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Entrepreneurs Panel

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

UK interest rates hold steady at 0.5%

The Bank of England has held interest rates at 0.5 per cent despite speculation that it would make a cut in response to economic uncertainty following the UK's vote to leave the EU.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted eight to one to keep the base rate at the record low set in March 2009.

However, the committee signalled that it could take action next month.

"Most members of the committee expect monetary policy to be loosened in August," the Bank said.

"The precise size and nature of any stimulatory measures will be determined during the August forecast and Inflation Report round."

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist of the Confederation of British Industry, said: "Policymakers have several tools at their disposal, and have already taken some measures to pre-emptively ease liquidity bottlenecks and ensure finance continues to flow around the economy.

"Meanwhile, businesses will be looking for a commitment from the new Government to preserve the openness of our economy in terms of access to markets, skills and trade deals."

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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.