Liz Barclay is the Small Business Commissioner for the UK. She has a background in broadcasting and journalism specialising in small business, personal finance and consumer affairs and is author of several business books. She is also Chair of the Fair by Design Campaign (to tackle the poverty premium); and a non-executive Director of the Lending Standards Board and member of the Equity Release Council Standards Board.
Until she took up the role of SBC Liz was a Financial Inclusion commissioner, an Ambassador for Business Debtline, a member of the Fundraising Regulator Standards Board and ran backinbusiness.org.uk to give small businesses a voice with policy makers. She worked with Boards and small businesses on improving governance, trust and culture, inclusivity, employee engagement, and understanding customer behaviour. She is also a communication and presentation skills coach and chairs national and international conferences.
Gemma Deane is the founder and owner of Floating Lotus, a small British business focussed on developing, selling and donating Reusable Period Pads.
Gemma developed the range of high quality pads and launched Floating Lotus in 2018. She works to ensure reusable period products are affordable and accessible, and challenges the taboos that still exist around menstruation and period products. For each pack sold, a pad is donated to period poverty charities and causes.
Floating Lotus is also an eco-business, ensuring both the products and business processes are as sustainable and low-carbon as possible. All unavoidable business emissions are offset through donations to reforestation projects across the globe.
Floating Lotus won both the Net Hero Award and Small Business of the Year Award in the Small Awards 2022.
Andrew Goodacre has been the CEO of Bira since 2018 and is passionate about working with the high street and supporting small businesses.
Mr Goodacre has a strong background in retail and hospitality, and since taking up the role, has been integral in pushing forward independent retailers and showcasing their importance of them being at the very heart of every good high street throughout the UK and a vital part of life and the economy within local communities.
He started his career in hospitality, spending 25 years working in the retail divisions of national breweries and pub companies.
Andrew was also formerly a member of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) before becoming the CEO of the Residential Landlords Association in 2013.
With just under thirty years’ experience in TMT, Professor Kerensa Jennings FRSA is an award-winning strategist who specialises in high-impact digital, communications and editorial strategies. She is a Director in data and AI at BT, and a bestselling author.
Former CEO of a Royal social enterprise based at Buckingham Palace, Professor Jennings was previously Head of Strategic Delivery at the BBC and a television producer. She is a Chair of the Board at CAST, the Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology, and a Trustee at Sir John Soane’s Museum. Over the last few years she has helped small businesses make the most of the digital marketplace through BT Skills for Tomorrow, Digital Boost, and her collaborations with Small Business Britain and Small Business Saturday.
Marsha Powell Founder of BelEve UK, a London based Girls Charity, that equips girls and young women with the support network, skills, and confidence to make informed choices about their future and become the next generation of female leader.
Committed to the development and social mobility of young women, this HR professional uses all her transferable skills, knowledge and experience from her 15-year career in the city and her Masters in Personel Development to develop and sustain a platform that contributes to the female empowerment and gender equality narrative in the UK.
BelEve gives girls and young women support, guidance, education, confidence, self-esteem, opportunities, positive solutions, and role models.
Philip Salter founded The Entrepreneurs Network in 2014 with the aim of building an organisation that ensures entrepreneurship is able to flourish in the UK.
Before founding The Entrepreneurs Network, Philip was Editor of one of world’s largest insurance brokers, but the idea for The Entrepreneurs Network came from his time as Business Features Editor of City A.M. where he wrote a weekly column on entrepreneurship and interviewed many of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs.
He is a frequent speaker at conferences, writes a column for Forbes on entrepreneurship and appears regularly elsewhere in the media.
Matt Smith is director of research and policy at the Global Entrepreneurship Network - a community connecting entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and policymakers across 180 countries.
Matt has worked at the heart of the UK’s world-leading entrepreneurial ecosystem since 2008, first as co-founder of student entrepreneur charity NACUE, and most recently as co-founder of think tank and entrepreneurship foundation The Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE), where he remains a senior fellow, facilitating partnerships and providing strategic guidance to the team.
Matt helped launch the European Startup Network in 2016 and from 2020 has served on the board of the National Enterprise Network - connecting enterprise agencies across the UK.
Having been raised in the sunny climes of Zimbabwe, Mark has spent much of his early working life in Newspapers, First at Eddie Shah’s Today newspaper in 1987, and then on to the Guardian Newspaper where his promotion to sales manager then company trainer peaked his interest in Business. Moving up with his family to the wonderful part of the country known as North East Lincolnshire, Mark continued in publishing ultimately as Managing Director of the local newspaper group, before launching his own weekly publication in 2008.
Around the same time Mark founded and launched a brand-new organisation called E-Factor Ltd. A new type of company who generates growing profits through commercial property letting and fees from its unique Business Hive Club, and spends all of it supporting local business and entrepreneurs to realise the success they aspired to with their business.
'Local business is at the heart of every community and every economy, they employ more people, they are more resilient and committed to retaining staff and their innovation and entrepreneurial approach to the many challenges they face is breath-taking.' E-Factor gets to work with inspiring intrepid and motivated local business people every day. It’s as close to a dream business as you could hope to have.
Fifteen years on and thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs later, Mark and his team have a great deal of insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs running small businesses everyday after all, he is one himself.
Dan Welch leads TSB's business banking team, and is responsible for the products and services TSB offer business customers.
Dan's distinctive 15-year career at TSB Bank - most recently as the Head of Business Banking Proposition and Products - spans risk management, product sales & design, project delivery and business strategy.
Dan has a keen interest in seeing small businesses succeed, making him an excellent addition to our esteemed judging panel.
Dr Tom Williamson is Assistant Principal of ARU Peterborough, responsible for the Faculty of Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Faculty of Creative and Digital Arts and Sciences. Tom's research explores the role of Universities in providing support to Start-Ups, SMEs, and Entrepreneurs.
As a practitioner Tom has previously sat on, and Chaired, the Board of EEUK and is currently a management board member of the Small Business Charter. He is a small business owner and has been involved in many start-ups further highlighting his interest and commitment in the enhancement of Education by closely engaging with Industry and Entrepreneurs.