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Entrepreneurs Panel

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

Five Minutes With...

From digital TV to corporate jets, David Hood is one entrepreneur who is not afraid to think outside the box when it comes to business.

Business owners should complain if they are not happy with the service they receive from their banks, says Mark Prisk, minister of state for business and enterprise.

In 12 years Google has gone from a mere twinkle in the eyes of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to one of most commonly used verbs in the English language. If any company has become synonymous withthe internet’s penetration into the heart of business and society, Google is it.

If the Conservative Party thinks it currently has an image problem in Liverpool it should cast its mind back 30 years to the days of mass unemployment and the 1981 Toxteth riots that saw the nadir of the city’s relationship with Westminster.

In July 2010 Kirsty Henshaw entered BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den looking for investment in her frozen dessert business, Worthenshaws. The 25-yearold came out with a £65,000 investment and a commitment from “dragons” Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne that they’d be along for the journey.

In September 2009 Stephen Kelly sent shockwaves through the British software industry when he stepped down as chief executive of Micro Focus – a FTSE 250 technology firm valued at around £800 million.

Frank McKenna has never exactly been shy about being the public face of the Downtown in Business brand, which he founded in Liverpool in 2004 and now boasts operations in Preston and Manchester (the latter launched earlier this year). His weekly, “Thank Frank it’s Friday” email missives, “Frankie Says” blog and Tarantino-inspired advertisements are cases in point.

When comedian Dom Joly “tweeted” the fact that he was on the lookout for a new razor he received a number of responses advising him to give King of Shaves products a go and to contact the firm’s founder, Will King, directly. Joly got in touch with King who sent a razor out in the next post.

A lot was resting on May’s General Election for Esther McVey. As well as either shattering or fulfilling her political ambitions, the result in Wirral West – the marginal seat she successfully fought for the Conservatives – was to determine whether her business decisions of late were the right ones. She spoke to us as campaigning began in earnest.

London has two mayors. One, a mop-topped former journalist, wields more power than anybody outside the Cabinet and many within it. The other, a sober accountant, spends a significant proportion of his year in office jetting around the world telling anyone who will listen what jolly fine chaps our bankers really are.

  • 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 NonExecutiveDirectors.com, 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.