Britain's entrepreneurial spirit knows no bounds

Brought to you by LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, and supported by The Telegraph, this unique initiative aims to find and celebrate the most exceptional entrepreneurs from across the country. Here Rebecca Burn-Callander introduces the programme and reveals the first 10.

Now in its second year, LDC’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders showcases the people that are generating significant gains for the UK economy, often beating the odds and overcoming barriers to create successful, resilient businesses. These are the innovators, the calculated risk-takers and the strategists that will ensure the future of the economy.

There is a pressing need to celebrate the ambition of today’s entrepreneurs. The UK is currently in the grip of economic uncertainty. The impact of Brexit remains unclear, and rumours of a recession are rife. According to official statistics, growth has remained muted ever since the 2008 financial crisis. 

The mid-market deserves special attention as it is a major and often overlooked contributor to the UK economy. According to recent data, this cohort of just 35,000 companies is demonstrating growth of 6.7pc, on average, each year – outstripping larger and smaller companies. They will generate a staggering £335bn for the nation in 2020. 

Last year’s alumni hailed from a multitude of industries across the UK, from vegan food to crafts, cloud technology to HR software, evidencing the true diversity of Britain’s economy. Julian Hearn, founder of powdered food brand Huel, was named The LDC Most Ambitious Business Leader of 2018. This serial entrepreneur was praised for achieving outstanding growth, selling 22 million meals in three years, and expanding into more than 80 countries.

“Last year, the bar was set very high by 50 impressive business leaders,” says Andy Grove, Head of New Business at LDC. “2019 so far has been dominated by uncertainty in all walks of life so there has never been a more important time to recognise ambition. Against this backdrop, we’ve been amazed by the calibre of the individuals put forward and the success of the businesses they run. Their stories are truly inspirational and just what British business needs.”

“At LDC, we understand the importance of supporting ambition. We’ve been backing the ambitions of British business leaders from across every region and sector of the UK economy since 1981. In the time, we’ve seen business leaders thrive and go for growth at every point in the cycle. It’s why we’re committed to investing £1.2bn into  growing medium-sized businesses over the next three years to help ambitious business leaders to grow bigger, more sustainable businesses.”

The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders programme is a reminder of the scale of ambition and endeavour that this country has to offer. These stories of success have the potential to inspire other entrepreneurs, and encourage them to pursue their goals. 

Over the next five days we will be profiling 50 inspiring business leaders and telling their tales of ambition. Read on to meet the first 10 from twins running a mixer brand going head to head with on the major players in the market, to two sets of brothers helping people travel the world.

Meet The Leaders