The Judges

Rt Hon Sir Vincent Cable

Rt Hon Sir Vincent Cable:Vincent Cable served as a Labour councillor in Glasgow between 1971 and 1974, before joining the Social Democrat party. He is currently a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. Vince served as a Labour councillor in Glasgow between 1971 and 1974, before joining the Social Democrat party. He is currently a visiting professor at the London School of Economics.

Ed Vaizey MP

Ed Vaizey MP:Ed Vaizey served as Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, with responsibility for digital industries from July 2014 until July 2016. Previously he served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries from May 2010 until July 2014. Ed was elected as the MP for Wantage in 2005.

Dawn Whitley MBE, CEO of National Enterprise Network

Dawn Whitley MBE, CEO of National Enterprise Network:Dawn is an experienced and dedicated leader, passionate about start-up and SME development. She has developed a vast experience of the needs of start up and small businesses following twenty five years working in the enterprise support sector, further supplemented by practical involvement in several family businesses.

Dawn was awarded an MBE for services to business support and enterprise in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours in June 2016, she is a Fellow of the RSA and a Member of the IoD.

Phillip Salter, The Entrepreneurs Network

Phillip Salter, Director, The Entrepreneurs Network:Philip started his career as Programmes Director at the Adam Smith Institute, running the Institute’s events, student activities and researching and representing the Institute on education policy in the media. After three years with the Adam Smith Institute he moved into journalism, becoming Business Features Editor of City A.M., after which he was Editor across EMEA for one of world’s largest insurance brokers.

While at City A.M. Philip wrote a weekly column on entrepreneurship and interviewed some of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs. He now writes a regular column for Forbes on entrepreneurship and blogs at the Adam Smith Institute.

Alex Evans

Alex Evans, Programme Director, Prelude Group:After a decade producing industry bibles for sectors as diverse as insurance, property investment and confectionery, I joined the National Business Awards – which perfectly combined my passions for networking, connecting and story-telling with rare insight and access to Britain's most impressive leaders. Prelude and The Supper Club have consistently impressed as a finalist, judge, partner and now employer.

Kiki Loizou, Small Business Editor, The Sunday Times

Kiki Loizou, Small Business Editor, The Sunday Times:Kiki has been the Small Business Editor at the Sunday Times for more than two years. In that time, she has covered issues faced by start-ups, small and medium sized firms and growing companies while documenting the rise of British FinTech and technology clusters across the country. She continues to cover current trends and the funding options available to entrepreneurs. Outside her remit, she has reported on the economies of Cyprus and Greece.

Elizabeth Anderson, Business Editor at The I Paper

Elizabeth Anderson, Business Editor at The I Paper:Elizabeth Anderson is a business reporter at The Telegraph and is particularly interested in enterprise. She used to work as a section editor at Management Today magazine and as a freelance business TV and radio producer at the BBC.

Holly Knower, CEO of NACUE

Holly Knower, CEO of NACUE:NACUE is the leading membership organisation for engaging students in enterprise, set up by students for students. They give college and university students the opportunity to boost their skills, confidence and aspirations through supporting student-led enterprise societies, running inspiring events and advocating practical learning.

Tina Bowden, Co-founder MicroBizMatters

Tina Bowden, Co-founder MicroBizMatters:MicroBizMattersDay was created by Tony Robinson and Tina Boden to give micro businesses both the recognition they deserve and the help and guidance they need to succeed.

The idea behind this year’s MicroBizMattersDay is for people to donate at least 8 minutes of their time to help micro business owners everywhere. What you do with your 8 minutes is completely up to you, but the three themes for this year are ‘customers’, ‘cashflow’ and ‘chat’.

Mark Wright, Director, Climb Online

Mark Wright, Director, Climb Online:Climb Online was founded by entrepreneur Mark Wright, an experienced digital-marketing specialist and the 2014 winner of BBC’s The Apprentice. In partnership with Lord Alan Sugar, Mark has built a team of innovative marketing strategists, expert SEO technologists and data analysts, and charismatic, customer-focused consultants. Together, we use the most effective optimisation tools and data-tracking platforms to create and implement online marketing strategies that bring our clients measurable real-world returns.

Joel Hills, Business Editor, ITV News

Joel Hills, Business Editor, ITV News:Joel leads business coverage and provides in-depth analysis of the latest business stories, both in the UK and around the world. Joel has extensive experience as a business expert, having reported on every aspect of the global financial crisis as Sky News’ Business Correspondent. Before joining Sky News, Joel worked as a reporter and presenter for ITV Central, having started his career there as a trainee.

Emma Jones MBE, Founder, Enterprise Nation

Emma Jones MBE, Founder, Enterprise Nation: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.

Gaurav Sharma, Business Editor, IB Times UK

Gaurav Sharma, Business Editor, IB Times UK:Gaurav Sharma is Business Editor at IBTimes UK. Previously he reported from Asia, Europe, Middle East and the Americas for over 15 years, with a core specialisation in macroeconomics and commodities.

Over the last decade, Gaurav has also interviewed several leading figures from the world of international finance, business, law and politics. At various points in his career, he has been a Bank of England and Office for National Statistics correspondent, and has covered every major OPEC summit since 2007.

His work has appeared in publications as diverse as Forbes, Yahoo! Business, Reuters Insight, Infrastructure Journal, Accountancy Age, CFO World, CIO UK and Sharecast, alongside professional stints at CNBC Europe, Euromoney, Emap, IDG, Incisive Media and UNI.

Siobhan Kennedy, Business Editor, Channel 4 News

Siobhan Kennedy, Business Editor, Channel 4 News:Siobhan Kennedy is the Business Editor, and her beat includes everything from industrial action and the long term impact of the recession to where growth is coming from in the economy.

Siobhan joined Channel 4 News in 2008, from The Times. As a newspaper reporter she worked as Politics and Business Correspondent, and before that the Mergers and Private Equity Correspondent. Before The Times, Siobhan worked for Reuters based in London and New York.

Emma Featherstone, Guardian Small Business Network

Emma Featherstone, Guardian Small Business Network:Emma Featherstone is a journalist and content coordinator for the Guardian Small Business Network.