Telling the truth about SME life today

Champions of entrepreneurial Britain: Part 3

Miles TemplemanThe Institute of Directors (IoD) was massively influential in the eighties, when entrepreneurialism took hold. Today’s director-general could be returning it to former glories. Templeman is a passionate advocate of enterprise, believing that it is upon enterprise that our future prosperity as a nation depends. He recently spearheaded a lobbying campaign to convince the government not to reverse the law with regards to the tax burden on family businesses. The IoD also recently submitted more than 250 detailed regulatory case studies to the government proposing solutions to a range of red-tape burdens, complementing Templeman’s call for a regulatory moratorium during the recession. Julie MeyerWith eye-watering chutzpah, this corporate financier, online Dragon and networker-supreme champions all things entrepreneur through conferences, online communities and the media. Despite the recession, her Ariadne Capital is still investing. It recently backed virtual-world companies Real Life and Near Global. The Real Life deal was the fifth funding round that Ariadne Capital has advised on or introduced new investors to in the past six months.SteliosStelios isn’t just a doyen of budget travel. The former shipping magnate sponsors an award for disabled entrepreneurs (this year’s gong will be given out at our Growing Business Awards in November), he’s pledged 200 scholarships during ten years to the London School of Economics and Cass Business School in London and was awarded a knighthood for services to entrepreneurship in 2006. The man has said himself: “There comes a time in the life of an entrepreneur when one has to start giving back to society.” Like others on our list, he has a natural gift for championing entpreneurship. Oxford Investment Opportunity NetworkOne of the first business angel networks in the UK is Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION), which was established in 1995. It champions entrepreneurship in Britain, not only through the deals it does but also through the help it gives angels so that they become better investors. This model of peer support impressed the British Business Angel Association so much that it was one of the reasons it gave for awarding OION its Business Angel Network of the Year Award this year. The network focuses on innovative technology companies with high growth potential, securing investment rounds of between £200,000 and £2m for between ten and 15 companies each year. Since 2000, OION has helped close nearly 100 deals, raising more than £21.5m for the companies concerned.

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.

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Related articles:Champions of entrepreneurial Britain: Part 1 Champions of entrepreneurial Britain: Part 2Julie Meyer: business advice on running an SME in the recessionStelios: "People used to confuse me with Harry Enfield’s TV character Stavros!"


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