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The business leaders recognised in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List

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Having worked tirelessly on their companies or through business promotion efforts, Real Business has a look at the industry leaders whose achievements have been recognised.

James Caan


Serial investor and founder of Start Up Loans

CBE for services to entrepreneurship and charitable services

One of the more recognisable faces on the list due to his previous role as an investor on the BBC show Dragons’ Den. Alongside his TV roles, Caan also founded and sold recruitment company Alexander Mann Group and currently heads up his own private equity firm – Hamilton Bradshaw.

However, this honour has come about due to his chairmanship of the Start Up Loans initiative, which is providing mentoring and financial support to entrepreneurs.

Brent Hoberman


Serial investor and founder of Lastminute.com and mydeco.com

CBE for services to entrepreneurship

As someone who earned his stripes by being one of the few to survive the turn of the century dot.com bubble burst, Hoberman has become known as one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Alongside founding and successfully selling Lastminute.com, Hoberman was picked as one of the World Economic Forum’s Global Young Leaders for the UK in 2009 and set up, alongside the likes of Sean Seton-Rogers and Michael Birch, venture capital firm PROfounders Capital.

Jane Shepherdson


CEO of Whistles 

CBE for services to UK retail business

Another who already holds a title, an MBE, the fashion retail chain chief rose to prominence this year as the person behind the controversial “This is what a feminist looks like” t-shirt.

Having previously worked as brand director for fellow high street retailer TopShop, she bought a 20 per cent stake in Whistles back in 2008 and became CEO.

Trevor Bayliss


Inventor and founder of Trevor Bayliss

CBE for services to intellectual property

The wind-up radio was Bayliss’ greatest invention and has placed him on the same platform as the likes of James Dyson as great modern day British product creators.

However, his accolade for services to intellectual property has come about though the formation of the Trevor Bayliss Foundation and subsequent Trevor Bayliss Brands PLC. After experiencing problems himself in protecting ideas, the foundation was set up to “promote the activity of invention by encouraging and supporting inventors and engineers”.

Now, Trevor Bayliss Brands PLC provides help in determining the originality of ideas and then protecting them and getting to market.

Adrian Cadbury

Former chairman of Cadbury

Order of the Companions of Honour for services to business and the community

Already a knight, the former British Olympic rower and Cadbury head was one of only four to receive this particular accolade. In part due to his efforts in reforming corporate governance, through the publication of the Cadbury Report, and work with Birmingham’s Aston University, he is now building up an impressive list of titles.

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