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The Panel

Meet the Super Entrepreneurs Panel

To create an objective and robust list, our panel of experts have rated 100 of Britain’s largest consumer facing orgnisations in terms of their entrepreneurial outlook and output.

Andy Rubin

Andy Rubin MA MBA CCMI

Chairman, Pentland Brands plc

Andy Rubin is Chairman of Pentland Brands, director of Pentland Group and non-executive director of JD Sports Fashion Plc.

Pentland is a private, family owned business which operates in sports, outdoor and fashion. It owns Speedo, Canterbury, Berghaus, Ellesse and Mitre and is the global footwear licensee for Lacoste and Ted Baker. It is the majority shareholder in JD Sports Fashion plc, a European multi-channel retailer in sports, outdoor and fashion.

Andy read Law at Cambridge University and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, Vice President and Executive Board Member of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, an Honorary Professor at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development at Lancaster University Management School and on their Advisory Board. He is a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Board for Communications at Cambridge University.

Ann Francke

Ann P Francke MBA, CCMI, CMgr

CEO, Chartered Management Institute

Ann Francke, CEO at CMI since 2012, is a transformational leader with vision, pace and proven ability in increasing impact of management and leadership excellence.

Ann has authored ‘Financial Times Guide to Management’, holds advisory board positions at Grant Thornton International, Tongal a digital start up, Lancaster Management, Open University and Nottingham Trent Business Schools, and has been named in the top 100 women to watch in the 2015 Female FTSE Cranfield report.

Ann previously held Senior Executive positions at: Procter and Gamble, Mars, Boots, Yell and BSI.

Charlie Cannell

Charlie Cannell

Digital Director, Inflexion Private Equity

Charlie joined Inflexion to provide leadership in digital technology to our portfolio businesses and investment team. He offers support and guidance to investee companies looking to improve or change their digital strategies. He is also fully involved in our appraisal of new investment opportunities.

Previously, Charlie was the first Director of Digital Services at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO before becoming CEO of MerchantCantos, the digital Investor Relations agency within Brunswick Group. He brings a wealth of experience to our team, including digital advertising, product and service innovation, organisational change and online reputation management gained whilst working for BT and DigitasLBi.

He was one of the first Tech London Advocates, a group of experts from across the tech sector committed to championing London’s potential as a world–class hub for tech and digital businesses.

Claire McCartney

Claire McCartney

Adviser, Resourcing and Talent Planning, CIPD

Claire joined the CIPD in 2008. She is responsible for research exploring different aspects of effective talent management strategies and manages the Institute’s Resourcing and Talent Forum and the CIPD Employee Outlook tracker research. Claire specialises in resourcing, talent management and diversity. She has also conducted research into meaning and trust at work, age diversity and enterprise and has worked on a number of international projects. She is the author of several reports and articles and regularly presents at seminars and conferences. 

Prior to joining the CIPD, Claire was Principal Researcher at Roffey Park where she conducted research projects into a variety of topics including Roffey Park’s annual Management Agenda Survey, Work-Life Balance, Flexible Working, Employee Volunteering, Talent Management and Diversity. Claire has also worked with a range of clients on tailored research needs. 

David Prosser

David Prosser

Freelance journalist and business consultant

David Prosser is a freelance journalist with more than 20 years' experience writing about business, finance, economics and entrepreneurship. A former Business Editor of The Independent, David has held staff jobs at media groups including The Guardian and Observer, Express Newspapers and the Financial Times. These days, he writes for a number of media outlets on a range of topics, as well as for leading corporates, helping them with thought leadership projects.

Diane Young

Diane Young

Co-founder of The Drum magazine

The Drum’s website is Europe’s best-read marketing news platform and attracts almost 1 million unique visitors a month, 35% of whom are from outside the UK.

From its original base in Glasgow (where it still employs 50 staff) The Drum has grown nationally and internationally with offices in London, New York and Singapore.

As well as providing news and analysis online, The Drum is produces a print magazine every two weeks in the UK and has just launched a quarterly edition in the USA. In addition it organises 23 awards, 6 conferences, has a branded content service and produces video and TV programming. It also has a service which helps brands to choose agencies and a peer to peer learning network for marketing agencies.

Diane originally joined the business to organise an awards ceremony, but became the managing director at 28. Along with two other business partners, she has led the company through a period of complete reinvention of the business model, resulting in revenue growth of 3.5X in the last four years whilst maintain a consistent profit margin.

Ed Mayo

Ed Mayo

Secretary General, Co-operatives UK

Ed is a dynamic and respected leader in the co-operative and social enterprise sector. He is Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, Vice-President of Co-operatives Europe and Chair of the Communications Committee of the International Co-operative Alliance.  A former Chief Executive of the New Economics Foundation, he is the editor and co-author of Co-operative Advantage : co-operation, innovation and why sharing business ownership is good for Britain, as well as previous books on marketing, banking and micro-finance.

His personal achievements include being:

  • Catalyst for a overhaul of legislation for co-operative societies in 2014
  • One of the top 100 influential figures in UK social policy, The Guardian
  • Awarded an honorary doctorate at London Metropolitan University for his work on ethical markets
  • Co-founder of the Fairtrade Mark, which now connects 9.9 million consumers in the UK with 5 million people who benefit across 58 developing countries
  • Named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, 2005
  • Strategist behind Jubilee 2000, one of the world’s most successful anti-poverty campaigns.

Emma Jones

Emma Jones

Founder of Enterprise Nation, business expert and author

Following a degree in Law and Japanese, Emma joined international accounting firm Arthur Andersen, where she worked in London, Leeds and Manchester offices and set up the firm’s Inward Investment practice that attracted overseas companies to locate in the UK. In 2000, bitten by the bug, Emma left the firm to start her first business, Techlocate – after 15 months, the company was successfully sold to Tenon plc.

The experience of starting, growing and selling a business from a home base gave Emma the idea for Enterprise Nation which was launched in 2006 as the home business website. The company has since expanded to become a small business community of over 75,000 people who benefit from business books, events and funding: online, in print and in person. Enterprise Nation also presents a campaigning voice to government and the media on behalf of its members.

Emma regularly appears in the media commenting on small business issues.

Ian Priest

Ian Priest

Global CEO of Grace Blue

I started my career in advertising at IMP , part of the DMB&B group, in 1986. Seven years later six of us IMP’ers joined HHCL& Partners to create a new integrated offering where I later became Managing Director. In 2002 I joined up with my three partners to launch VCCP which we sold to Chime Communications PLC in 2005 where I became a member of their Executive Board. I created Chime Ventures and worked across the Chime group  including their Sports Marketing division . In 2013 I was elected President of the IPA. In October 2015 I joined the Executive Search firm Grace Blue as their global Chief Executive. I am also  a NED and investor in three start up businesses.

Jimmy Cregan

Jimmy Cregan

‘Jimmy' at Jimmy's Iced Coffee.

Dorset lad Jim Cregan got fed up of being a mermaid MC for festivals and casual labourer, so one bitter Winter he decided to go and explore Australia with his lady, Sophie. It was there he discovered ready to drink Iced Coffee which he fell in love with. After several failed attempts to licence the brand from Australia into the UK, he decided to make his own. With the help from his sister, they created their brand and manufactured their first products in 5 months which launched in Selfridges in April 2011. Their products can now be found in over 3000 outlets in the UK including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Ocado, BP and many more. Wanna know more? Check out their youtube channel.

Jimmy McLoughlin

Jimmy McLoughlin

Head of External Affairs, Institute of Directors

His policy brief covers the ‘new’ economy – disruptive technologies, the internet economy and start-ups.

He helps to run the IoD99, a network of over 900 high growth start-ups, with founders under the age of 40, who meet once a month to receive a master class on how to run their business.

Jimmy has written on how and why Britain leads the world in technological adoption, and how Generation Y’s use of technology is changing business.

John Leach

John Leach

Founder and Chief Executive, Winning Pitch

John Leach is Founder and Chief Executive of Winning Pitch one of the UKs leading providers of high growth coaching services. John is responsible for innovation, thought leadership and overall business strategy. He has 20 years experience in setting up and growing companies.

John holds Non Executive Director roles with 3 high growth businesses as well as Trustech – the innovation arm of the NHS. John serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Manchester University and Lancaster. He advises on investment readiness as well as fund raising and has earned a strong reputation for delivering practical grounded business assistance.

Based on practical experience and his own research, John has become a recognised authority on the topic of business growth. He has written two high acclaimed books on the subject of accelerated business performance, “Pitch Perfect – Feel the Impact of a Winning Sales Approach” (John Wiley & Sons Ltd 2005) and “Success Factor – Master the Secret of a Winning Mindset” (Crimson Publishing 2010).

John Longworth

John Longworth

Chairman, Vote Leave Business Council, Former DG British Chambers of Commerce. NED, Chairman, Entrepreneur

John Longworth joined as Chairman of the Vote Leave Business Council after resigning as Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce in March 2016 a post he had held since 5th September 2011.

After originally training as a scientist, he served as an Executive Main Board Director of Asda Group Ltd and Asda Financial Services Ltd, and held senior director positions on the Operating Board ofTesco Stores Ltd and at the CWS Ltd over the course of his career. In 2010 he co founded a science, IT and professional services business, SVA Ltd, employing some 200 people, which as Chairman he guided the business to a successful exit in 2015. 

His public roles have included as a Trustee of the Charity P3, the Board of a Healthcare Trust and of the British Retail Consortium. He served as a member of the Board of the U.K. India Business Council. He was an economic spokesman for the Confederation of British Industry, Chairman of its Distributive Trades Panel and Chairman of the Paris based CIES International Product Standards and Trade Body.

A former Panel Member of the Competition Commission, a Health and Safety Commissioner and Chairman of the HSE Audit Committee, John also sat on the original Thatcher, Deregulation Task Force. He assisted a leading London Healthcare Trust to establish a commercial and marketing operation. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of Nichols plc. 

John worne

John Worne

Chief Operating Officer, King’s College London 

John Worne is Chief Operating Officer for Arts and Sciences at King's College London. King’s is one of the top 20 universities in the world, with more than 25,000 students and over 7000 staff dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, learning and understanding in the service of society.

John has successfully led, managed and delivered large-scale people and technology-based change in large corporate, central government, education and not-for-profit contexts. As British Council Director of Strategy and Corporate HQ, he sat on the Executive and Management Boards and was responsible for strategy, governance, reputation, 'thought leadership' , top stakeholders and core Government funding, helping oversee major growth including a doubling in turnover to almost £1bn.

Drawing on over a decade's experience in technology industries he oversaw the British Council's hugely successful and innovative global Digital programme. This transformed the ‘face’ of UK culture and educational opportunities in over 100 countries worldwide, in one of the world’s largest open-source multilingual Digital deployments. John is currently working on major growth, change and estates transformation for King's. 

John has top management experience from the private, public, not-for-profit and education sectors and has lived and worked in different cultures all around the world. He is a graduate of Oxford University studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Jesus College.

John is an experienced spokesperson, public speaker and writer. He regularly represented the British Council and the value of UK culture in print, online, on TV and radio. For more see and @johnworne on Twitter.

Jonathan Goodwin

Jonathan Goodwin

Founder, Lepe Partners   

Jonathan Goodwin founded Lepe Partners in 2011. Lepe Partners is a merchant bank created to help entrepreneurs and CEOs in the media, consumer and Internet sectors grow their businesses. Prior to founding Lepe, Jonathan was CEO and Co-founder of LongAcre Partners, where he built the company into Europe’s leading mid-market media and corporate finance house prior to selling it to Jeffries in 2007. To date, Jonathan has advised on over 100 transactions in the media and Internet Space worth over $20bn in total.

In 2005, Jonathan created the Founders Forum, along with Brent Hoberman. Now in its 8th year, the Founders Forum is the premier entrepreneur’s event held annually in London, New York, Brazil and India. In 2009, Jonathan also Co-founded PROfounders Capital, an early stage fund backed by entrepreneurs for digital entrepreneurs.

Previously, Jonathan focused on the media sector at Apax Partners, and later joining the MBI team of Talk Radio, backed by News Corporation and Liberty Media. Talk Radio then became the foundation for The Wireless Group PLC, where Jonathan was Group Managing Director.

Jonathan is President of the British Fashion Council Investment Pillar, Treasurer of Centre for Policy Studies, on the advisory board for the Tech City Future Fifty and Chairman of Osborne House appeal.

Karen Bill

Karen Bill

Chair and Director, Enterprise Educators UK

Karen Bill is Chair of Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK), a national network which has been in existence for over fourteen years. It represents over 1300 enterprise and entrepreneurship educators and practitioners from over 100 UK Higher and Further Education Institutes.  It is experienced in running best practice events and organising a global enterprise and entrepreneurship education conference, On behalf of EEUK, Karen is a member of the Management Board of the Small Business Charter and an Assessor for the SBC Management Charter award which facilitates engagement between world-class business schools and SME & Start-Up communities.

Karen’s day job is Associate Dean, Research and Enterprise at the University of Wolverhampton and also University Director, Athena Swan. She was awarded an International Entrepreneurship Educator Fellow by the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship. Her background is sports management, in particular sports law and sports entrepreneurship. She has published in the area of enterprise education and has recently been commissioned by Routledge to produce a graduate text book on Enterprise and Innovation in Sport and Exercise, forthcoming in 2017.

 Keith Willey

Keith Willey

Associate Professor, Strategy & Entrepreneurship, London Business School

Subject area: Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship,


‘Do Top Management Add Value to Strategic Investment Decisions?’ (with P Marsh et al.), Long Range Planning; From Hierarchies to Networks, Successful Change Strategies (Institute of Directors Publications, 1994); ‘Building a Transnational Organisation for BP Oil’, Long Range Planning (1992).

Research interest

Entrepreneurship, venture capital, managing growth, technology ventures and organisation development.

Other activities

Chairman, Servebase Ltd, Chairman, Fern Trading Ltd, Non-executive Director: Feedzai Lda, Non-executive Director: Vitesse Media plc, Advisory Board: Global Energy Talent Pvt. Ltd, Director: Myles & Co. Ltd Consultant.


Executive Director, Foundation for Entrepreneurial Management; Chief Operating Officer and Director, Sussex Place Ventures; CEO, Centre for Scientific Enterprise; Director, Siddall and Company; Divisional Business Development Manager, BAT Industries.

Marc Worth

Marc Worth

Owner, Stylus Media Group

Online media pioneer Marc Worth has been involved as a founder, executive and operational leader in consumer and media industries for over 25 years. He is currently Chairman and CEO of Stylus Media Group, a company he founded in 2009 to provide comprehensive consumer research and design insights to a broad spectrum of clients. The firm serves more than 300 blue-chip companies across industries such as food and beverage, fashion, retail and technology, among many others. It recently acquired Decoded Fashion, an events company driving innovation by connecting leaders in the fashion industry with technology startups.

Marc previously founded Worth Global Style Network (WGSN) – the world’s first online information service for the fashion industry – with his brother Julian in 1997. The company went on to become “the fashion industry bible” (The Wall Street Journal), providing trend forecasting, market research and data for retailers, manufacturers and designers. In just over six years, WGSN amassed over 1,500 corporate clients and achieved £15m in revenues. In 2005, the business was sold to Emap for £142m, at 34 times ebitda.

Alongside his work at Stylus, Marc continues to invest in new businesses and mentor young entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. Marc has also served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of Israel’s Shenkar College since 2013.

Samad Masood

Samad Masood

Open Innovation Lead, UK & Ireland / FinTech Innovation Lab London, Programme Director at Accenture

Samad Masood currently leads Accenture’s Open Innovation programme in the UK, driving engagement with technology start-ups and entrepreneurs that want to partner with Accenture.

In 2012, he set up the FinTech Innovation Lab accelerator in London for Accenture, running it for the first three years, and building strong links and insights into the Fintech strategies of the 16 retail and investment banks involved in the programme.

Samad is now launching the Accenture Consumer Innovation Awards, bringing together a large panel of leading brands to recognize and promote leading early-stage innovators in the Retail and Consumer goods industries.

Previous to Accenture Samad was an technology industry analyst, market researcher and journalist, spending 11 years analyzing and advising B2B technology companies and technology buyers on new trends and the shifting competitive landscape.

Samad holds a BSc in Sociology from University of Surrey and in 2014 was listed in Financial News’ “FinTech 40: Innovators Shaping the Future of Finance”.

Steve Cheliotis

Stephen Cheliotis

Chairman, Superbrands & CoolBrands Council; CEO, The Centre for Brand Analysis

Stephen is CEO of The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA) and Chair of the UK Consumer Superbrands®, Business Superbrands® and CoolBrands® Councils. As a leading brand consultant, he advises both established and challenger brands. Stephen undertakes a wide range of brand evaluation and consultancy projects that inform and shape brand, marketing and business strategies to enhance brand reputation and business growth. 

Stephen is a regular guest speaker and also comments on branding and marketing issues for the international media, frequently guesting on CNN, the BBC and Sky amongst others. Stephen is a Visiting Professor at the London Metropolitan University Business School and Course Patron of their MSc in Brand Management.

As well as his work for brands, Stephen provides services to marketing agencies, including the development of intellectual property and indices that help drive their planning process, new business outreach and fame. Recent reports include The Emotion 100, in conjunction with Brandhouse, Talkonomics, in conjunction with the Exposure Group and the European Retail Brand report, on behalf of shopping comparison site Kelkoo.

Tim Bourne

Tim Bourne

Chairman of the MAA; Joint CEO, Exposure

Tim has an extensive career in Marketing. He launched his first agency at the age of 23. After establishing his entrepreneurial credentials, he went onto Board Director positions at Interfocus and Billington Cartmell, before joining Raoul Shah as partner at Exposure in 1997.

Tim established the blue chip pillar at Exposure which now boast client including; Heineken Global, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Activision, Sainsbury’s and EE.

Exposure is an International Agency Group with offices in London, New York and Tokyo. Exposure Group employs over 250 staff across a range of through the line skills-sets including; digital, brand engagement, atl, media relations, event marketing, sponsorship and creative services.

Tim is an expert in client servicing and strategic thinking, with a passion for creating realtime engagement between brands and consumers. Tim has pioneered research into the role of advocacy and how to influence brand recommendation.

He splits his time between client business and overseeing Group company operations.

Tim has recently been appointed as Chairman of the MAA, he is married with two children.

Thomas Rees

Thomas Rees

Head of Business Development, Private Markets, Deloitte

Thomas Rees is Head of Business Development for Deloitte’s Private Markets practice which advises privately-owned, private equity backed and venture capital backed companies across Deloitte’s breadth of services - audit, tax, corporate finance advisory and consulting.

Tom has spent 11 years working in business services, five of those working with owners and CFOs of entrepreneurial businesses at both PwC and Deloitte. Tom holds a relationship focused position, understanding clients issues and connecting them to relevant individuals from within his extensive network.

William Kendall

William Kendall

Owner, Cawston Press, past investor Covent Garden Food, Green & Black’s

  • Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk       
  • Owns, with wife Miranda, local business, Maple Farm Kelsale, near Saxmundham, Suffolk, organic farm producing eggs, flour, vegetables and honey
  • Honorary doctorate University College Suffolk for services to business
  • Co-founder of Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival now in its 12th year
  • Council member for the Suffolk Agricultural Association
  • Member of Steering Group Agritech East
  • Member of UK Government’s Agri-Food Council
  • Trustee and Director of Aldeburgh Music and Snape Maltings
  • Chairman of British soft drinks business, Cawston Press
  • Trustee of The Grosvenor Estate concentrating on their non-property business and agri-tech
  • Founder director of Nemadi Advisors, backer of early stage business ideas
  • Director of Sleeperz hotel chain, Keystone Investment Trust
  • Previously Director of Adnams Southwold, Notcutts, Emma Bridgewater pottery
  • CEO of Green & Black’s Chocolate – led the team until sale
  • CEO of The New Covent Garden Soup Company – led the team until sale
  • MBA, INSEAD, business school in France
  • Read law at Cambridge, army officer and investment banker
  • Trustee of Fauna & Flora International for 8 years, currently advisory board member of ClientEarth
  • Specialist subjects: responsible business, entrepreneurship, innovation, conservation and the environment
  • Campaigner for better and more locally produced food and rural issues
  • Two daughters at university

Preferred Partners

  • p&mm
  • VCG
  • Forrest Brown
  • Protravel
  • Filmology
  • IYA Studio
  • Paprika Software
  • Pensar
  • Mash
  • 4DPrime
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