Kim Leary, CEO of Colmore Row-based creative design agency Squibble, at the BIMA 100 event

The founder of a Birmingham marketing agency who has played a leading role in promoting the Midlands tech scene has been named among the 100 most influential people in UK digital by a leading industry organisation.

Kim Leary, CEO of Colmore Row-based creative design agency Squibble, has been placed by the British Interactive Media Association, billed as the national voice of the tech and creative sectors, on its BIMA 100 list for 2024 in recognition of her efforts in promoting the region’s technology industry.

Kim, who launched Squibble in 2010, was honoured in the category for CEOs and leaders from businesses with annual turnovers of up to £5m.

As well as growing her business she is co-founder of the Midlands Marketing Awards, which celebrate the best of the region’s talent, and is chairman of Tech WM, a not-for-profit organisation which promotes the tech sector in the West Midlands.

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Organised annually, the BIMA 100 recognises the individuals shaping the future of Britain’s digital industry. The 2024 winners were honoured on Tuesday (May 21) at a ceremony billed by organisers as “one of the biggest nights in the digital industry’s calendar” in central London.

The CEO and leaders category citation said: “These are people whose outstanding leadership has created an environment where their people feel genuinely supported and able to excel at work, and where the company has made a significant step change under their command.”

Offering a range of digital services, Squibble has worked with leading brands including the #BeBoldBeBham campaign for Birmingham City Council around the 2022 Commonwealth Games, intelligence solutions provider Forensic Pathways and recruitment specialist GRG Executive Search.

Having joined the founding board of Tech WM, Kim has played a leading role in its drive to address the gender imbalance in technology and is among the senior leaders promoting the West Midlands as an internationally recognised hub for innovation and organises Birmingham Tech Week, the UK’s largest regional festival and conference which this year will begin on October 21.

The inaugural Midlands Marketing Awards, held in Birmingham last September, brought together 150 local marketers to celebrate excellence and celebration within the region’s industry, from solo practitioners to agencies and in-house marketing teams. The awards had a focus upon promoting inclusivity and diversity, with more than half of the judges being women.

Kim said: “I am committed to driving innovation, promoting diversity and making a real difference in the technology and marketing sectors of the West Midlands so I am delighted to be placed among the individuals who are shaping the future of Britain’s digital industry on the BIMA 100 list for 2024.

“As a female business founder, I continue to encourage women to progress in tech in the Midlands and the wider UK so I hope this recognition will encourage others to join an industry which can provide stimulating and rewarding career opportunities.

“It means a lot to be recognised in this prestigious way by such a well-respected organisation as BIMA and I will build upon it by continuing to foster a collaborative and innovative ecosystem.”

BIMA is promoted as “the voice of tech and creativity”, representing members working in business, the charity sector and education across the UK. The association aims to “drive innovation through knowledge sharing, showcasing best practice and developing talent”.

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