We at SmallBusiness.co.uk are excited to announce our judging panel for the British Small Business Awards, a leading black tie dinner event that will reward the country’s most enterprising small companies, as well as the vendors and advisers that help them to grow and flourish.
The Awards are set to take place in London on October 20th this year.
Here are the decorated men and women who will be deciding the winners.
For more information, please visit our website here.
Sir Rod Aldridge
Sir Rod Aldridge is a social entrepreneur with over 40 years’ experience in the public, private and third sectors. In 1984, he founded Capita, leading it until his retirement in 2006, and turning it from start-up to a FTSE 100 company.
Today Capita remains the market leader in the provision of support and professional services to the government and private sector in the UK, and is the 50th ranked company in the FTSE 100, with a market capitalisation of over £8 billion.
In 2006, Sir Rod established the Aldridge Foundation to further the work of his charitable trust. The Foundation helps young people to reach their potential and improve their communities, principally through the sponsorship of entrepreneurial academies and colleges.
These have been established in the North West, London and southern coastal communities.
Charlie Mullins OBE
Charlie Mullins decided at the age of nine that he wanted to be a plumber, after noticing his local plumber was well respected, had a great lifestyle and money.
So, he took to bunking off school to earn ‘two bob a day’ working with him.
After leaving school at 15 with no qualifications and completing a four-year apprenticeship in plumbing, Charlie began with a second-hand van and a bag of tools.
In 1979 he started Pimlico Plumbers from a basement of an estate agent in Pimlico. Pimlico is now London’s largest independent plumbing and service company, providing all trades and serving all of London, with a workforce of over 200, 160 vehicles and a £20 million turnover.
Angela Eagle MP
Angela Eagle is the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. She was first elected to Parliament in the 1992 general election, and was promoted to the role of opposition whip in 1996.
Her first government role was in the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions where she was appointed as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State following the 1997 general election.
In the 1998 reshuffle Angela was moved to the Department of Social Security, again as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.
Angela’s subsequent roles included Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, and Minister of State for Pensions and the Ageing Society in the Department for Work and Pensions. She stood for the position of Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in the summer of 2015.
Former sales director of the Forum of Private Business (FPB), Ian Cass became managing director of the business organisation last year.
Ian lives in Cheshire with his family and he started his career in 1994 managing a UK sales team with a focus on strategic development and key account management.
Ian then moved into a director role at Venture Team UK specialising in new ventures within the UK drinks market, again with focus on strategy, marketing and branding development.
Since joining in 2008 Phil guided the FPB and its members through a difficult credit crisis and recession.
He enhanced the organisation’s position as one of the UK’s foremost small business lobbyists, enabling it to continue providing business owners with the support, protection and reassurance they needed during the difficult times of the past seven years.
Julie Meyer MBE
The daughter of an entrepreneur, Julie Meyer has built Ariadne Capital on the back of a couple of core principles: back men and women of steel who are pursuing the inevitable and re-imagining their industries as ecosystems, and aggregate the right talent and capital to enable their success.
She is someone who wants to build new systems for the inclusion of all, and to help smart people win. She is a huge believer in the human spirit, and believes we are all on the planet to deliver a unique contribution to the world. She is resolutely ‘glass full’ not even ‘half full’.
Julie manages the Ariadne Capital Entrepreneurs Fund with her partners, and has developed the Ecosystem Economics Investment Methodology of the firm.
Luke Lang is the co-founder of Crowdcube, the equity crowdfunding site that has financed businesses to the tune of some £170 million.
Luke Lang cut his marketing teeth working for a successful UK-based Internet Service Provider marketing technology and internet solutions for businesses.
Luke also ran his own marketing consultancy that specialised in digital marketing, B2B marketing and marketing strategy.
Matt is co-founder and director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs. Previously, Matt co-founded the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) and consultancy firm Entelligence. Matt is an adviser to the Enterprise Research Centre and a member of the Social Angels Movement.
In NACUE, Matt helped grow the charity within three years to employ 24+ staff and engage student enterprise clubs in 130+ education institutions.
He also designed some of the largest enterprise promotion projects in the UK, including the £3.5 million UK government project to develop 200 enterprise societies in HE and FE institutions; the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards and the Startup Career Milkround campaign.
After leaving university Neil Westwood started a career in the NHS as a trainer in lean thinking which taught him how to set up and run a productive, profitable and efficient business.
As a trainer he was always using flipchart stands and paper and found them cumbersome and difficult to move around a hospital. One day Neil saw a roll of cling film and had the idea of creating a whiteboard on a roll, and Magic Whiteboard was launched in 2006.
Neil worked evenings and weekends to get the business started. He went to trade shows on his days off work, and his wife Laura took the rolls to the Post Office.
Soon after the pair were convinced to go on Dragons’ Den at a friend’s wedding. Neil completed the application form and three weeks later he accepted investment from Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden of £100,000.
Magic Whiteboard has now been in business ten years and has sold over 1 million rolls. Recently, Neil bought back the Dragons’ shares, owning 100 per cent of the company once more.
Dr Leah Totton was winner of the BBC TV series The Apprentice in 2013 and subsequently opened two cosmetic skin clinics with her business partner Lord Alan Sugar.
Leah invested the £250,000 prize money from The Apprentice to establish her own cosmetic skin clinics, alongside Lord Sugar.
The first of the self-titled Dr Leah Clinic was launched in Moorgate, Central London in 2014 and she opened a second clinic in Loughton, Essex in 2016. Dr Leah Clinics offer the most innovative and contemporary aesthetic skin treatments.
Dr Leah herself is an award winning practitioner for Silhouette Soft skin lifts and the clinics offer a world-exclusive 3D bespoke fat-busting treatment. The 28 year old is now a respected cosmetic skin specialist and is currently undertaking a Masters in Dermatology at the University of Cardiff, to expand her credentials in this field.