Founder, Ella's Kitchen
Paul Lindley is the founder of organic baby and toddler food business Ella’s Kitchen, which won the Micro Business of the Year title at the Startups Awards in 2006.
In the eight years that have followed, Ella’s Kitchen has become an enormous international success story, with Paul eventually selling the business to giant American natural and organic foods group Hain Celestial in 2013.
He remains at Hain as CEO of the Global Infant Toddler and Kids division, where he continues to oversee Ella’s Kitchen and leading US organic kids food brand Earth’s Best. He has become a prominent speaker on children’s health and wellbeing issues.
He co-founded The Consumer Forum to promote customer service excellence in business. As well as being a counsellor for London-based charity One Young World, Paul is an ambassador for the Family and Childcare Trust, and sits on the Santander SME advisory board.
Earlier this year, Paul was part of the United Nations Global Accelerator summit, where a select group of entrepreneurs met to discuss solutions to global issues.
He has been recognised widely within the business world too, winning the Entrepreneur of the Year at the National Business Awards, the London and South Region Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and the International Business of the Year title at the Fast Growth Business Awards in 2011 alone.
In 2012 he was named South East Director of the Year for Small and Medium Businesses at the IoD Director of the Year Awards. And he received an honourary doctorate from the University of Reading for his contribution to improving children’s health and his work as an entrepreneur.
Inspired by his desire to provide better for his daughter Ella, Paul launched Ella’s Kitchen in 2006 after spending nine years with children’s television service Nickelodeon UK, prior to which he had qualified as a chartered accountant at KPMG.
Between 2009 and 2011, Ella’s Kitchen made the top 25 of fastest growing private companies, ranked by the Sunday Times Fast Track 100. It also beat Cadburys, Hovis, Walkers and Doritos to the Best Food and Drink Brand in the 2010 Grocer Gold Awards.
Ella’s Kitchen is now sold throughout Europe and the world in the US, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium, and Holland, generating revenues in excess of $100m.
Most recently Paul launched The Key is E with internationally acclaimed hip hop artist Emmanuel Jal. The business aims to use entertainment, education and entrepreneurship to entice, engage and empower young people to change their world for the better, with the goal of investing in 10 African entrepreneurs whose businesses socially benefit children.
His son Paddy awaits the launch of a business bearing his own name.