Richard Reed, Crowdcube’s Darren Westlake and Dale Murray CBE listed as most influential in Debrett’s 500

New entrepreneur category added to Debrett’s 500 2015 recognising individuals whose “businesses have seen significant development over the last five years”

Darren Westlake of Startups Award winning company Crowdcube, angel investor Dale Murray CBE and Innocent Drinks co-founder and Young Gun Richard Reed have been named in an annual index of the UK’s 500 most influential individuals.

Produced by Debrett’s in partnership with the Sunday Times, the Debrett’s 500 2015 looks to recognise people of influence and achievement in British society and is compiled using independent panels who provide nominations for selection.

This year a new entrepreneurs category was added to the index to reflect the “expansion in entrepreneurship” and the increase in people turning away from traditional routes with a focus on “entrepreneurial individuals whose businesses have seen significant development over the last five years”.

Among the “innovative and ambitious” entrepreneurs named are 2014 Young Guns to watch Paul and Rob Forkan, co-founders of “orphan for orphan” footwear brand Gandy’s, Pizza Express and Strada mogul Luke Johnson, Dragon Kelly Hoppen MBE, and 2011 Young Gun Mark Pearson; who recently sold his company Markco Media for an impressive £55.5m.

Several other high-profile names were also recognised in other categories; Sir Richard Branson and Baroness Brady CBE were celebrated for their contributions to business and industry, and Growing Business Young Guns Mind Candy founder Michael Acton Smith OBE, founder of Mind Candy, and teenage entrepreneur Nick  D’Aloisio, who sold his app Summly for a reported £19m, were named for their efforts to support the digital sector.

The digital category also included TechHub CEO Elizabeth Varley, Baroness Shields OBE, founder Baroness Lane Fox of Soho CBE, Sarah Wood of Unruly and Kathryn Parsons of Decoded. Likewise, investors Brent Hoberman, Saul Klein, Sherry Coutu CBE and Eileen Burbidge received recognition.

The New Media list, another new category for 2015, also saw some familiar names with Mumsnet co-founder Justine Roberts, a judge of the Startups Awards 2014, and young entrepreneur to watch Jamal Edwards MBE listed.

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View the Debrett’s 500 2015 here.


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