so when you walk through the town as a parent with a young family you could go spotting or ‘bear-hunting’ as they called it. It was really a tale of great moments of joy and great moments of deep sadness.

“My husband and I have always wanted to think about how we could do something for charity in a more sustainable manner. I love giving one-off amounts, perhaps taking part in charitable events, take part in a race, but these are one-off amounts for charities, how could we do that in a more sustainable, longer term manner?”

She continued: “While we were off on parental leave together it was like we had a moment to talk and create, how can we bring this kindness that we see, the rainbows and bears, how can we make this longer lasting and raise money for charity at the same time.

“We had always made Advent calendars for each other and that year he had made one for me where each day I would pick out of two different stockings a name of a charity and an amount. That’s where the idea of a charitable Advent calendar came from.”

Each day on their Kindness Advent tree has a variety of acts of kindness to carry out for each day in the lead up to Christmas.

100 percent of the profits from the Kindness Advent Trees go directly to parenting charities which help to provide children with the best start in life as possible.

Also noting how easy and disposable online shopping became during lockdown, Ms Hyde and her husband sought to change this: “That’s why we wanted to make something that could be repurposed as some sort of an heirloom or decoration but also understand that it’s about giving as well as receiving to make these moments last.

“Our toys are being manufactured in China but that is to ensure we can give the most amount of money back to the charities. We’ve run our due diligence to ensure it’s coming from an ethically produced manufacturer. But wow, has it added a layer of learning about supply chain issues we currently face,” she added.

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