Poverty campaigner turned politician
Chris has done a bit of everything in his time: academic, writer, MP and government minister and is now freelance with a ‘portfolio career’. He chairs the Lending Standards Board and Equity Release Standards Board, the Money Charity and now BackinBusinessorg.uk. He’s also a trustee of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute one in a long list of charity roles.
He has worked with HMRC and the Treasury, the Home Office, Cabinet Office and Department of Health too (we wanted him on board for his connections). Chris used to be interviewed regularly by LizB when he was campaigning against low pay and now they are both Financial Inclusion Commissioners. Chris is passionate about fairness: lending to households and small firms; and treatment of vulnerable consumers and the disadvantaged.
From copy boy to national treasure
Mickey has been a financial and business journalist and broadcaster for 46 years having started out as a City Office copy boy on The Times back in 1969.
In 1974 he became a journalist with The Times choosing to put his expertise on the stock market to good use while learning to write. After that 7 year apprenticeship he wrote for the Evening Standard, the Express or the Times right up until 2010 when he was eventually put out to grass.
His broadcasting career carried on though. He started broadcasting with Channel 4 in 1987 – the year of the “Great Crash” and went on to present the Channel 4 breakfast programme until 1992. He then joined the BBC for the relaunch of Radio 5 live in 1994 and he was presenting Wake Up to Money until March 2020. He has also worked for CNBC and Adam Faith’s Money Channel and presented BBC 2’s “Pound for Pound”, with Liz Barclay, for three successful series.
Small business champion, broadcaster and writer
Most of Liz’s broadcasting career has been with the BBC: in The Business Programmes Unit where she worked with Mickey Clark, Declan Curry and Bob Powell; producing BBC radio and TV programmes (Pound for Pound and 60 small business programmes for BBC2) for an independent production company; and Presenting You and Yours on Radio 4 for 10 years. She has written 3 For Dummies books including Employment Law for Small Businesses, and several business books.
Liz works with Boards and small businesses on improving governance, trust and culture, diversity, and customer understanding, and is passionate about improving customer service and employee engagement. She coaches communication and presentation skills and chairs national and international conferences.
Liz is also a Financial Inclusion Commissioner; Chair of the Fair by Design Campaign (to tackle the poverty premium) and the BSI Consumer Forum; non-executive Director of the Lending Standards Board and CCA Global; and a member of the Fundraising Regulator Standards Board and The Equity Release Council Standards Board. She is an Ambassador for the Money Advice Trust, Business Debtline, and MALG (The Money Advice Liaison Group).
Declan has been writing and talking about business for nearly 30 years – some of that time with Mickey Clark, Liz Barclay and Bob Powell at BBC Business programmes. For almost a decade he was the face and voice of business news on the BBC’s breakfast television – reporting everywhere from the London Stock Exchange to shopping centres, farms, a sausage factory and on board a Royal Navy destroyer. He now stays firmly on land to give a daily business round-up each weekday morning on LBC News. He is in high demand to chair conferences and to speak to business audiences across the UK and globally. Thanks to the lockdown the lazy so-and-so doesn’t even have to leave his own home to do so.
The philosopher (every business needs one)
Simon is a political animal with extensive experience of working with policy advisors and politicians from diverse cultural and ethical backgrounds. He is a top designer of successful policies and builds effectives alliances and coalitions with key stakeholders. He’s also an elite communicator with the ability to translate leadership’s vision into executable plans for teams to follow and has the most infectious laugh around. Until March, Simon worked with Ipse, formerly known as PCG (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-employed). Before that he was director of Policy and External Affairs as the MTA (the Manufacturing Technologies Association), team leader on the John Major Election Campaign Team and Political Liaison Officer of the Independent Schools Information Service. Simon is an accredited PR professional and studied Philosophy at the LSE.
Building the business and getting it right from the start
He’s passionate about building the business and getting it right from the start. Andrew runs his own business helping businesses get their organisational development right by creating strategies for business growth, supporting individual and organisation-wide improvement and facilitating good governance. He was Chief Executive of a trade association for more than 10 years and held leadership positions in professional membership bodies across the UK. Since establishing Consort Strategy 4 years ago in May 2016, he has worked independently in the membership and not-for-profit sectors.
Bob has been a journalist, broadcaster and international corporate and media trainer for more than 30 years in Ireland, the UK, Nigeria and Bangladesh. He worked as a multi-media journalist for Ireland’s National Television and Radio Stations at RTE. He was a reporter, producer and editor in the ‘90s at BBC business programmes in London where he worked with Liz, Mickey and Declan. He’s also been a producer at BBC World Service and ITV.
Bob also delivers custom-made broadcasting skills training to executives and employees and trains them to master methods of communication through the medium of video conferencing – using platforms like Zoom to its best advantage, to engage audiences more effectively.
Jyoti is a freelance journalist, editor and PR consultant. Prior to that, she was the group editor for all publications at IPSE and founder of Modern Work, a trade magazine published by the association, aimed at small businesses and freelancers.
Jyoti started her career in journalism as a reporter for Watford Observer, first on the news desk, then as a senior writer on the features desk for all 16 North London Newsquest titles. She then went to work on the travel desk for Daily Express and has freelanced for other national newspapers including MailOnline. She currently works for The Sun newspaper on a casual basis as well as offers a press and public relations service for businesses.
Head of Policy, Research and External Affairs
Breon is a public relations and public affairs consultant. After spending several years around Westminster working for senior politicians in both Houses of Parliament, he moved to the private sector where he has worked on a number of political and corporate campaigns. His passion is getting the communications right as good communications is vital to business innovation and success. While working for BackInBusiness, he is also working as a freelance consultant advising businesses on their communications and campaigns during these unprecedented times.
All things content
Amy is a freelance copywriter and digital content manager. She has worked across a number of industries, helping businesses get maximum output from their digital content and online channels, and drive customer engagement. Throughout the years, she has been behind copy and content for both big and small businesses, including Tourism New Zealand, Westfield shopping centres and Mercedes-Benz.co.uk.
Katie works with small start up firms mostly in the travel business. She writes and edits articles and has worked independently and remotely from across the globe including Kenya, Japan, Sri Lanka etc. With opportunities to travel rare at the moment we are very lucky to have her on board as our Scotland Business Reporter.
Sandy is a news journalist and broadcaster with more than 5 years experience in TV. She has produced sensitive and thought-provoking documentaries for terrestrial channels and global networks. She is passionate about giving a platform to those whose voices are unheard and is currently volunteering with charities supporting young women in crisis.
Jemma has been a freelance graphic designer for the last decade, working in both digital and print. With over 18 years of diverse design experience, Jemma has a background in publishing and illustration, working with a vast range of different industries and providing support to design agencies.
HARRY VAN DAALEN
Harry is a recent University of Salford graduate who has spent his last three years studying and getting involved with student radio. Alongside his course, Harry was the deputy station manager for his student station alongside being the North West and North Wales Regional Officer for the Student Radio Association, showing his passion for all things student radio. Harry has recently created a First Class graded Radio Documentary examining the link between mental health and comedy. He’s worked with radio stations in the past, shadowing shows and helping with their production work.
Head of campaigns
Darren is a professional communicator and freelance writer who is immersed in the world of small businesses and freelancers. He runs his own PR company, In Tune PR, loved writing about a local build by DIY SOS, interviewing the TV show regulars and the trades who worked so hard in a good cause. He well remembers the panic and gloom caused by the refreshment tent running out of milk and the van that screamed to a halt bearing fresh supplies. In the wake of the havoc caused by Covid-19, Darren hopes to help us encourage that spirit and to support us in supporting you.
Ellie is a recent graduate from the University of Oxford, having studied Ancient and Modern History. Alongside her degree, she got involved in local LGBT campaigns and helping other young people aspire to top universities as a college Ambassador, in between many days in the library and the occasional night in the pub. With official graduation sadly postponed for the time being, Ellie is keen to get involved in such a worthwhile project and help with BackinBusiness’ social media wherever she can.
Ben has recently graduated from The University of Salford, completing his degree with a three-part series based on the untold community stories of HS2. He also spent much of his university life at student radio as the station’s Head of Imaging. With a passion for radio and audio, Ben has produced some memorable live events from a 15-hour charity row-a-thon, to an attempt to visit every tram stop in Manchester. Ben’s industry experience also ranges from BBC Radio 6 Music to Global.
Mark Hart is Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School, Associate Director of the Aston Centre for Growth, and is one of the Programme Directors and Academic Lead of the national Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme. A 2014 recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, he has played a national role in promoting enterprise skills and supporting entrepreneurs as well as advising the UK Government, OECD and the European Commission on small business and entrepreneurship matters. Over the last 40 years, Professor Hart has worked and published extensively in the areas of entrepreneurship, enterprise and small business development and policy.
Tom Levitt is a writer who has studied how small businesses engage with their communities. He is a consultant on responsible and sustainable business and the author of ‘The Company Citizen’ (2018) and ‘The Courage to Meddle’ (2020). A former Member of Parliament and a serial charity chair, his clients have included major businesses, think tanks, councils, social enterprises and others. He’s the co-founder of the award-winning social enterprise, Fair for You, chairs a Taskforce on ‘Business Schools and the Public Good’ for the Chartered Association of Business Schools.
Jeremy Canning is a business coach, mentor and adviser to entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders. Having worked at global board level for large complex businesses, through to being responsible for successful start-ups, giving his clients access to a deep commercial awareness, authentic leadership techniques, innovative business tools and the opportunity to continually develop themselves and their businesses. He is also a strong advocate for the environment, how businesses manage their relationships with their employees, suppliers, customers and community, and their accountability and governance efforts.
Anna Price is CEO of Rural Business Awards, a Chartered Marketer and strategy specialist. Anna has two decades of experience working within marketing and business disciplines in a wide variety of industries and sectors including, Engineering, Utilities, Health and Wellness, Product Design and R&D.
Anna works as a consultant with SME’s and small start-up businesses helping them to plan, grow and thrive by developing business and market strategies to facilitate change. She actively challenges and encourages open mindedness in the way her clients address strategy and planning within their organisations – focusing on challenges that they need to address today, as well as anticipating future problems and opportunities that may arise.