National Enterprise Network is operated by an independent Board, which works alongside the Chief Executive to drive forward the Network business objectives and key activities.
The 2016-17 Board consists of:
Graham Marley, NEN Chairman – Chief Executive, Let’s Do Business Group
Graham is Chief Executive of the Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG) and has been with the agency for over 15 years – having previously worked as a Senior Business Manager with NatWest. LDBG provide business support, finance, exhibitions and accredited training across Sussex (and the wider South East) and also delivers the Inward Investment service for East Sussex, provides Town Centre Management services in Hastings and includes the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce. Graham joined the NEN Board in 2012 and is also a Trustee of the Pestalozzi International Village and a school Governor.
Gemma Bee – Operations and Finance Director, Business Enterprise Support Ltd
Based in the West Midlands, Business Enterprise Support Ltd (BES) has been established for over 30 years, providing start up advice and Coaching. Gemma joined the organisation in 2006, following a career in accountancy. From her financial background, she bought sound knowledge of financial systems to the organisation and become a Director in 2010 at the age of 34. She is passionate about the sector and leads the organisation on a day to day basis.
Mike Brook brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the enterprise and business support sector in London to the Board. Economic Development Officer at Wandsworth Council from 1989 to 2012, Mike oversaw the progressive improvement in the local economy, which included an increasing number of small firms. Mike is currently Chairman of Capital Enterprise, the membership organisation for providers of business advice, training and resources to new entrepreneurs and small businesses in London, and was a director of and then the Chair of Customer First from 2008 until 2014.
Michaela Cozens – Business Development Manager, Gloucestershire Enterprise Ltd (GEL)
Michaela joined GEL in 2010, having previously worked in the banking sector. GEL provides business support & training to help businesses develop their staff by offering over 100 short courses in business skills, leadership and management topics, alongside numerous IT courses and personal development. Michaela also chairs the NEN South West regional group.
Dawn Cranswick – Chief Executive, PNE Group
Dr Dawn Cranswick is Chief Executive of PNE Group, specialist enterprise development consultants contracted by a number of high profile UK and global businesses to support the development and implementation of their flagship social investment programmes. Dawn is an enterprise development specialist, with significant experience in designing, implementing, delivering, monitoring and evaluating programmes that support people to start and grow businesses. Her specific areas of expertise include devising application and assessment criteria for funding streams, ensuring processes implemented are standardised and fair, and setting up and Chairing the final decision-making processes via Judging Panels. Dawn has global delivery experience via working with international development funds and major blue chip clients, especially in Europe, Africa and Asia. Her broader experience includes operating at strategic Board director level, including leading initiatives to grow income and reduce costs.Dawn has a PhD in Management, an MA in Quality Management and is a qualified Leadership Coach, NLP Practitioner and Trainer.
Joanne Fulthorpe – Business Development Manager, Business & Enterprise Trust
Joanne Fulthorpe started her career with Hyndburn Enterprise Trust in 2001 and has worked at all levels from Project Manager to Business Adviser and Trainer. She now manages many of the contracts the Trust successfully delivers. Within that time she also spent six years working for a major high street bank and so specialises in access to finance, and ensuring clients’ business plans can attract investment. She currently leads on managing the Start Up Loans contract in the Lancashire and wider north west area. Joanne also runs her own business – a Business to Business Networking Group known as The Business Network Bolton and Bury. She is passionate about supporting SMEs, especially those at start-up stage.
Peter is an established non-executive director, backed by thirty years financial services experience and a successful track record in areas including strategic management, marketing and PR. As well as Chairman of Small Businesses for NatWest and RBS since 2008, he is also non-executive Chairman of the Lenlyn Group and a non-executive Director of The Start Up Loan Company. Additionally he is a Director of Primedia Solutions, a bespoke media coaching company and a Director of Journolink Limited; an online platform which provides small businesses with affordable PR in a box and journalists with a matching service to small businesses keen to talk in the media.
David Robinson – Chairman, StartUp Croydon
StartUp Croydon (SUC) is an enterprise agency that helps those wanting to start their own business with both business planning and with the development of basic business skills. Established in 1983, SUC has been at the forefront in providing training and support for the creation and development of new businesses. David Robinson, Chairman of SUC, is an experienced non-executive director and business adviser, bringing those skills also to the NEN Board.
Wendy Spencer – Chief Executive, Airedale Enterprise Services
Wendy is the CEO at Airedale Enterprise Services (AES), a BEIS registered Enterprise agency based in Keighley, West Yorkshire. AES supports new and existing businesses to start-up and grow within Airedale and across Yorkshire. Wendy has worked at AES for 19 years and is responsible for the strategic planning and the day to day running of the organisation. Following on from the success of a recent successful £1m bid to the Local Trust for Keighley Valley Big Local, Wendy is now working alongside other local partners on a development strategy for potential investment of up to £6m under the CLLD (Community Led Local Development) initiative under the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) programme for 2014 -20 which will cover the needs of Keighley’s small businesses and start-ups.
Liz Storey – Chief Executive, Ignite Business Enterprise Ltd
Ignite is based in Braintree, Essex and Liz has taken Ignite from being almost extinct to a locally well recognised organisation, in what is a relatively short period of time, even being awarded the NEN Small Agency award for ‘The Future of Enterprise Support’. Braintree is a ‘Portas Pilot Town’ which attracted funding from the Portas Scheme, Liz chairs the Town Team and encourages retailers to work together to improve the High Street under the scheme. She has had her own small businesses and also worked in several sectors including Finance & Insurance, Automotive and Health & Care.
Alex Till – Chief Executive, Menta
Alex Till is focussed on driving forward the growth of new, emerging and existing businesses in Suffolk. Alex joined Menta in 2011, having previously worked at Suffolk County Council in senior roles connected with the economic development of the county, as well as posts at Business Link Suffolk, Suffolk Acre and the Suffolk Development Agency. Through his role at Menta, Alex is helping to raise the profile of the significant work that the County undertakes in skills, enterprise and employability.
Ian Viles – Chief Executive, Erewash Partnership
Erewash Partnership is a not for profit company and enterprise agency and Ian has been involved with the organisation since its formation in 1994. In that time, Ian has developed vast experience in enterprise support and economic development which he brings to the NEN Board.
Dawn Whiteley, NEN Chief Executive
Dawn is an experienced and dedicated leader, passionate about start-up and SME development. She has developed a vast experience of the needs of start up and small businesses following over twenty years working in the enterprise support sector, together with personal experience of running a small family business. Before becoming the Chief Executive in 2011, Dawn was Chairman of the National Enterprise Network (then the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies) between 2008 to 2010, having been on the board since 2006. She is a Director of Customer First UK and the Chair of Governors at a local infants school and was Deputy Chair of the Action Halifax Partnership until its closure in 2010.