2019 Judges

Judges are senior business and community figures who have been carefully selected for their expertise and professionalism.

Matt Gubba

Matt Gubba

Matt Gubba is CEO & founder of BizBritain, a provider of alternative start up finance, and of the largest brokers of UK government funded Start Up Loans.


In 2012, Matt founded BizBritain, an organisation which works closely with the UK government and to date has funded close to 2,000 entrepreneurs to the tune of around £14m.

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza has been CEO of Funding London since 2009, Maggie has been at the helm of two funds which have been launched: the MMC London Fund and the London Co-Investment Fund.

Funding London has invested £50m through its equity and loan funds into more than 500 small and micro enterprises.

Naomi Timperley

Naomi Timperley

Naomi Timperley is an Honorary Industry Fellow at Salford Business School, Co-Founder of  Tech North Advocates which champions tech in the north of England and Chair of investment platform Capital Pilot.

Naomi was part of the Maserati 100 in 2015 – a definite list of entrepreneurs who support the entrepreneurs of tomorrow from the Centre of Entrepreneurs. Naomi is also a mentor, TEDx speaker and consultant.

Mike Clare

Mike Clare

Mike Clare is best known as the founder and former CEO of Dreams PLC, which he grew to over 200 stores nationwide before selling the firm in March 2008.

Since then, Mike has formed Clarenco, amassing an impressive commercial property portfolio consisting of commercial properties, large residential homes and venues suitable for the hospitality sector.

Piers Linney

Pies Linney

Piers Linney appeared on the BBC TV series Dragons’ Den from 2013-2015, he is also a Non-Executive Director of the UK government-owned development bank, British Business Bank, which has facilitated over £12 billion of financing for UK small and medium-sized businesses and also operates the StartUp Loan Company and British Patient Capital, a £2,5bn fund launched in 2018. 

Donna O’Toole

Donna.O'Toole

Donna O’Toole owns August, a consultancy which helps businesses stand out as an industry leader.
Donna is an experienced awards expert and judge  who has helped hundreds of household brands, businesses, and leaders to grow their business and increase their sales through winning prestigious awards.
Donna has even been recognised for her outstanding contribution to judging by the UK Employee Experience Awards.

Jackie Fast

Jackie Fast

Arriving from Canada in 2007 with the intent to backpack Europe, Jackie Fast ended up staying in London and launching her career. Her first business – Slingshot Sponsorship – was started in her bedroom in 2010 with just a laptop and £2,000. A relentless 6 years later with offices worldwide, Jackie sold Slingshot for millions, having worked with notable international clients including Sir Richard Branson, the Rolling Stones, Shell, Red Bull and many more.
Jackie has now launched her latest disrupter business REBEL Pi, an ice wine brand. Jackie is also a Non-Executive Board Director of the European Sponsorship Association, one of the youngest Board Directors in the association’s history.

The 2019 Business Leader Awards


The Business Leader Awards are free to enter and you can enter any number of awards. Entry is open to organisations where the principle activity or head office is based in the UK. Please refer to the Award Entry Guidelines for each category.

If you have any questions regarding award entry, don’t hesitate to contact us.

View award entry brochure

    2019 Awards Sponsored by


  • Stackhouse Poland
  • Castle Business Finance

2019 Awards is supported by