And so our list of entrepreneurial heroes grows. Making up today's instalment of our "Champions of entrepreneurial Britain" feature are social entrepreneur Charlotte Young, founder of the Fredericks Foundation Paul Barry-Walsh, Octopus Ventures and other select investors and the Consortium of University Entrepreneurs. See yesterday’s champions here.
Charlotte Young Young is the chair of the board of trustees for The School for Social Entrepreneurs, which has been particularly effective in working with ethnic and other communities from disadvantaged backgrounds. Young, whose background is in management and organisational development, is driving social entrepreneurship from grassroots.
Paul Barry-WalshAnother successful entrepreneur getting disadvantaged Britons into business. In 2001, Barry-Walsh launched the Fredericks Foundation to fund sustainable self-employment. It’s been so successful (more than 500 people from single parents to ex-offenders have been given a boost) that it now provides microfinance to firms outside the UK.A few, select investorsVenture capital and private equity numbers are at all-time lows, but a few professional investors remain in the game. Octopus Ventures, for example, has this year backed a couple of early-stagers, among them Graze.com and 21Net. Another, still active, investor in the mid-market is LDC. (We declare an interest here, in that Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity arm is an investor in our own business.) That said, 12 deals during 2009 is a pretty notable number in a stagnant market. New portfolio companies range from Quantum Specials to Cranswick Pet & Aquatics to Model Zone.National Consortium of University EntrepreneursLook at the students represented by the NACUE and you’ll see the future of entrepreneurial Britain. The consortium is a powerful new body that connects and represents university enterprise societies and student entrepreneurs. Founded in December 2008 by Victoria Lennox from the Oxford Entrepreneurs society, it’s backed by entrepreneurial heavyweights. The NACUE is the future – and the future is bright.
Check back tomorrow for more champions of entrepreneurial Britain. Tell us who you'd like to see on our list of enterprise heroes by posting a comment below.