A Cast of Entrepreneurs

by Entrepreneurs' Forum

Hello and welcome to A Cast of Entrepreneurs, brought to you by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum.

I’m Elaine Stroud, Chief Executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, and together with Sally Cowling, our Head of Member Experience, we’ve been talking to entrepreneurs from all over the North East about what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur. We’re getting the real insight into their lives, their busine ... 

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Podcast episodes

  • Season 2

  • 15. Talking Up the North East: Ammar Mirza, Charlie Hoult, Chloë Clover

    15. Talking Up the North East: Ammar Mirza, Charlie Hoult, Chloë Clover

    We’re back with a new episode of A Cast of Entrepreneurs, and we have three brilliant entrepreneurs from the North East sharing their experiences of being based in this region. Hosts Elaine Stroud, Chief Executive of The Entrepreneurs’ Forum, and Sally Cowling, Head of Marketing, are joined by: Ammar Mirza, a multi-award-winning enterprise and innovation expert who has helped establish and scale several thousand businesses globally through the design, development and delivery of world leading accelerator and scale up programmes. With a portfolio of interests spanning across numerous sectors including property, edtech, health-tech and investment support Ammar is recognised as a leading authority on organisational growth. Charlie Hoult, a serial entrepreneur, currently involved in 4 businesses with combined staff over 500 and target turnover above £75m in 2024: Opencast, Hyhubs, Futureheads, Cheviot Insured. His work has always involved teams and he rates collaboration partners as the essence of his success. He is a firm advocate for building businesses on strong ethical values. Chloë Clover, the Co-Founder and CEO of the multi-award-winning agency Wander, a Personality First, Boundary Breaking Content Agency disrupting the way businesses market themselves online. Working with the biggest brands on the planet, crafting next level campaigns, and creating consistent and engaging content & social since 2018. Clover appeared in the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list, highlighting her as a trailblazer and new world entrepreneur. Clover was also awarded 'Emerging Talent' at the Entrepreneurs Forum Awards and ‘Businesswoman of the Year’ at the Tees Businesswoman Awards. On this episode, the cast share their experiences of being entrepreneurs in the North East, whether they think location matters, their experiences of entrepreneurship in other locations, and how we can make our region a more inclusive space for businesses. ... Get involved with The Entrepreneurs’ Forum: https://entrepreneursforum.net/ Connect with Ammar: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ammar-mirza-cbe-2132622/ Connect with Charlie: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charliehoult/ Connect with Chloë: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chloe-clover/

  • 14. Entrepreneurial Lessons on Building Diversity: Joanna Feeley, Sarat Pediredla

    14. Entrepreneurial Lessons on Building Diversity: Joanna Feeley, Sarat Pediredla

    We’re back with another episode of A Cast of Entrepreneurs, joined by some more brilliant entrepreneurs from the North East. Today, we’re talking all about diverse leadership in the workplace and how this benefits your company. Hosts Elaine Stroud, Chief Executive of The Entrepreneurs’ Forum, and Sally Cowling, Head of Member Experience are joined by: Joanna Feeley, Founder and Chief Executive at TrendBible, a futures agency predicting the future of life at home. Joanna’s career as a trend forecaster spans more than two decades. She has advised retailers, brands, charities, investors and governments all over the world, and had insights published by The Independent and Financial Times. Sarat Pediredla, Founder and CEO of Hedgehog Lab, a human-centred global tech consultancy. Sarat has led the company for over 16 years. He co-founded hedgehog lab in 2007 and transformed it from a small web development agency to a multi-million-pound company with over 100 employees and offices in the UK, US, and Bulgaria. As the CEO, Sarat is responsible for setting the company’s vision, strategy, and culture and overseeing operations, finances, and business development. In this episode, the cast share how they actively create a more diverse workplace, why they think it’s so important to do so, and how you, as leaders, can incorporate this into your everyday lives. ... Get involved with The Entrepreneurs’ Forum: https://entrepreneursforum.net/ Connect with Joanna: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanna-feeley-85919716/ Connect with Sarat: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saratpediredla/

  • 13. Women Trailblazers in the North East: Lisa Eaton, Claire Parry, Charlotte Staerck

    13. Women Trailblazers in the North East: Lisa Eaton, Claire Parry, Charlotte Staerck

    We’re back with a new series of A Cast of Entrepreneurs, and to kick off we’re hosting this special episode for International Women’s Day with three brilliant entrepreneurial women trailblazers from the North East sharing their experiences of running their own businesses in the region.. Hosts Elaine Stroud, Chief Executive of The Entrepreneurs’ Forum, and Sally Cowling, Head of Member Experience are joined by: Lisa Eaton, a marketing expert, strategy consultant and founder of Fabric Academy: an online training provider that empowers ambitious marketers to excel worldwide. With more than two decades of experience in creating and executing marketing and communication strategies for global brands, including P&G, Visit England, Dulux and the NHS, Lisa has a deep understanding of what it takes to develop a high-level marketing strategy that makes an impact while delivering tangible business results. Claire Parry, Director of Week2Week Serviced Apartments Newcastle. Claire is passionate about the accommodation industry and prides herself on ensuring Week2Week is run transparently and honestly with the upmost integrity. Claire took the reins from her mother in 2013 and she strives to continue the strong family ethos within the company. Claire gives all team members a voice, with regular get togethers resulting in shared ideas, allowing Week2Week to grow. Charlotte Stærck, Co-Founder and CEO of Handbag Clinic Ltd. Charlotte is a pioneer in sustainable fashion, transforming the longest running luxury aftercare service into the first fully circular business model. Handbag Clinic buys, authenticates, sells and restores luxury designer handbags. Charlotte leads a business with sustained triple digit growth and a team of 50 throughout the UK. On this episode, the cast share their experiences of being female entrepreneurs in the North East, discuss who their entrepreneurial role models were growing up, the hurdles they’ve faced throughout their business journeys, and how we can do better at opening doors for female entrepreneurs. ... Get involved with The Entrepreneurs’ Forum: https://entrepreneursforum.net/ Connect with Lisa: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisaeaton-marketingcoach/ Connect with Claire: https://www.linkedin.com/in/claire-parry-week2week/ Connect with Charlotte: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlotte-staerck-00a694ba/

  • Season 1

  • 12. Bethany Ainsley, Dale Smith, John Duns

    12. Bethany Ainsley, Dale Smith, John Duns

    For the final episode of series one of A Cast of Entrepreneurs, we have three more outstanding North East entrepreneurs giving us real insight into their lives and businesses. Hosts Elaine Stroud, Chief Executive of The Entrepreneurs’ Forum, and Sally Cowling, Head of Marketing, are joined by: Bethany Ainsley, CEO & Founder at OptiMe. A qualified Corporate Wellbeing Specialist, Bethany is dedicated to improving wellbeing in the workplace. With OptiMe, she helps businesses create work environments where individuals can flourish and unleash their true potential. The OptiMe app and platform integrates advanced technology, data analytics and personalised experiences to deliver tailored wellbeing solutions. Bethany is also Chair at Nuvo Wellbeing and ActivCare, and a best-selling author. Dale Smith, Founder & CEO at The SDDE Smith Group. Dale leads a group of companies that provide end-to-end real estate solutions, including property consultancy, legal services, architectural and interior design, construction, and ongoing management for commercial, residential and holiday home properties. Dale’s background includes sporting success – he was the England Under-18 Golf captain and achieved a golfing scholarship at the University of San Diego. John Duns, Director and Joint Owner at North East Times Magazine, a leading regional business publication. Born and bred in the North East, John specialises in business development, marketing, and advertising. Previously, he’s held a variety of positions with companies from our region, including Business Development Director at Brewin Dolphin. He’s now passionate about celebrating and promoting the people and businesses in the North East. On this episode, the cast share more about their youth and early influences, their journeys into entrepreneurship, role models and support networks, how the business landscape has changed over time, the importance of prioritising wellbeing, and share top tips for budding entrepreneurs. ... Get involved with The Entrepreneurs’ Forum: https://entrepreneursforum.net/ Connect with Bethany: www.linkedin.com/in/bethanyainsley/ Connect with Dale: www.linkedin.com/in/dalesmithpvl/ Connect with John: www.linkedin.com/in/john-duns-0396891a/?originalSubdomain=uk

  • 11. Jo Feeley, Rob Brown, Sarah Callender

    11. Jo Feeley, Rob Brown, Sarah Callender

    Here’s another group of brilliant North East entrepreneurs, joining us on A Cast of Entrepreneurs to share their business journeys and real insights into their lives. Host Elaine Stroud, Chief Executive of The Entrepreneurs’ Forum is joined by: Jo Feeley, Founder and Chief Executive at TrendBible, a futures agency predicting the future of life at home. Jo’s career as a trend forecaster spans more than two decades. She has advised retailers, brands, charities, investors and governments all over the world, and had insights published by The Independent and Financial Times. Jo has previously been named Entrepreneur of the Year at our Entrepreneurs’ Forum Awards. Rob Brown, Founder and Managing Director of JUMP, a brand communications company who offer graphic design, web design and web based business solutions. Motivated, ambitious, and passionate about the power of tech, Rob leads JUMP to develop and communicate brands through design and digital technology. Sarah Callender, COO at Duo Global Consulting. Sarah is an expert in human behaviour and works with growth focused businesses to better understand the behaviour of their people, through their signature behavioural mapping tool. Sarah is also COO and Co-Founder at The Elevator by Duo, a solution for ambitious growth focussed female leaders, with a signature women in leadership programme, community and retreats.On this episode, the cast talk about what it means to be an entrepreneur, how vital people and networks are when building a business, and what they envision in their futures. ... Get involved with The Entrepreneurs’ Forum: https://entrepreneursforum.net/ Connect with Jo: www.linkedin.com/in/joanna-feeley-85919716/ Connect with Rob: www.linkedin.com/in/berbbrown/ Connect with Sarah: www.linkedin.com/in/sarahcallender/