Marc has worked across the media industries as a Founder, CEO, Director, Strategist and Creative Director.
As an entrepreneur he has founded several ventures including three creative agencies and two digital businesses. Marc has managed projects for global brands, teams of 50 people, and annual turnovers up to £8m. In addition to his role as Chair of GEN UK, he consults on brand communications and is part time Marketing Director for the Tony Buzan Group.
Marc started at the BBC and Channel 4 before co-founding Ortmans Young International and later running multi-national design agency group Button. He helped launch UEFA Champions League, First Direct bank, the Homeless World Cup, and created the first satellite TV brand in UK for Satellite TV, bought by Murdoch and renamed Sky.
Along the way he picked up a shelf load of awards including BAFTA, D&AD, Paris Citi and New York Festivals. Since 2008, Marc has managed the creation and expansion of the GEW and GEN family of brands. He is currently leading the development of the GEN UK HUB.
Elaine has been involved in the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) for over 11 years, and is an Adviser to the Global Board of GEN.
In returning to the UK 4 years ago, after living in the Middle East for 8 years, Elaine became a Co-Founder and Executive Director of GEN UK and is frequently invited to speak at international conferences on entrepreneurship, diversity, innovation and creativity. Whilst in the Middle East Elaine held the post of Director of Organisation and Strategy for Silatech, a Qatari social enterprise supporting youth entrepreneurship and the development of employability skills across the MENA Region.
This role involved many joint partnerships and programmes delivered in collaboration with a variety of internal NGO’s, Government funded programmes and partnerships with international organisations. Elaine has travelled to over 40 countries and delivered workshops and speaking engagements in over 20 countries.
Elaine understands the complexities and demands of working cross-culturally and in diverse organisations.
Apart from her day to day management role, Elaine is responsible for the delivery of the GEW campaign across the UK.
As Company Secretary, Katherine is responsible for corporate affairs at GEN UK. Previously she has held several positions including Corporate Services Manager for Expat Consulting, Company Secretary for Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, Governance & Board Secretary for NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, and Company Secretary & Membership Support Manager for Groundwork UK, a national environmental charity.
Katherine has also worked in several volunteer roles including as Secretary for the Chartered Governance Institute Yorkshire, and as a Director and Trustee for the Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid charity.
Katherine is a qualified Chartered Secretary and an Associate of the Chartered Governance Institute.
Piers Linney is an entrepreneur and investor with experience across a range of sectors including technology, converged communications, and additive manufacturing. He is the Founder and CEO of Moblox, a next generation technology and business tools platform for UK small business owners. Piers is well-known as a champion of entrepreneurship and SMEs and a regular media commentator and is probably best known as a former Dragon investor on BBC 2’s Dragons’ Den and from Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire.
Piers has a professional background as a qualified corporate finance solicitor and in M&A investment banking at Credit Suisse. He was a non-executive director of the UK government’s development bank, British Business Bank during the roll-out of the £90bn Covid-19 business support loan schemes. Piers has been recognised as one of the UK’s top 100 most influential Black Britons and in 2020 he was recognised as one of the UK’s top 20 Ethnic Minority Executives. Piers is an Adviser to Sky and sits on its Diversity Advisory Council.
Priya is a venture partner at Merian Ventures, investing in women-led innovation, a member of the Innovate UK Council, NED at the Digital Catapult, GB Badminton and Adjunct Faculty at the Ashridge Hult Business School. She was previously GM for RocketSpace, launching their UK operations.
Priya used to be a career diplomat, most recently as British Consul General to San Francisco and previously in India and Spain. She is on the Althea Foundation Board, Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates Advisory Boards and Royal Academy of Engineering International Committee. She also Chairs the Board of Trustees of Modern Muse and is an Advisor to The Youth Group.
Priya was awarded an MBE in 2021 for services to international trade and women in innovation.
Arif Zaman is Senior Lecturer at the Bloomsbury Institute, London, a member of the visiting faculty at Henley Business School, University of Reading and Executive Secretary, the Commonwealth Research Network on International Business. He is Executive Director of the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network, an accredited organisation directly recognised by 54 Governments on women’s economic empowerment and leadership.
He co-edited the Bloomsbury Institute Working Paper Series Special Issue on the Brexit, Commonwealth and the Creative Industries (June 2020) and is author of the bestselling book on Reputational Risk (Financial Times, 2004 and published in Russian, 2008). He has authored several publications including for Chatham House, the IOD, the Commonwealth Secretariat, BSI and ACCA. He led the Commonwealth’s work on corporate governance as Adviser on both Corporate Governance and South Asia to the Commonwealth Business Council (2005-14).
Arif was Global Market and Industry Analyst at British Airways (1996-2005) where he won several company awards including for his contribution to BA’s Business Principles and Sustainability Policy and industry awards for his work on logistics, trade and strategy. He was the first Associate Director and a founder member of the National Steering Group of Mosaic (2005-2010), founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, which creates opportunities for young people, and especially Muslims, growing up in the UK’s most deprived and disadvantaged communities.
In 2011 he received an award from Malaysian PM Badawi for his ‘excellent contribution in the field of public relations serving world communities.’ He is a Fellow of the RSA, the Royal Asiatic Society and the Higher Education Academy and sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Business Strategy.
Before joining the World Bank, Dr Chris Haley was Head of New Technology & Startup Research at NESTA, the innovation foundation. He led NESTA’s research interests into how startups and new technologies can drive economic growth, and what this means for businesses, intermediaries and for the government.
Prior to joining NESTA, Chris worked for several years at Imperial Innovations (now part of IP Group), the technology commercialisation and investment company of Imperial College London. His role there focused on assessing emerging technologies and early stage investment opportunities, with particular attention to cleantech.
Following this, he spent two years within Imperial College itself, developing and managing the institution’s strategy for enterprise, technology transfer and translation. Chris has a first class degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, a PhD in History & Philosophy of Science, and a postgraduate diploma in strategy and innovation from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.
He has advisory roles with the APPG for Entrepreneurship, the UK Intellectual Property Office, the Enterprise Research Centre, the ScaleUp Institute and Startup Olé, and is a ‘Startup Europe’ Ambassador.
Founder of startup RunFriendly (Airbnb for showers) matching demand among runners, cyclists and those on-the-go in cities with under utilised showers & changing facilities in hotels, and gyms. Scott writes on the subject for the Guardian, Men’s Running and Runner’s World. He is Honorary Senior Research Fellow at UCL Bartlett (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) working on connected environments, active travel, urban design and wellbeing.
In addition to his role as GEN UK board member, he has advisory and associate roles at innovative firms including ASI Data Science, PAN Studio, Centric Lab and PSYT. Previously Scott was Exec Director & Chief Business Officer at Future Cities Catapult; Executive Director at Hub Launchpad; Co-founder and original Chair of Global Entrepreneurship Week; Co-founder Make Your Mark with a Tenner.
Jonathan is founder and president of GEN, a platform of programs and initiatives to help new firms start and scale within one global entrepreneurial ecosystem headquartered in Washington, DC. Jonathan launched GEN’s cornerstone initiative, Global Entrepreneurship Week, in 2008 with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Each November since then, millions of people are welcomed into the entrepreneurial culture through thousands of local GEW activities and competitions. Since 2009, he has chaired the annual Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) that gathers well over 5,000 leaders from the world’s entrepreneurial ecosystems. As an economist, Jonathan worked on Capitol Hill and served as CEO of a health care and trade policy think tank.
His entrepreneurship experience includes two successful startups.
He has served as an advisor to the Kauffman Foundation and currently serves on the Board of the Center for American Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC. Outside the United States, beyond chairing the Boards of dozens of GEN affiliates, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Entrepreneurship in Moscow.
Jonathan speaks and writes about high-growth entrepreneurship regularly, and has emerged as a global strategist for healthier ecosystems for entrepreneurs around the world.
As Deputy Company Secretary, Ginni supports corporate affairs and finance at GEN UK. Before moving to the UK, she worked as Assistant Manager at Capital Small Finance Bank dealing with compliance in regulatory, labour, and other matters. Previously Ginni was Company Secretary for law firm Dinesh Gupta & Co and Article Assistant at Chartered Accountants RK Dhir & Co.
Ginni is a qualified Chartered Secretary and a champion chess player.
Russell has enjoyed the benefits of a highly successful international career in the technology sector and now focuses his efforts on supporting owners and boards of companies to devise and implement growth strategies to create shareholder value. In his earlier career he has held board leadership positions with International companies achieving turnover more than £200m. Core areas of focus are Leadership, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic thinking. He is a regular speaker at events on Leadership in business and has spoken at conferences from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi. Russell is founding Managing Partner of the advisory group, Exolta Capital Partners, www.exolta.com and Founding ChairmanScottish Business Network, www.sbn.scot the global network supporting Scottish business leaders. He is a member of Scotland Trade Board and regularly named in the 100 most influential British Entrepreneurs list.
National Director, Northern Ireland, Director GEW UK
At just 28 Katie Matthews is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, growth mindset educator, speaker, founder, mentor, trauma-informed practitioner and mental health and wellbeing trainer. Katie supports mental health, entrepreneurship, leadership, community development, growth mindset development and the next generation of young people. Katie is the founder of The Mind Tribe UK, a mental health and wellbeing training and consultancy business, and a tuition company, Excel In Education Tutoring School. With a passion for youth development and leadership, combined with entrepreneurship and mental health, Katie established the Young Entrepreneur’s Network Northern Ireland, as a voluntary organisation and dedicated platform for young entrepreneurs and business professionals across Northern Ireland, aged 18-30. Part of Katie’s ethos is to give back to the community. Apart from her role as GEN UK National Director, Northern Ireland, she is an Independent Member of the Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Area Policing Community Safety Partnership, on the board of Trustees for the charity Home-Start North Belfast. Katie was recognised on the NI 40 Under 40 List in 2019, was awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2018 FSB Awards, the Future Star Award at the NI Maternal Mental Health Awards 2019 and was a judge and panel chair for The Diana Award 2020.
National Director, Northern Ireland, Director GEW UK
Francesca James is the founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, a national celebration of entrepreneurship in its eighth year.
The awards programme visits eight cities a year and receives over 3,000 applications each season. Above and beyond the awards programme though, Great British Entrepreneurs has evolved into a community and eco-system of support all year round.
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards and community connect their alumni via a community magazine (Great British Entrepreneurs) and regular events, both online and digital. Awards alumni include the founders of Clearscore, Brew Dog, The LAD Bible, Grenade and Tangle Teezer.
Francesca also owns and manages Fresh Business Thinking, an online resource for business owners, directors and entrepreneurs. Based in Cardiff, Francesca is developing GEN UK’s role in Wales and driving the GEW UK 2020 campaign across the Welsh nation.
Josh Armstrong is the Enterprise Officer at the University of Winchester and is just completing his MSc in International Business and undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Student Engagement in Higher Education. Josh’s background is within Dance and the Arts after starting his own Community Interest Company in 2017. Josh trained at CAPA College in Wakefield in Production Arts and Creative Media Production before attending the University of Winchester to study BA (Hons) Theatre Production (Stage and Arts Management). Josh’s key area of interest is Entrepreneurship in the Creative and Cultural Sector. As an Advisor to GEN UK he is focused on how to enable future entrepreneurs to succeed.
Matt Smith is director of research and policy at the Global Entrepreneurship Network – working with our community connecting entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and policymakers across 180 countries.
Matt has worked at the heart of the UK’s world-leading entrepreneurial ecosystem since 2008, first as co-founder of student entrepreneur charity NACUE, and most recently as co-founder of think tank and entrepreneurship foundation The Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE), where he remains a senior fellow responsible for CFE’s incubator and refugee entrepreneurship networks.
Matt helped launch the European Startup Network in 2016 and from 2020 has served on the board of the National Enterprise Network – connecting enterprise agencies across the UK. He has been a Great British Entrepreneur Awards judge since 2014.