The Judges

Paul Scully MP

Paul Scully MP

Paul Scully was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 13 February 2020. He is responsible for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets and Minister for London.

Paul is a British politician serving as the Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam since 2015. A member of the Conservative Party, he served as its vice chairman for the London region from 2017 to 2019. Paul was born in Rugby, Warwickshire. He moved to London after graduating and ran a number of small businesses.

Lisa Conway Hughes

Lisa Conway Hughes

Lisa Conway-Hughes is a Chartered Financial Adviser and a Fellow of The Personal Finance Society. Lisa joined the financial industry 15 years ago and was named as Financial Adviser of the Year 2020 – London.

Lisa, also known as Miss Lolly, writes, speaks, tweets, and blogs on all things money related. Lisa is passionate about making financial education open to all and loves taking the jargon out of the financial world. Lisa is the author of Money Lessons and features regularly as a media expert in the female press and newspaper as well as the BBC News.

A little bit of knowledge is all you need to make a start in getting your finances under firm control. Strong financial foundations will help you to enjoy the standard of living you want for yourself and your family, now and in the future. But money matters are forever changing, just like your financial priorities, which means you need to be continually learning – and that’s what is here for.

Gosbert Chagula

Gosbert Chagula

Gosbert is the Co-founder of Startup Discovery School, a business accelerator focused on supporting underrepresented founders. Gosbert has spent the last 10 years working across the Startup and SME ecosystem in both Europe and Africa. Prior to Startup Discovery School, Gosbert worked for Exeter Velocities, a Business Accelerator focused on sustainable solutions to the challenges of urbanisation.

Gosbert is also a member of the SME Engagement Group at the UK's Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy which is focused on improving access to business support for entrepreneurs from across the UK. This work is combined with his board role at the Africa Technology Business Network where he's been involved in launching Her Future Africa, a Ghana-based innovation camp focused on enabling innovative solutions to the continent’s challenges and providing access to under-served communities.

Oskar Bryszak

Oskar Bryszak

Having been part of TSB since 2014, Oskar has met and worked with thousands of small businesses and consumers as part of past roles, and transitioned into current role with an aim to onboard and work with relevant partners to support the goal of delivering Money confidence. For everyone. Every day.

He runs TSB’s small business events programme and works with partnerships to deliver timely and relevant support to SME sector. He is leading on recognising challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs running small businesses and delivering best practice customer experience through collaborations with corporate and strategic partnerships who also support and champion UK SMEs. Oskar has a great pleasure in representing TSB this year, in its long-standing support to recognise small businesses through The Small Awards.

Professor Tim Vorley - Oxford Brookes Business School

Professor Tim Vorley

Professor Tim Vorley is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Oxford Brookes Business School, and leads on Entrepreneurship and Enterprise at Oxford Brookes University. Tim’s research is on entrepreneurship, enterprise and regional economic development, with a particular interest in business model innovation and productivity. He works extensively with government departments, and has been involved in a number of projects examining the impact of Covid-19 on small and micro businesses. Tim is also Vice-Chair of the Small Business Charter, created by Lord Young to recognise business schools that play an effective role in supporting small businesses and student entrepreneurship.

Philip Salter - The Entrepreneurs Network

Philip Salter

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.

Mark Webb - e-factor

Mark Webb

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 a unique business club membership fees 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.

Ten 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.

Andrew Griffith, MP

Andrew Griffith, MP

Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel and South Downs, serves as the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion to support the country’s business community to make credible plans to net zero by 2050 or earlier and showcase the UK’s place as a global leader in tackling climate change.

With the UK committed to build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic and with only one year to go until the COP26 summit is held in Glasgow, the role of the Net Zero Business Champion has never been more crucial.

In his new role Mr Griffith will work closely with Business Secretary and COP26 President Alok Sharma to support as many UK businesses as possible to commit to net zero targets.

Over the next year, Mr Griffith will play a vital role in harnessing the potential of British firms as they launch new products, attract new investment and create new jobs.

Andrew Griffith served as the Prime Minister’s Chief Business Adviser between July and December 2019. He was elected as MP at the 2019 general election and is a member of the House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee, excusing himself from BEIS related matters.

Mr Griffith served on Sky Group plc’s Board of Directors from 2008-19 as Chief Operating Officer and previously Chief Financial Officer. Throughout his tenure at Sky, the company was a leader in taking action on climate and the environment attaining carbon neutral status back in 2006. He is also a former Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of Just Eat plc.

Andrew Griffith studied Law at Nottingham University and is a qualified chartered accountant.

Mandy Nyarko

Mandy Nyarko

Mandy is the co founder of Startup Discovery School, a business accelerator and incubator programme designed to accelerate entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, such as Women, People of colour, LGBTQ+ etc. The programme aims to enable founders to access both mentorship and investment ecosystems that will help them to grow and sustain their businesses.

She has collaborated at Exec level to create ESG initiatives and innovation programmes that lead to both environmental and social change. Her speciality is working with large organisations with complex structures to help them to adapt to fast moving global economic, demographic and cultural change.

Iain Wright - Director For business and industrial strategy, ICAEW


Iain Wright trained as a Chartered Accountant and worked at Deloitte and Touche from 1995-2003. He was elected as the Member of Parliament for Hartlepool in 2004 and served in this capacity until 2017, until he decided not to seek re-election. Iain served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Planning in the Department for Communities and Local Government from 2007 to 2009 and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for 14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships between 2009 and 2010 in the Gordon Brown Government.

Between 2011 and 2015 he was the opposition spokesman for Industry. Then from 2015 - 2017, he was the Chairman of Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, where he led high profile inquiries into the sale of BHS and working practices at Sports Direct. He stood down at the 2017 General Election and joined ICAEW in April 2018. Iain is a Governor of Middlesbrough College. He also chairs the policy forum of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He has an MA in History from University College London and obtained an MBA with Distinction from Durham University in 2019.

Dan Ellis

Dan Ellis

Dan Ellis is the Founder of Whitley Bay's independent cinema and community hub: Jam Jar Cinema. He is the Small Awards 2020 winner of both the Heart Of Gold category and overall Small Business of the year. Starting with nothing but an idea to improve his hometown he has grown the venue to be a nationally important independent cinema, and spurred on major regeneration of the town's centre.

With 3 screens, luxury seating and two lounge bars you would expect sky high prices, but as a social enterprise the business is affordable, friendly and accessible. Under Dan's leadership it became the first English cinema to be fully 'Pay as you please' where guests can choose from three price tiers to suit their financial situation.

Dan originally trained in drama education at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama before completing an MA at the University of Newcastle. He has been recognised with the Prime Minister's Points of Light Award and won BAFTA's Love of Film competition. He now uses his free time to support other creative industry professionals, mentors start-up businesses and is a national advocate for arts-lead regeneration.

Clare Harris - Strategic Partnerships Manager, British Library Business & IP Centre

Clare Harris

Having been part of the team behind the Business & IP Centre (BIPC) since 2007, Clare has met and worked with thousands of new small businesses as part of past roles to run its events programme, partnerships and establish a national network of new face-to-face BIPC hubs in public libraries across the country. Now leading on key collaborations with corporate and strategic partner organisations who also support and champion UK start-ups it’s with great pleasure that she takes part in the Small Awards once again in 2021.

Emma Robertson - Transform

Emma Robertson

Transform's CEO, Emma Robertson, has worked with some of the UK's biggest organisations, helping blue chip and emerging companies to re-orientate their businesses around the ever-changing customer.

Emma has extensive experience of digital transformation and her knowledge of eco-system thinking has resulted in a strong track record in high profile, customer-centred, results-driven projects for market leading companies including Hammerson, P&O, Homebase, Argos, eBay, BT and Tesco. A regular face in the press, Emma has appeared on Sky and BBC news discussing technology and regularly features in publications including The Drum, eConsultancy and The Edge.

Chris Kenna

Chris Kenna

Christopher Kenna is CEO and Founder of Brand Advance (BA), a company which connects brands with diverse audiences globally, through Insights, Media and Creative that more authentically engages these communities.

Chris is also the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at OUTvertising, the Advertising industry Lobbying Group and as a mixed race, out gay father - is a strong advocate for diversity and representation within the Media and Advertising industry. Chris is also on the advisory board for the V&A Museum.

Chris is an award winning entrepreneur having recently received the Innovator of the Year Award at the second annual Ex-Forces in Business Awards and was shortlisted for Chief Executive of the Year at the Inclusive Companies Awards.

Anne Kiem - Chartered Association of Business Schools

Anne Kiem

Anne joined the Chartered Association of Business Schools as Chief Executive in 2014, and was also made Executive Director of the Small Business Charter in 2016. The Chartered ABS is the membership body for the UK’s business schools, with over 120 members. The Small Business Charter, or SBC, recognises those business schools that work successfully to support start-up and growing businesses.

Anne has extensive experience of business, educational and non-profit sectors and before joining the Chartered ABS she worked at the Institute of Financial Services, part of what is now the London Institute of Banking and Finance in a number of leadership roles, introducing a number of financial capability and regulatory qualifications. Prior to that she worked at Barclays Wealth Management, and as a secondary school Maths teacher. She is a FRSA in recognition of her work on employee share schemes.

Andrew Goodacre

Andrew Goodacre

Andrew Goodacre has been the CEO for the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) since September 2018, having previously spent many years in the hospitality. Bira represents more than 4,000 independent retailers throughout the UK, ranging from a small hardware shop to an independent department store. Andrew believes that independents are at the heart of every good high street and will continue to make a valuable contribution to their local economies and local communities.

Kerensa Jennings

Kerensa Jennings

Professor Kerensa Jennings FRSA is a digital impact specialist, senior adviser at BT, a Trustee at the Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST), and Visiting Professor of Media, Strategy and Communications at the University of Huddersfield. She is also a bestselling author and award winning strategist.

Kerensa was previously CEO of the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA), an international programme set up to help address the digital skills gap. Earlier in her career, Kerensa spent many years as a TV producer and was the BBC's Head of Strategic Delivery. She represents BT on boards, at major events and in the media. BT Skills for Tomorrow aims to help small businesses make the most of the digital economy with free help, mentoring and training on everything from social media to protecting your data.

Matt Smith - Director of Policy & Research, Centre for Entrepreneurs

Matt Smith - Director of Policy & Research, Centre for Entrepreneurs

Matt oversees the research, policy and network activities of the Centre for Entrepreneurs. He was recruited by Luke Johnson in 2013 to design, launch and run the Centre as a think tank, before merging it with the New Entrepreneurs Foundation in 2017 to create a unified entrepreneurship foundation.

Previously, Matt co-founded student enterprise charity NACUE and worked at Enterprise UK. He also helped launch the European Startup Network and served as board member from 2016-2019