Business Reporter, BBC Breakfast
Originally from Middlesbrough, Steph is a Young Enteprise alumna, having taken part in the programme during her A Level year. She first appeared on the BBC aged 19, when she won the title of Young Engineer for Britain, after saving Black & Decker over £1m on a design she did for their Leaf Hog product.
Following her appearance, Steph secured work experience on Tomorrow's World before becoming a part-time researcher in the current affairs department, while studying science at University College London. Within months she became the main producer for daily financial news on the Today programme on Radio 4. Two years later within weeks of becoming the producer for the then economics editor, Evan Davis, the financial world was in meltdown. Steph has covered its developments ever since.
Steph has also held the roles of lead producer of business news on the BBC's One, Six and Ten O'Clock news bulletins, financial reporter for 5Live, and business presenter on the Chris Evans Drivetime show on Radio 2.
As part of a feature called Steph's Sunday Shift, she spent time in over 50 different workplaces across the UK, including a gas rig in the Irish Sea, an air traffic control centre and a nuclear power plant.
Along with her daily news duties, Steph is also involved in BBC community projects, such as BBC School Report. She is a school governor in Teesside and regularly runs workshops for schoolchildren around the North East.
Co-Founder Cospa & StartUp Britain
Oli is a co-founder of Cospa, helping companies and causes to create and grow ventures which make money and make a difference. A good example of this is by helping young people to fix their own youth clubs, with Wickes, the DIY chain. He started Tenner (now run by Young Enterprise), the scheme which has challenged over 100,000 school pupils to see what they can achieve in one month, starting with £10. He brought speed-networking to the UK and has hosted and spoken at events around the world. He has led ten trade missions to the US, India and Brazil, helping British companies (in health, clean-tech and web) to explore business opportunities.
Oli’s entrepreneurial career started as a student and has included an events business in nine cities, an international language practice website (sold in 2008) and a sock subscription website (still shipping internationally). He is an advisor to the Centre for Entrepreneurs and is a co-founder of StartUp Britain.
Singer – winner of The Voice UK 2014
Jermain Jackman is a 19 year old, Hackney-born singer and politician, best known for winning The Voice UK 2014. He has recently signed a recording deal with Universal (London Records) and is currently working on his album. His ambitions don’t stop there, however. A member of Hackney’s youth parliament, he wants to become ‘the nation’s first singing black prime minister’.
Co-Founder, Jack Wills
Rob co founded Jack Wills with his good friend from University Peter Williams. They both had not long left UCL in London where beyond their studies they enjoyed playing Rugby. Together, they set up their first store down in sunny Devon in the small town of Salcombe in 1999. They expanded slowly at first but then the brand took off and they now have a over 80 stores around the globe with stores across the UK and also in the US, Hong Kong and the Middle East.
Now non exec. at Jack Wills, Rob focuses on new business mentoring and angel investments, so Young Enterprise is right up his street.
Founder & CEO, Blaze
Emily began reading Physics at Oxford University but left to pursue Product Design in Brighton. There she created the Laserlight, a radical innovation to save cyclists’ lives and started her own company, Blaze, to realise it. Laserlight tackles the greatest cause of fatality – the blind spot. It is a front facing white light, but that also has a laser and projects the symbol of a bike down onto the road ahead. Blaze are shipping their famous Laserlight worldwide, as the first in a range of products for urban cyclists.
Founding Camper, The Lazy Camper
Taking the world of event camping by storm 21-year-old Young Enterprise alumnus Jacob Hill is the Original Lazy Camper and in just a few years he has gone from a soggy camping experience at Leeds Festival in 2011 to winning the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award in June 2013.
Now recognised as one of the UK's youngest importer and exporters, Jacob launched his business when he was 19 years old after a frustrating (and rather wet) experience at Leeds Fest 2011 due to some cheap supermarket camping equipment he had bought that just didn't deliver. Following this he made a promise to stand against extortionate prices and poor quality equipment in the camping industry and provide people with a quality, convenient and affordable solution.
Naomi's interest in business was sparked by her involvement in the Young Enterprise Company Programme. This encouraged her to study Business Management at Cardiff University, before starting her career at GlaxoSmithKline.
Naomi later went on to start her own frozen cocktail brand, ROCKTAILS. She developed and launched the brand in just 10 months, and went on to acquire listings and interest from Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Tesco and Waitrose. In 2011 ROCKTAILS was featured on Dragons Den where they secured investment from Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones. In 2013 ROCKTAILS was voted Product of the Year by UK consumers, beating Smirnoff and Baileys. Naomi has since sold ROCKTAILS to a private company and is now consulting on brand, strategy and innovation for leading brands such as Nestle and Whiskers.
Chief Executive, Young Enterprise
Michael Mercieca was appointed Chief Executive of Young Enterprise in April 2012. He was previously Director of Finance & Operations at The Prince’s Trust, which he joined in 2003. As a member of the Senior Management Team he was responsible for Finance, Corporate Support Services, Programme Design and Management of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Over the years, leading a team of 220 staff, Michael helped improve the governance, financial and programme management of The Trust, helping to build the charity’s reserves and steadily increasing the number of young people supported each year.
Michael began his career in manufacturing at GKN and Racal Electronics and then switched to the media sector as financial controller for BBC Enterprises. He rose to become Financial Director of BBC World Service TV and UK Cable and Satellite TV, launching BBC News around the world and UK Channels such as UK Gold and UK Living. After that he was Interactive Service Director at BSkyB and Finance Director at the film and TV production company Mentorn Barraclough Carey.
Through his own firm, Media Gap, Michael has advised companies such as Yellow Pages, NTL, Telewest, and The Co-operative Bank. He qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1980 and is a Fellow of the Institute (FCMA).
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