Posted: Tue 6th Feb 2024
At Enterprise Nation, we're on a mission to take the loneliness out of entrepreneurship. Through our local meet-up campaign, we're offering a ready-made support network to small business owners across the UK and Ireland.
Local meet-ups wouldn’t exist without our army of Local Leaders. Small business owners in their own right, these amazing individuals are committed to their local community and passionate about supporting small businesses in their regions.
As the year starts anew, let’s meet the Local Leaders who will be giving small business owners a much-needed lifeline in 2024.
Paul Shaw, Local Leader for South West London
Business consultant Paul enjoys getting under the skin of small businesses and understanding what makes organisations tick. He's on a mission to improve the lives of small business owners by helping them build healthier, happier, more efficient and profitable businesses.
Mandy Lucas, Local Leader for Devon and Cornwall
Mandy is an animal welfare expert, with over 20 years of experience in positively affecting the lives of farm animals across the globe. After over 30 years of continuous employment in the world of corporate business, she took a leap of faith to set up her own consulting business in May 2019. She says:
"The challenges of running a business are universal, so it's great to be able to seek counsel from others. I love encouraging the group to share ideas and challenges in a safe and warm environment."
Lucy Kebbell, Local Leader for South East London
Freelance stylist and consultant, Lucy is relatively new to entrepreneurship, having launched her company in October 2018.
With over 14 years of experience working in luxury fashion editorial, Lucy wanted to put her skills to good use and launched the media platform, The Vendeur. She explains:
“We help fashion brands to master their social media and content creation and work with sustainable companies to help grow their brands.”
Fin Wycherley, Local Leader for Scotland
One of the most active business advisers on the Enterprise Nation platform, Fin works with ambitious start-ups to confidently master and implement online marketing tools, strategies, ads and tactics.
She's a regular expert speaker on BBC TV and radio, with a sizeable online following that includes Barack Obama, the Bank of England and other standout enterprises.
Emer Carr, Local Leader for Connacht and Ulster
Emer is a UX business consultant with a passion for human-centric digital solutions.
Based in Galway, Ireland, Emer owns Ki Business & Tech, providing holistic online web solutions for small businesses. With roots in both Connacht and Ulster, Emer is on a mission to make business more ethical, sustainable and above all, human.
Sam Onigbanjo, Local Leader for Kent
Sam is the founder of Great Business Platforms, a business mastermind and public speaking academy, where he and his team of coaches have trained over 1,000 business leaders. He says:
“I love working with entrepreneurs. They’ve all got a story to tell but working out how to tell that story and which marketing channels to use isn’t always easy – that’s where I come in.
"I’m extremely passionate about helping small business owners to achieve their dreams.”
Kathy Ennis, Local Leader for Norfolk
Kathy is here to help solopreneurs, freelancers and side hustlers achieve the success they've always longed for. She's an accredited business mentor and coach, trainer, author and fun-loving optimist.
Kathy admits there are no magic beans or secret sauce when it comes to her mentoring. Instead, it's a straightforward, one-to-one, supportive, tutorial approach to business success. She says:
"I love meeting business owners from all across Norfolk. My role provides me with personal support, a group of peers and the opportunity to share and showcase the brilliant businesses we have in Norfolk."
Samantha Oakley, Local Leader for East Sussex
Samantha works closely with small businesses to find efficient, cost-effective solutions to their legal issues. She set up SO Law after seeing how her own friends, who run their own small businesses, struggled to get practical and commercially focused legal advice.
Emma Goode, Local Leader for Essex
Emma is the founder of 24 fingers, which helps small businesses that are all fingers and thumbs with their online marketing. With 30 years of experience in the industry, Emma helps founders grow their businesses and brands through digital marketing, including social media, SEO, content marketing and lead generation.
Emma is also an officially certified Facebook and Instagram lead trainer for Meta. She says:
"Through the local meet-ups, I get to meet inspiring entrepreneurs and support them in their journeys from idea to profit."
Jarmila Yu, Local Leader for Surrey
Dan Martin, Local Leader for Bristol
Dan is a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. He is Enterprise Nation's news reporter and host of the Small Business Sessions podcast.
He has over 20 years of experience as a small business journalist, having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs, from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. Dan says:
"Bristol is a hugely enterprising place but there is still a need for business owners to come together to share ideas and challenges."
Rachel Mallows, Local Leader for Northamptonshire
Rachel has over 30 years of experience in business support consultancy, training, coaching and mentoring.
In 2015, she made the Maserati 100 List for her work with new and young businesses. In 2016, she was awarded an MBE for her services to businesses and entrepreneurship for setting up Made In Northamptonshire, an artisan food and drink networking group.
Jekaterina Kartasova, Local Leader for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes
Jekaterina is a Doctor of Social Science (Economics), MBA programme leader at Middlesex University and a business consultant since 2001. She applies research findings in business to improve efficiency and financial performance, delivering top results for her many clients.
Jekaterina also brings real-life cases to her teaching, thus inspiring her students. She's a charismatic communicator and is fluent in English, Lithuanian and Russian.
Tara Elzingre, Local Leader for Munster
Tara's background is in retail management and recruitment. Throughout her 14-year career in both, she's worked with parents returning to the workplace, building schedules and development sessions to foster transitions that work better for them.
During her time working in recruitment, Tara set up a coaching side hustle. While on maternity leave with her second child, she decided to take a leap of faith and jump into starting her own business. Parene offers career and life coaching for parents.
Rebecca Batstone, Local Leader for North West
Originally trained as a pharmacist, qualifying in 1995, Rebecca has had a variety of roles within the NHS and the private sector. However, she returned to education, obtaining her MBA at the University of Strathclyde Business School in 2006.
She has a facilitative coaching style and prides herself on being friendly, supportive and engaging. She says:
"I believe passionately that coaching can support individuals to reach their true potential and I will gently and respectfully push clients beyond their comfort zone to achieve fantastic results both, for the individual and the business."
Noel Lourdes, Local Leader for Dublin
Noel’s background is in corporate finance. He is a certified chartered accountant and practised at KPMG Corporate Finance, where he specialised in asset-backed finance.
In 2009, Noel went on to advise the Central Bank of Ireland where he oversaw the restructuring and recapitalisation of Allied Irish Bank PLC.
Danny Matthews, Local Leader for Gloucestershire
Using capital and his creative expertise, Danny invests in the businesses of tomorrow by helping them get funded or get to market. He does this through Brand Sprints, his rapid brand creation process and the Founder Institute, the world's largest pre-seed start-up accelerator.
Since 2017, he has helped over 300 businesses build their brands and grow their businesses with brand confidence.
Jay Maniar, Local Leader for Hertfordshire
Jay is a veteran finance and operations professional with over 23 years of experience. As an ex-director of operations for KPMG Middle East, his interests and passions have always been with small businesses, start-ups and scale-ups.
Having attained further qualifications in Digital Business Transformation from MIT/Columbia Business School, he's dedicated to providing the critical problem solving and innovation support that small businesses need.
Peter Karran, Local Leader for Leicestershire
Peter helps businesses substantially increase profit and cash. He has extensive experience in people management, business process re-design, service improvement, business model innovation, and collaboration. He says:
"I became a Local Leader because I want to enable UK PLCs to become more competitive, sustainable and philanthropic."
Paul Clayton, Local Leader for Lincolnshire
A business improvement consultant, Paul partners with SME business owners, directors and managers who want to increase their success. He says:
"For your business to consistently develop and grow, you must put customers at the heart of your business in everything you do. So, taking deliberate, positive actions to continuously improve your people, processes, products, and services will significantly increase your productivity, profitability and success."
Reem Khatib, Local Leader for Central and East London
Reem has been in the digital space for over 15 years, combining strategies and creativity to drive a business forward. She's passionate about helping sole entrepreneurs and small businesses establish a web presence that's bespoke, scalable and affordable, and professionally designed for conversions.
Oreste Maspes, Local Leader for West London
Oreste is an adviser, mainly helping business owners and directors of SMEs in the UK and Italy to overcome business and individual barriers to achieve their aspirations for growth, financial success, and work-life balance.
Anna Romasko, Local Leader for North London
Anna is a fully qualified accountant and freelance tax tutor. She says:
"I became a Local Leader because I think it's a great way to help local businesses to get to know each other. Being an entrepreneur is a lonely business. Sharing challenges and discussing possible solutions helps us all not to feel so alone."
Victoria Isaac, Local Leader for Wales
Victoria knows a thing or two about growing a business single-handedly and can provide insight into low-risk, manageable growth. She founded Little Bit Different candles in 2010 and the business now supplies to over 70 shops and creates branded products for 12 other small businesses.
Victoria is also team captain for Etsy Swansea and runs Creative Cuppa, an in-person network group.
Victoria Brown, Local Leader for West Midlands
Victoria has more than 15 years of experience in marketing and communications (and time spent working as a jewellery designer), and she knows exactly how to help creative business owners find and sell to customers online, making it easy and fun to learn!
She specialises in brand, email marketing, Instagram and Pinterest strategies and is also an experienced journalist and writer.
Steve Jebson, Local Leader for West Sussex
Steve helps small and medium-sized businesses grow, prosper and achieve their vision. He's passionate about getting business owners working on their businesses, not in their businesses, with hands-on help bringing strategy to life.
Peter MacKenzie-Shaw, Local Leader for Yorkshire and Humberside
Peter has experience with his own manufacturing company, being CEO of a funding and business consultancy, and CEO of two charitable organisations, all whilst holding roles in local government, including funding and tenders manager, contract manager and business growth manager.
Today, Peter is also the business start-up manager for Leeds City Council.
Small business local meet-ups with Enterprise Nation
Local meet-ups take place every month. Find your nearest and reserve your place