FSB Policy Conference 2016

Small Business 2020: inspiring growth, innovation and ambition

February 2nd 2016 | London

Speakers and host


Steph McGovern

Steph is a leading BBC business presenter. Over the past ten years, she has reported on business and finance from around the world, from international finance summits to small business success stories. She’s now established as part of the BBC Breakfast team, covering business developments daily, and also regularly taking to the sofa as main co-host. As well as Breakfast, Steph also presents business and finance programmes on 5Live and Radio 4. During the financial crash, Steph was working with business editor Robert Peston at the forefront of the award-winning coverage of the credit crunch and banking crisis. 


George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Mike Cherry

Mike is the FSB Policy Director and an FSB member. He is an entrepreneur with a passion for small business issues and getting the voice of small businesses heard. He is keen to promote employability and enterprise for all, not just in the UK but across the globe. For more than 40 years Mike has worked in the timber and manufacturing in-dustry and continues to do so today. He supplies cask closures for the brewing industry and laser engraved promo-tional and giftware products for B2B, specialist retail outlets and visitor attractions. Mike has been a member of the FSB since 1995.

Dr Frederik Pferdt

Frederik is the head of Innovation and Creativity Programs at Google. He leads a talented team which helps Goog-lers solve anything creatively and trains people on how to build a better future through technology. Frederik is co-founder of “The Garage”, which is a Google developing space. He created the Creative Skills for Innovation Labora-tory, which helps to develop innovators and generate new ideas. Frederik is a Lecturer at Stanford’s d.school and a visiting scholar at the Centre for Design Research at Stanford University. He is also a research scholar at EdLab Columbia University.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG

Baroness Neville-Rolfe is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Intellectual Property. She joined the House of Lords as a Conservative Peer in October 2013.  Baroness Neville-Rolfe became Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. She later assumed responsibility for Data Protection. Baroness Neville-Rolfe is the UK Representative on the European Union Competitiveness Council and she is responsible for the Enterprise Bill in the House of Lords. She was also President of EuroCommerce, the EU trade association, between 2012 and 2014. Until 1997 she was a senior civil servant in the Cabinet Office, the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

John Cridland CBE

John is the first Chair of Transport for the North. He was appointed by the Chancellor to bring together authorities across the North of England to speak with a single voice. John was previously the Director-General of the CBI and acted as their key spokesperson both in the UK and internationally.

John is a Board member of Business in the Community and a UK Commissioner for Employment and Skills. He was Vice Chair of the National Learning and Skills Council between 2007-2010. He spent 10 years on the Low Pay Com-mission and the ACAS Council. 

Sir David Higgins

David is the Non-Executive Chair of High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd. On 1 April 2010, he was appointed a Non-Executive Director of Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd. On 28 September 2010, he was appointed Chief Executive of Network Rail Infrastructure Limited with effect from 1 February 2011.

David was appointed Chief Executive Designate of the Olympic Delivery Authority in December 2005 and became Chief Executive on 30 March 2006. He graduated in Civil Engineering from the University of Sydney and holds a Di-ploma from the Securities Institute of Australia.

Ron Emerson

Ron is the Chair of the British Business Bank (BBB). He has spent the majority of his career in inter-national banking. He has held a number of senior management positions with Bank of America, Nomura Bank In-ternational and Standard Chartered Bank, where he was a member of the group management committee and Group Head of Corporate Banking. As a non-executive he has served on a variety of boards ranging across, private equity funded, large, high impact subsidiaries, private family owned, and regulated and unregulated sectors. 

Dr Catherine Raines FRSA MoID

Catherine is the Chief Executive of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). She sits on the Department for Business, In-novation and Skills (BIS) Executive and Departmental Boards, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Management Board. Catherine is responsible for leading the development of UKTI’s new strategy, implementing its current strategy, and providing clear leadership to UKTI to help it meet the challenges and opportunities of globalisation and economic uncertainty.

Claudia Harris

Claudia is the CEO of the Careers and Enterprise Company. She was previously a partner in McKinsey and Company’s London office and co-led their client work on talent and skills. Her other experience includes a period working in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit where she was part of the healthcare team. She is also a member of the Steering Committee for the 30% Club, which works to deliver greater gender balance at board level.

She has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Alex Chisholm

Alex is the Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Alex is also a Trustee and Deputy Chair at the international charity Breadline Africa. Previous career highlights include being appointed as Chairperson and Commissioner of Ireland’s communications regulatory agency, ComReg and Chair of the Irish Economic Regulators Network. He has also held senior executive positions in the media, technology and e-commerce industries.

Lord Haskins

Lord Haskins is a board member of Yorkshire Forward and Chairman of the Council of the Open University. He has been Chairman of the Better Regulation Task Force and a member of the New Deal Task Force. Ennobled as a life peer with the title Baron Haskins, of Skidby, in the County of the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1998, he became Tony Blair’s ‘rural tsar’ at the height of the foot and mouth disease epidemic. Lord Haskins became a director of North-ern Foods in 1967, Deputy Chairman in 1974 and Chairman from 1980 to 2002.

John Holland-Kaye

John is the CEO of Heathrow Airport. He joined the company as Commercial Director in May 2009. From November 2012, John was Development Director and was responsible for delivering the £1 billion annual investment in transforming Heathrow. This opened on 4 June 2014 and included the new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal

He was previously Divisional CEO with Taylor Wimpey PLC. Prior to that, John was Managing Director, National Sales Division, of Bass Brewers, and has also worked as a strategy consultant with LEK Consulting for a number of high profile businesses.


Eleanor McEvoy

Eleanor is the Chief Executive of Budget Energy and an FSB member. She is a successful entrepreneur, finalist in the 2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Emerging Category and UTV Business Eye Business Personality of the Year. Eleanor founded Budget Energy in 2010 and has become a serious player in the Northern Ireland electricity market. Prior to setting up Budget Energy, Eleanor McEvoy successfully built and sold two previous businesses namely Pembroke Distributors, a food distribution and vending company which sold in 2001 and Phone card Warehouse, a successful reseller of mobile phone top ups which was sold in 2006. 

Irene Graham

Irene is the inaugural CEO of the Scale-Up Institute. She sits on the Advisory Board of the UK Business Angel Association and the Small Firms Enterprise and Development Initiative. Irene was a senior executive at Standard Chartered Bank (SCB). At the height of the banking crisis Irene lead a taskforce to determine what the industry could do to specifically help British business grow and prosper. This work led to the creation of the Business Growth Fund, mentorsme and critical policy developments, such as the UK Small Business Act. Irene was MD of Better Business Finance and Executive Director of Corporate Policy at the BBA. 

Edward Twiddy

Edward is the Chief Innovation Officer at the Atom Bank. Between 2012 and 2014, Edward was Chief Executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership. Edward began his career working on various consultancies connected to Durham University, working for the UN in Iraq, and on a number of international boundary disputes in Arabia and Asia. He later spent over a decade working at HM Treasury, including as Deputy Director of Local Government and Regional Policy. Edward also spent 18 months on secondment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 

Nick Parker

Nick is the Vice President of the ICAEW. He has had a wide portfolio of clients including professional partnerships and UK subsidiaries of overseas parent companies, but he has mainly specialised in the SME sector. During his time on Council, he has chaired a variety of committees including the Members Board, the Committee of Council and the Audit Committee. He was Chairman of Council for three years.

Frank Mukahanana

Frank is the CEO and Founder of QuidCycle and an FSB member. QuidCycle was formed in 2013 with the aim of helping people make the most of their money and become the premier route to financial success. In 2014, Frank was appointed Director of the UKCFA (UK Crowd Funding Association), where he serves as a Board member. He is responsible for all things relating to taxation for the industry. Frank recently saw successes in the inclusion of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and debt based investments into Individual Savings Accounts (ISA).


Sir Brendan Barber

Sir Brendan is Chair of Acas and has held this role since January 2014. He was the TUC General Secretary from 2003 to 2012. Sir Brendan is a member of the Boards of Banking Standards, Transport for London, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, and of the Council of City University London. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Said Business School, Oxford University, and a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. Sir Brendan graduated with a BSc in Social Sciences in 1974. 

Dr David Halpern

David is the Chief Executive and Board Director of the Behavioural Insights Team. He has led the team since its inception in 2010. Prior to that, David was the founding Director of the Institute for Government and between 2001 and 2007 was the Chief Analyst at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. Before entering government, David held tenure at Cambridge and posts at Oxford and Harvard. He has written several books and papers on areas relating to behavioural insights and wellbeing, including Social Capital (2005), the Hidden Wealth of Nations (2010), and co-author of the MINDSPACE report. 

Kieran Miles

Kieran is MD of digital age consultancy Kake and an FSB member. He is also a founder of leadership forum, LWF and in 2015 was invited to become an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. Like many young entrepreneurs, Kieran started his entrepreneurial journey selling sweets at school before moving onto eBay businesses, live events and digital marketing. Kieran is involved in FSB Connect, FSB’s new initiative to back younger entrepreneurs. He is also closely involved with Young Enterprise as a mentor and judge. 

Lord Andrew Adonis

Lord Adonis is the Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission. He was a member of the independent Armitt Commission, which recommended an independent National Infrastructure Commission in 2013. Lord Adonis was formerly the Transport Secretary from 2009 to 2010, Minister of State for Transport from 2008 to 2009 and Minister for Schools from 2005 to 2008. He was Head of the No10 Policy Unit from 2001 to 2005.