Last year saw the launch of Debrett’s 500 recognising Britain’s 500 most influential people, compiled by independent panels of specialists in each field who provided nominations for selection to Debrett’s. It is a truly inspiring group of people.
This year a new category was added to the index; entrepreneurs, to reflect the “expansion in entrepreneurship” and the increase in people turning away from traditional routes with a focus on “entrepreneurial individuals whose businesses have seen significant development over the last five years”.
Produced by Debrett’s in partnership with the Sunday Times, Debrett’s 500 2015 looks to endorse recognise people of influence and achievement in British society and is compiled using independent panels who provide nominations for selection.
Among the “innovative and ambitious” entrepreneurs named are Paul and Rob Forkan, co-founders of “orphan for orphan” footwear brand Gandy’s, Pizza Express and Strada mogul Luke Johnson, Kelly Hoppen MBE, Mark Pearson; who recently sold his company Markco Media for an impressive £55.5m and Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed.
Several other high-profile names were also recognised in other categories; Sir Richard Branson and Baroness Brady CBE were celebrated for their contributions to business and industry, Mind Candy founder Michael Acton Smith OBE, and teenage entrepreneur Nick D’Aloisio, who sold his app Summly for a reported £19m, were named for their efforts to support the digital sector.
The digital category also included TechHub CEO Elizabeth Varley, Baroness Shields OBE, Lastminute.com founder Baroness Lane Fox of Soho CBE, Sarah Wood of Unruly and Kathryn Parsons of Decoded. Likewise, investors Brent Hoberman, Saul Klein, Sherry Coutu and Eileen Burbidge received recognition.
The New Media list, another new category for 2015, also saw some familiar names with Mumsnet co-founder Justine Roberts, a judge of the Startups Awards 2014, and young entrepreneur to watch Jamal Edwards MBE listed.