Host of top entrepreneurs named by Queen in her 2018 New Years Honours list

Husband and wife duo Chrissie Rucker, The White Company, and Nicholas Wheeler, Charles Tyrwhitt, have received OBEs for their services to retail

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A host of top entrepreneurs from the UK start-up scene have been named by her Majesty, the Queen, in the New Years Honours list for 2018.

Spanning a range of sectors, from men’s fashion to vegan snacks – the most notable inclusion is husband and wife duo Nicholas Wheeler and Chrissie Rucker.

A judge at the Startups Awards 2016, Wheeler is founder and chairman of British retailer Charles Tyrwhitt, a business which began as an small idea way back in 1986 – but now boasts annual international sales of over £195m.

Whereas Rucker is founder of The White Company, which sells everything from bedding to children’s clothes – which she started in 1994.

In 2016, their collective wealth was estimated at £400m by the Sunday Times Rich List.

Of the total 1,123 recipients, 551 were women, representing 49% of the total – with 9.2% coming from a BAME (black, Asian, minority ethnic) background.

Among those in the UK business space to have received royal recognition are:


Dr William Wright, founder of Northern Irish coachbuilder Wrightbus, has been appointed a Knight Bachelor for his services to the economy and the bus industry.

Ken Olisa, veteran investor, has been appointed a Knight Bachelor for his services to business and philanthropy.


Timothy Rix, managing director of family-run Hull-based J R Rix and Sons for services to the economy and
regeneration in the Humber region. J R Rix is involved in a large range of activities ranging from commercial, residential and marine fuel distribution, fuel cards, ship owning, stevedoring, warehousing and off shore wind farm support to holiday home manufacturing, car retail and property.

Nigel Mills, co-founder and chairman of The Lakes Distillery, for services to entrepreneurship in the North East and Cumbria. The Lakes Distillery produces a range of alcoholic beverages including gin, whisky and vodka.

Jacqueline De Rojas, president of techUK, for services to international trade in the technology industry. Representing the UK technology sector, more than 950 companies are currently a member of techUK.

Dana Tobak, chief executive officer of broadband provider Hyperoptic, for services to the digital economy.


Jarnail Athwal, founder and managing director of Premier Decorations, for services to business and charity. Founded in 1987, the business has grown to become one of the leading B2B importers and distributors of seasonal decorative products.

Suranga Chandratillake, general partner at Balderton Capital, for services to engineering and technology. One of the largest early-stage VC funds in Europe, Balderton has backed the likes of Bebo and Zopa.

Robert Edwards, chairman of Scotframe Timber Engineering, for services to business and charity in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire.

Lynne Franks, for services to business, fashion and women’s empowerment.

Jonathan Goodwin, entrepreneur and co-founder of Lepe Partners and the Founders Forum, for services to the economy. Goodwin co-founded Founders Forum, the network of digital entrepreneurs, corporate CEOs and senior investors, alongside co-founder Brent Hoberman.

Ron Kalifa, vice chairman of payment processing company Worldpay, for services to the financial services and technology.

Nicholas Wheeler, founder and managing director of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts, for services to retail.

Antony Goodman, chief executive officer of ‘free from’ snack brand Yumsh Snacks, for services to international trade and UK Exports. Manchester-based, all of Yumsh’s products are gluten free, dairy free, MSG and GMO free plus vegetarian, vegan, halal and kosher certified.

Elizabeth Tappenden, owner and founder of In to Biz for services to small businesses, start-ups and women in business in the Isle of Wight.

Christain Rucker, founder of The White Company, for services to retail.

Teresa Scott, founder of Kennedy Scott, for her lifelong services to entrepreneurship and employability. Kennedy Scott helps individuals with disabilities and mental health issues find jobs and realise their career potential


Jessica Butcher, co-founder and director of Startups 100-ranked Blippar, for services to digital technology and entrepreneurship.

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