Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Panel

Brian Hay
Tony Caldeira
Jennie Johnson
Laura Tenison
Steve Purdham
Debbie Pierce
Julie Meyer
Charlie Mullins
Michael Oliver
Jeremy Roberts
Richard O'Sullivan
David Pollock

Christmas celebrations

Brian Hay

Co-founded freight forwarding company Cardinal Maritime in 1998 using a £5,000 loan. The firm has offices in South Africa, Ireland and Holland, as well as its headquarters in Eccles and aims to open six more in Europe by 2012. It made a profit before interest and tax of over £1 million on a turnover of £38 million to March 2009.


For the last couple of years we haven’t bothered with a big Christmas party but have just paid for a few drinks for staff down the pub.

This year we’re in a financial position to push the boat out once again but now that staff are used
to more austere celebrations, might I not be better off spending the money on something else? The missus keeps leaving holiday brochures for Barbados knocking around...


A motivated and rewarded team is one of the greatest assets of any business. Any opportunity to further integrate the team and to celebrate the results of their contribution should be fully exploited.

Christmas provides an excellent platform for such an occasion and, given your improving trading conditions, it seems fair to show some goodwill.

It will be an excellent investment, not least in avoiding the trip to Barbados with your wife...

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.