The trendsetting Faces of a Vibrant Economy

The trendsetting Faces of a Vibrant Economy

Agile organisations and leaders are starting their own business trends across the UK such as navigating change and fostering entrepreneurial behaviours. We take a look at the Faces transforming lives and achieving impressive growth along the way. 

Confident to lead, sure to succeed

Business trends can switch like the seasons. Luckily, all of the 2017 Faces say they are confident driving change – with 75% saying they strongly agree with the statement.

Conviction in their ability not only helps the Faces set trends but also beat their rivals – with some 85% of the 2017 Faces stating they have ‘no difficulty’ outperforming the competition.

While taking chances can yield big results for entrepreneurs – sometimes giving your people opportunities to shine can be the most rewarding of all. Perhaps that’s why 80% of our Faces strongly agree that they try to encourage entrepreneurial behaviours across their organisations.

The connection between innovation and economic growth has not been lost on Chancellor Philip Hammond. His 2017 Budget had a clear focus on supporting new ideas, research and development. Innovation, a determination to succeed and an ability to navigate change have seen the Faces do amazing things, including inventing life-changing science and launching a global business from the kitchen table.

Scientific breakthroughs save lives

Cambridge Nanosystems’ Chief Scientist Catharina Paukner leads a team that makes carbon material. Her method converts the methane produced into a less harmful product and as a result, improve its green credentials.

“The material is incredibly versatile,” says Catharina, “and can be used for everything from sensors in clothing to detect muscle movement, to coating materials to make them fire retardant. You can even use graphene to create a ‘spray-on’ heater.” With the graphene market estimated to be worth $1 billion by 2025, Catharina’s innovative efforts look set to pay off.

A fellow Face with a similar scientific mission is the founder of BioSure, Brigette Bard, the company behind the world’s first CE-marked at-home HIV test. The technology is making headway across the globe – having recently launched in South Africa – and is set to diversify to tackle other preventable diseases.

“The biggest opportunity for our organisation is to expand on our expertise and provide self-test kits for diseases such as Hepatitis B and C and Tuberculosis,” says Brigette. “If we get it right – and I’m confident we will – this would transform the lives of millions.”

Taking risks – and the world by storm

Taking risks is an inevitable part of any entrepreneur’s journey. Few entrepreneurs appreciate the rewards that can come from such risks as 2016 Face of a Vibrant Economy Julie Deane OBE.

A decade ago Julie wanted to raise enough money to be able to move her children to a new school. She came up with an idea to make traditional leather satchels for the schoolchildren of Cambridge, and started a business doing just that in her kitchen with £600 and assistance from her mother. Within five years, her extra-curricular commitments had transformed into a multi-million pound business – The Cambridge Satchel Company.

Inspire entrepreneurs and reap the rewards

As Chris Wright, Chief Executive of social enterprise Catch22 puts it, “We aspire for the culture to be one that is entrepreneurial, driven, passionate, and wrapped in a commitment to doing the best we can for the people we support. There’s a real energy to do so across the organisation and a passion you don’t see elsewhere.”

To find out more about the Faces and the trends they are setting, click here.


80% of our Faces strongly agree that they try to encourage entrepreneurial behaviours across their organisations.