Top entrepreneurs recognised in New Year Honours list

Apprentice star Karren Brady and Tech City UK CEO Joanna Shields amongst those selected for titles

The Queen has rewarded a host of British business names with titles in this year’s New Year Honours list, following a strong year for enterprise in the country.

Alongside OBE successes for Young Guns alumni Michael Acton Smith and Priya Lakhani, businesspeople across the board have received honours, with women particularly prevalent on this year’s list – outnumbering men for the first time ever.

Read on to see which notable businesspeople received royal honours this year, including a summary of their achievements.


Karren Brady – Vice Chair, West Ham Football Club. For services to Entrepreneurship and Women In Business. The Apprentice star received recognition following another year where she made headlines for promoting enterprise – both through her continued role on the Apprentice and her involvement in Conservative initiatives to support British business, including accompanying David Cameron on his recent trade mission to China.

Peter Kendal Hargreaves – co-founder, Hargreaves Lansdown. For services to Business Innovation, Financial Services and to the City of Bristol. Along with business partner Stephen Lansdown, Hargreaves has grown Bristol-based financial services business Hargreaves Lansdown from trading in a bedroom in 1981 to one of the UK’s leading financial services providers, with turnover of £39.3bn as of 30 September 2013.


Michael Acton Smith. Chief executive and Founder, Mind Candy. For services to the Creative Industries. The 2003 Young Gun was added to the Queen’s order of chivalry after turning his venture Mind Candy from a potential commercial failure into a global brand with more than 80 million users and £46m turnover, through the runaway success of virtual pet monster game Moshi Monsters.

Miss Priya Lakhani. Entrepreneur. For services to Business, Community and Voluntary Initiatives. Another Young Gun alumnus, ex-libel lawyer Lakhani has burst onto the entrepreneurial scene in recent years – exiting successful Indian sauces venture Masala Masala in 2012, she also set up corresponding charity the Masala Masala Project, which promised to provide a hot meal to a homeless person in India for every pot of sauce sold. She started her second business Century Tech in April 2013, and has participated in a forum to advise business secretary Vince Cable on enterprise.

Ms Joanna Shields. Chief executive, Tech City UK. For services to the Digital Industries and voluntary service to Young People. Shields has been behind the recent extraordinary success of the Tech City UK venture, a government investment initiative which has seen the UK’s Silicon Roundabout transformed into a beacon for the creative and digital industries worldwide. She joined in 2012 after leaving Facebook as EMEA managing director and vice-president.

Mrs Catherine Mary Court, Mrs Siobhan Freegard, Mrs Sarah Carolyn Russell. Co-founders, For services to Families. The three founders of parenting social network  Netmums received individual OBEs after growing the site from foundation in 2000 into a network of more than 1.6 million users. Speaking to the BBC, Mrs Freegard said the award felt more like an OBE for the site as a whole, which offers grassroots parenting advice and support as well as campaigning on a wide range of parenting issues.

Jonathan Nigel Vigurs Harvey. Co-Founder, Acme Studios. For services to the Arts. Harvey is the co-founder of long-standing charity Acme Studios, which has been providing low-rent studio space alongside residencies and awards for non-commercial fine artists since 1972.

Franklyn Keith Musto. Founder, Musto Clothing. For services to the Economy. Former Olympic sailor Musto established Musto Clothing in 1965 in order to provide practical clothing to sailors and has since overseen its growth into a multi-million pound brand that has won a host of top design awards and sponsored the likes of British sailor Ellen Macarthur and equestrian Zara Phillips.

Mrs Penny Power. Founder, Ecademy. For services to Entrepreneurship in Social and Digital Development. Power was recognised for the success of Ecademy, the first social network for small business employees and one of the first of its kind on the web – predating Linkedin by five years. Since selling up in 2012, Power has since worked as an advisor to the government, authored the ‘Digital Business Britain’ report, and started the Digital Youth Academy, a network to help young people leverage their social media skills in business.


Michael Andrew Murphy. For services to Business and Digital Media. Growth specialist Murphy is known for being drafted into digital companies, growing them hugely and making a successful exit – his impressive track record includes overseeing the growth of social network Friends Reunited as CEO prior to a £125m sale to ITV in 2005 and leading the transformation of voucher and cashback site Quidco from a small founder-managed business in 2009 to a market leader with £4m profit on the year of his exit in 2012. He is currently non-executive director of the Racing Post.


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