Skip to content

Author: <span>Josh Dornbrack</span>

Friends standing together with arms linked

The friends and family funding phenomenon

When Joseph Cullen had the idea to set up a mineral exploration company, he knew he was going to need money to get the business started. But rather than going to a bank or an investment firm, he opted to go closer to home, borrowing $75,000 from a friend. It’s a move that many entrepreneurs...

Patricia Cullen

Rassie Erasmus book cover mock up

Bookshelf: Rassie Erasmus – stories of life and rugby

Many business leaders are obsessed with the sporting mindset. Communication, dealing with pressure and crisis management are just some of the lessons we can learn from the best in the world sport. With that in mind, we’ve scoured the much-anticipated autobiography of Rassie Erasmus, the double Rugby World Cup-winning coach of South Africa, for some...

Josh Dornbrack

Ella Mills on her evolving role as a founder and what she has learned from failure

Rock bottom is a painful term to describe the lowest point in a person’s life. But what can come with rock bottom is the opportunity to change and reinvent. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination but with true resilience, many can turn this pivotal time in life into their biggest strength.   Ella...

Josh Dornbrack

Brendon McCullum looks on during an England nets session at Lord's Cricket Ground

The power of a story: Redefining success in a data-driven world

‘It’s just a story’ – in a business or decision-making setting – is a contemptuous put-down. “We’ve all got a story to tell,” people say, which of course means: “Yes, but where’s the evidence?” (Sometimes this is framed with a harder edge as what does the science say?) The evolution of language reveals this direction...

Ed Smith

The purpose paradigm: Fact or fiction?

As head of a recruitment company that strives to “make work mean more”, I’m no stranger to the ongoing debate on the authenticity of prioritising a purpose-driven approach in business. Is it a genuine commitment to societal good, or is it merely a strategic move to attract and retain talent in a competitive job market?...

Niki Turner-Harding

Steffi Graf holds aloft the Venus Rosewater Dish after defeating Jana Novotna at Wimbledon in 1993

The sweet spot of confidence

Focusing as I do on sustained performance, I am often asked if there is one question that can help identify those who are likely to be able to perform over the long term and stay the distance. Perhaps surprisingly, I believe that there is, and the optimum answer to this question might surprise you too....

Catherine Baker

Sir Martin Sorrell onstage at Cannes Lions 2022

Inside Sir Martin Sorrell’s world: Strategies for building empires

We walk into S4 Capital’s central London HQ a little ahead of schedule. The door to the boardroom is open as we walk past. Several suits sit around the table with Sir Martin Sorrell the main voice conducting the conversation’s symphony. As we wait in a small meeting room next door, it’s difficult not to...

Josh Dornbrack

Map of the United Kingdom made of money and torn in half

The future of UK business support funding: Is it time to take a fresh approach?

The nation’s access to nationally funded and regionally delivered business support is fragmenting. Next month, central government is stepping away from directly funding regional business support strategies as part of a longer-term plan for devolution. This is undoubtedly going to see the disappearance of some Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) who have been given the option...

Emma Jones

Simon Arora sitting at a table

Building B&M: Speed, strategy, and success

In 2004, Simon Arora and his two brothers, Bobby, and Robin, bought a discount retail chain in the North West of England for £525,000. That chain had 21 shops. Today, B&M is valued at more than £5billion and is part of the FTSE 100, making it one of the biggest retailers in Europe. Simon Arora...

Graham Ruddick

A mock up of a billboard with MrBeast and Lil Miquela

AI: Reshaping the future of content creation

It’s my second panel of the day at a tech conference in the Middle East. Glancing at the countdown clock positioned just in front of the audience, I note we have 6 minutes and 20 seconds remaining. Surprisingly, we’ve spent nearly 15 minutes without touching on AI, and I feel proud. We’re probably the only...

Caspar Lee

Rishi Sunak at the podium with Liz Truss and Boris Johnson's images to his left and right

Storm clouds over Number 10: The Sunak dilemma

Politics comes at you fast. Three years ago, Boris Johnson was riding high in the polls thanks to a “vaccine bounce” as Britain emerged from the pandemic with a renewed sense of optimism. The Tories were triumphant in the May local elections, taking control of councils across Red Wall areas in the North East and...

Steven Swinford

Mother working from home on her laptop while taking care of her child at home

Building bridges to equality: The infrastructure investment we’re overlooking

This year’s International Women’s Day theme set by the United Nations is ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’. This occasion calls for a more nuanced exploration of what investment truly means for gender equality, and I would like to put the spotlight on infrastructure. Beyond the traditional scope of infrastructure—bridges, motorways, and power stations—lies a domain...

Zara Nanu

Castore co-founders Phil and Tom Beahon (left) are pictured as The Rangers Store is officially reopened at Ibrox Stadium

Mentorship: Unleashing entrepreneurial potential

I am delighted to be writing a regular column for Business Leader, a publication I have always admired. I will bring a direct and honest perspective from my experience of building Castore, a British sportswear brand and one of the UK’s fastest-growing companies, and I hope that readers find my insights interesting and even better,...

Tom Beahon

The Chancellor Of The Exchequer Jeremy Hunt leaves 11 Downing Street on March 6, 2024

Spring Budget 2024: What it means

Let’s start with the most important things – Jeremy Hunt really upped his social media game ahead of the Budget. We got a sneak peek of the chancellor working behind the scenes and even a video of him watching old speeches… But Hunt’s enthusiasm for the Budget was not necessarily matched by others, such as...

Graham Ruddick

External photo of the Audley Cooper's Hill, Englefield Green

Retirement homes: The UK’s fastest growing non-tech sector?

Often filling the older population with dread, retirement homes and villages have had a seemingly bad reputation following previous years of poor management and ill conditions. However, changing opinions supported by increased awareness and education are aiding the popularity of retirement homes and villages in the UK. With some speculating that it has the potential...

Alice Cumming

Patented stamp and pencil on a file

The truth about software patents

I’ve been a patent attorney working in what’s often called “computer-implemented inventions” for around 20 years. Throughout that time, I’ve had many people tell me that you couldn’t get patents for software. Well, I’m able to tell you otherwise: it is possible to get patent protection for software inventions. The situation is a bit more...
Stack of vinyl records

A look inside vinyl’s resurgence

Last year, vinyl record sales hit their highest point since 1990. Vinyl’s resurgence also helped HMV more than double its profits. But will it last? The rise of vinyl According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the trade association for Britain’s recorded music industry, vinyl LP sales grew 11.7 per cent in 2023, marking the...

James Cook

Illustration of Menopause Symptoms

Menopause: Is your workplace leading or lagging?

Lauren Chiren, 55 from Bristol, suffered from debilitating anxiety, and extreme dizziness and couldn’t even remember the names of her colleagues while going through menopause. It drastically affected her work in a senior role in financial services. “In the end, I was absolutely terrified that I had early onset dementia,” she says. “At the age...

Patricia Cullen

Rachel Reeves and Jeremy Hunt, along with the chancellor's red briefcase

What can you expect from the 2024 Spring Budget?

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will announce his Spring Budget at 12:30 today with many expecting it to be the largest fiscal announcement before the next general election. Whilst speaking to the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Hunt ruled out borrowing to fund tax cuts. “This will be a prudent and responsible budget for long-term growth, tackling...

James Cook

Guards in the Netflix show Squid Game

The top business pivots

“Adaptability is paramount in today’s dynamic business landscape,” says Chris Beer, professor of practice at Warwick Business School. “Organisations must be prepared to pivot their strategies swiftly, driven by factors such as market shifts, technological advances and changing customer expectations”.  According to PwC’s 27th UK CEO Survey, one in five chief executives says their organisation...

Alice Cumming, James Cook

Illustration of Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak

Sunak and Starmer will pull no punches on a rollercoaster ride to the general election

Buckle up. The next seven months are likely to be one of the most expensive, most bitterly contested and longest election campaigns in British history. The state of the polls, with Labour consistently enjoying a 20-point lead, means that the prime minister Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives have little to lose. Vituperative personal attacks from...

Steven Swinford

Illustration featuring a facemask, arms with binoculars and a book

Elite sport shows us how to reach the top and stay there

Like any seismic event, the pandemic has left a lasting legacy. When it comes to leadership, this has been particularly profound. Covid-19, and the chaos and upset that came with it, wreaked havoc on the wellbeing, health and sustained performance of many leaders and entrepreneurs across sectors. And it hasn’t been limited to just that...

Catherine Baker

Jason Atherton with Dubai in the background

Mastering the recipe for success: Jason Atherton’s entrepreneurial insights

Jason Atherton has built an international fine dining empire with a dozen restaurants around the world, including his Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social in Mayfair. After working with Pierre Koffmann, Nico Ladenis and Marco Pierre White, Atherton joined Gordon Ramsay working in Dubai and London, where Ramsay opened Maze. After striking out on his own in...

Andrew Lynch

Illustration featuring the England cricket team winning the 2019 Cricket World Cup

Process has its place but what adds real value is setting creativity free

If we could have bought shares in the concept of ‘process,’ we’d be rich today. Having leapt far beyond its sensible origins in the law – where ‘due process’ protects against hasty errors – process has invaded all aspects of life. Grief is framed as a process. Psychoanalysis insists people commit to the process. Recruitment...

Ed Smith