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GS1 UK appoints new Head of SME

London, 30 June 2021 – Sophie Segal has been appointed as the new Head of SME at GS1 UK, the global data-standards organisation.

The appointment and creation of the new role is reflective of GS1 UK’s increased focus on the evolving needs of SMEs, a cohort which makes up 75% of their 53,000-strong membership base, after what has been a turbulent year following the financial devastation of the Covid-19 crisis and the EU transition.

In the role, Sophie will ensure that the proposition GS1 UK offers its SME members is something they truly value providing support and advise at every stage as their business developments.

More widely, GS1 UK will look to leverage solutions across the global GS1 network and their community partners spanning the food, retail, and healthcare sectors to further aid the SME members and increase the opportunities for growth.

Today, another priority will be to help start-ups create and follow sustainable business models. This aligns with one GS1 UK’s overarching aims to support industry, with the widespread adoption of their standards to ensure greater traceability throughout the supply chain and support the sustainability agenda. In this way they will deliver on their purpose to harness the power of standards to change the way people work and live.

Sophie’s career has been shaped by working at the intersection of the corporate world and entrepreneurship and driven by her personal sustainability journey. As former head of loyalty at Avis Budget Group, Sophie oversaw driving retention strategies across all customer touch points.

She has since supported founders and scale-ups when developing their customer touchpoints, as well as helping them rethink their business models for the good of tomorrow. In addition, Sophie acts as a trainer and advisor at Enterprise Nation and co-chairs the Reading circular economy chapter.

When asked about her appointment, Sophie said:

“Small and medium sized businesses have always represented a huge proportion of GS1 UK’s membership, and with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and our departure from the EU still being navigated, I recognise the many challenges SMEs are facing. Now more than ever they need greater support. Despite the many sources of support out there, both in terms of advice and funding, it can be tricky for SMEs to be aware of what is relevant to their business. GS1 UK can help them to navigate this to succeed. We have seen many businesses start up during the pandemic and we want to be there for them supporting their transition to more resilient and sustainable business models.

“Although the past 12 months have been tough for many, there are also a lot of positive opportunities for SMEs in the current climate. With my background in helping small businesses start and grow their business as well as my focus in sustainability, I cannot wait to help advise these companies in this area, unlocking new value for the segment and bringing their individual stories to life through this lens.”

Sarah Atkins, CMO and membership director of GS1 UK, said:

“We are delighted to have Sophie on board, strengthening our expertise when it comes to supporting these members. Sophie’s extensive commercial background and knowledge in sustainability, traceability and the circular economy makes her an ideal choice for the role. Through championing these qualities, we hope to create transformative industry change for the better, bolstering the proposition of our SMEs and ultimately ensuring that consumers are informed and protected at the other end of the supply chain. We look forward to seeing how GS1 UK’s SME offering will continue to go from strength to strength under her stewardship.”

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Notes to editors

For further information or requests for interviews, contact Sarah Atkins, CMO and membership director, on

About GS1 UK

GS1 UK is one of 115 neutral and independent GS1 organisations operating worldwide.

Whether online, in store or in a hospital, the common language of GS1 global standards is helping our community of over 53,000 organisations to uniquely identify, describe and track anything, creating greater trust in data for everyone.

From product barcodes to patient wristbands, we harness the power of GS1 standards to transform the way people work and live. / @gs1uk