As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016 – a week which celebrates entrepreneurial activity and the vibrant business ecosystem it creates – we thought now would be the ideal time to shine a spotlight on today’s entrepreneurs that are making waves in their respective industries.

For those wanting to learn from entrepreneurial success stories to use as inspiration for their own business goals, make sure you read through our top 20 entrepreneurs to watch in 2016/17:

  • Alice Bentinck - co-founder of Entrepreneur First - @Alicebentinck
    Alice co-founded Entrepreneur First, a London-based start-up accelerator for tech graduates based in the UK and Central Europe, from Club Workspace London Bridge. Last year, Alice was named one of the 50 Most Inspiring Women in European Tech and was awarded an MBE in 2016 for her services to business.
     
  • Linzi Boyd - @Linzi_Boyd
    A serial entrepreneur, Linzi had created and sold on two businesses of her own by the age of 24. Her third business, Surgery Group, remains a highly successful agency that works with high street consumer brands to elevate them to even higher levels. Linzi is also a best-seller author, with Brand Famous – How to get everyone talking about your business proving a real hit among the marketing fraternity. The Telegraph and Vogue UK pinpointed Linzi as one-to-watch from a young age – they weren’t wrong!
     
  • June Angelides - Founder @MumsinTech @JuneAngelides
    Tech trailblazer, June Angelides took full advantage of her time off during maternity leave to create a coding school for new mothers; the first in the world that enables parents to attend coding classes with their children, who are taken care of on-site by the school’s nannies. It’s given dozens of young mums an opportunity to explore the possibilities in tech whilst taking care of their babies!
     
  • David Barrie - Founder @WildBlueKC, @TPSLondon & Maserati 100 Entrepreneur Award, 2016 - @davidbarrie
    David has been involved in ventures that have been associated with ensuring more than £500m of fresh investment in major towns and cities across the UK, Russia, Eastern Europe and Canada; as well as new enterprises including angel investor network, Wild Blue Cohort and The People’s Supermarket.
     
  • John Rice - Founder of designer product store MINIMAL HOME - @John_Rice
    A serial entrepreneur with a passion for architecture and interiors, John is the founder of designer product store, MINIMAL HOME, which is based in The Shard. Having worked for a raft of household names – Virgin Records, Richard Branson, The Bank of America, Clinton Cards and Spears Games to name a few – John’s global designer store introduces brands, designers and artists to followers around the world.
     
  • James Waddington - Co-Founder @Getvizified @Carhootsapp - @JamesWaddy11
    Co-founder of one of the fastest-growing car review platforms on the internet, James Waddington oversaw Carhoots become a community of over two-million car-lovers. Not content to stop there, James also has a vested interest in the UK’s first craft cider subscription company, Crafty Nectar and co-founded Vizified – an influencer marketing network purely for Pinterest. A very busy man indeed!
     
  • Sonia Meggie - Founder @Inspirational_U™ @FunkyNChunky_ - @SoniaMeggie
    London-based entrepreneur, Sonia Meggie is the founder of a social enterprise within the capital and is passionate about empowering and inspiring young people, women and ethnic minorities looking to develop their business careers and achieve their dreams. Sonia launched an additional business based on her love for Ghanaian and African fashion: FunkyNChunky. A woman with an entrepreneurial attitude to behold.
     
  • Elena Sinel - Founder @AcornAspiration - inspiring the next generation - @elena_sinel
    Through her business, Acorn Aspiration, Elena Sinel is making a huge contribution to the next generation. By hosting hackathons, she can inspire, engage and introduce new technology to 11-18-year-olds, engineering working relationships between promising teens and experienced industry mentors.
     
  • Jonathan Holmes - Entrepreneur & Founder/CEO of @Luxdeco - @MrJonHolmes
    Jonathan Holmes was a freelancer designer when he spotted a potential gap in the market for selling complete collections of luxury goods and furniture. In August 2013, LuxDeco was born. It has since become a great digital platform for high-end designer homeware and furniture.
     
  • Alex Robson - Co-founder the King of Soho Gin - @agrobson1
    Sunderland-born entrepreneur, Alex Robson is making real waves in the world of gin, with her very own brand with business partner, Howard Raymond. King of Soho has soared in popularity, with the London dry gin now stocked in world-famous stores Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, as well as a host of bars across the country.
     
  • Calum Brannan - Founder @NoAgentApp and co-founder @CrowdControlHQ – @CalumBrannan
    Since the age of 15, Calum has been working and innovating within the field of social media; launching his own network from his bedroom which hosted 500,000 users at its peak. CrowdControlHQ is his latest product, a social media risk management product that’s now used by UK police forces, banks, local government, leisure brands and leading High Street brands as part of their PR strategy.
     
  • Jade Fletcher - CEO & founder of @jadegreenevents, event freelancer, trainer, entrepreneur and RBS Women in Enterprise award winner - @threejfletcher
    Award-winning CEO of Jade Green Events, Jade has grown a unique company with her entrepreneurial flair, with creative input on events as prestigious as the Olympic Games and the MOBO awards. Based in Croydon, Jade started out as a professional dancer but quickly spotted a business opportunity that has resulted in an RBS Women in Enterprise award.
     
  • Dr Jacqui Taylor - Top 100 UK Entrepreneur, Web Scientist, Author, Datajournalism Co-Founder @FlyingBinary CEO, Prof @LSBU - @jacquitaylorfb
    Jacqui was recognised this year as one of the UK’s most powerful entrepreneurs, having co-founded FlyingBinary – a web-science company which aims to change the world with data. Taylor is also a high-profile mentor for tech start-ups in Tech City and has worked as an Independent Ministerial Advisor in Cabinet Office of H.M. Government as an Open Data expert.
     
  • Christian Nellemann - Serial entrepreneur and mentor. Founder & CEO @XLNBusiness. E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year, Global Hall of Fame. @BVCA UK CEO of the Year. Passionate about SMEs - @christianxln
    As a serial entrepreneur and mentor, Christian has a real passion for small businesses, start-ups and re-energising independent high streets across the UK. A two-time winner of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award, Christian is founder and CEO of XLN – a low-cost phone, broadband, energy and card processing service exclusively for SMEs.
     
  • Ronke Oke - Entrepreneur, founder of Natural Skin Care (@EMIandBEN) & publicist @BREADNBUTTERCOM Ambassador for Prince's Trust & Virgin Media Pionee - @RonkeIgeBEM
    Ronke formed Emi & Ben natural skin care in 2009 to inspire women throughout West Africa to achieve their dreams of developing a business based on the region’s beauty secret: Unrefined Shea butter. Ronke has since worked with Sir Richard Branson in campaigning for the Start Up Loans scheme and was an ambassador to The Prince’s Trust in 2010; a role she still holds today.
     
  • Doug Monro - Co-founder @Adzuna, making job search better. Entrepreneur dad brit vespa geek runner cyclist Fulham fan. ex Zoopla, Gumtree, eBay. - @dougall
    An entrepreneur with a significant background in finance, strategy and the internet, Doug worked for eBay, Gumtree and Zoopla before founding his very own company, Adzuna. With experience working for some of the largest classified ads sites, Doug’s developed Adzuna into one of the fastest-growing online recruitment websites along with co-founder, Andrew Hunter.
     
  • James Hutchinson - founder of @TheBrainPeople - @JamesHutchNLP
    Since 2008 James Hutchinson has overseen the growth of the rapidly expanding training organisation, The Brain People, which provides high-quality private and public training courses primarily in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Hypnosis. The innovative group seeks to help people seek new ways to influence behaviour and optimise performance both at home and in the workplace.
     
  • Mich Turner MBE - Founder LITTLE VENICE CAKE COMPANY #Harpers & #Chanel Entrepreneur of the Year - @MichTurnerLVCC
    The ‘Queen of Couture Cakes’, Mich Turner MBE has built a staggering A-list clientele and along with her hugely successful Little Venice Cake Company, she has made a significant contribution to the catering industry. As an engaging author and public speaker, Mich is a regular on our TV screens and continues to fly the flag for business and entrepreneurship; as well as exceptionally tasty cakes!
     
  • Aidan Fitzpatrick - Founder & CEO @reincubate. Serial entrepreneur, occasional investor - @afit
    Listed in the Top 100 UK entrepreneurs by City A.M, Aidan is a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation – a non-profit group driven to helping entrepreneurs learn and grow across the globe. With that kind of appetite for letting entrepreneurial talent develop, it’s impossible not to acknowledge Aidan for the work he’s doing, along with his own successful business, Reincubate, which provides data access and recovery for all app platforms and has already licensed software to government, child protection and corporate clients around the world.
     
  • Jacqueline Rogers - Founder The Athena Network - @networkbarefoot
    Jacqueline launched The Athena Network in 2005 and has since transformed her business club into the leading international networking, training and development network for female executives and entrepreneurs. Jacqueline is an inspirational businesswoman who is identifiable her peers and empowers women in business to achieve their professional and personal best.