Meet Our Team


Our core team of entrepreneurs and business people has a passion to help young people achieve success.



Chief Executive Officer
Catherine has a wealth of expertise in leadership and management, and business strategy development particularly in the charity, start up and education sectors.

She has 20 years of experience in the charity sector, particularly in enterprise and employability skills development for young people, coupled with employer engagement with education.



Bev Brown

Regional Manager – North East

Bev has a wide range of management experience in the charitable, public & private sector with skills ranging from Business Development, Partnership Working, HR & Training gained in sectors all related to working with young people in an education & business setting. She is passionate about young people & business and is excited to support those in the North East of England succeed & grow through Bright Ideas Trust.



Head of Corporate Relations

Having worked in the charity sector for over 10 years, Joanne has a wealth of experience in building and stewarding relationships, corporate sector fundraising and engaging and managing volunteers.
As a previous Entrepreneur herself, she believes strongly in supporting and inspiring young people to start their own businesses and change their lives.




Community Engagement Manager

Laura is passionate about creating and delivering unique programmes and opportunities that help young people to develop their skills and networks. Laura has worked with corporate and community partners and volunteers both in the UK and overseas and specialises in designing bespoke content for entrepreneurial and employability journeys.
As community development manager Laura works to make our programmes accessible to those people who will benefit from them most.



Business Manager

David is an experienced banker who, in a career spanning almost 30 years with Barclays Bank, looked after a variety of business customers ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises to large publicly quoted companies.

With his experience in both banking and business support, he is very well placed to help young business owners raise the finance they require to start and grow their businesses.





Chair of Trustees

Margaret was a lawyer in the City for 25 years, then pursued a variety of other interests including studying Classics at UCL.  She is a trustee of a number of charities in the education field, including two secondary schools in Westminster, and chairs Argent Foods Limited, a privately owned group operating principally in the food sector.  A member of the advisory board of Westminster Business School, she appeared in five series of BBC’s “Apprentice”, where she met Tim Campbell, the founder of Bright Ideas Trust.



Founder & Trustee

Winner of The Apprentice (series one), Tim worked for Lord Sugar for two years before leaving to start his own business. Tim divides his time between various business interests, international speaking engagements and chairing the board of governors at his old school in East London.

In February 2012 Tim was awarded the MBE for his efforts supporting enterprise and sits on the City of London’s Education Board.




Simon is currently Managing Director of Accenture’s Products operating group in the UK and Ireland and has worked with a variety of clients such as Unilever, Reckitt, Booker, KwikSave, Boots and Danone. Accenture’s Products operating group serves a set of consumer-relevant industries including retail, consumer goods & services, life sciences, automotive, industrial equipment, infrastructure & transportation services and air, freight & logistics and travel services.




Riaz is a senior partner at EY and is passionate about social enterprises, particularly those focused on entrepreneurship and education. Alongside Bright Ideas Trust he is an active supporter of several social enterprise projects including Common Purpose, Mosaic,, and Adab Trust.

Riaz chairs an educational charity called One Degree ( which has successfully opened its first free school, the One Degree Academy.  He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Bradford University’s School of Management.





Steve is an entrepreneur and business strategist, and has over 17 years’ experience starting, building and selling companies. His businesses have spanned consulting, outsourcing, recruitment and on-line games. He is currently Co-Founder and Chairman of Xoomworks – a niche technology consulting business based in London and Eastern Europe. He is also an active mentor and business advisor to several start-up companies. Prior to setting up his first company, Steve worked as a strategy consultant and IT project manager. Steve holds an MBA from INSEAD and a BSc from Durham.

Steve Charlton_color

Steve Charlton


Steve is President of Mintel’s commercial operation across the EMEA region. The prestigious portfolio spans the world’s leading and emerging brands across all consumer categories, as well as agencies, financial services, retail and academics. Steve and his team are passionate about supporting and growing this portfolio and work in partnership with the clients to deliver unique business insights that uncover new opportunities and drive growth.

With more than 20 years at Mintel, Steve has enjoyed a variety of commercial and general management roles, including 5 years running global marketing and 3 years living in Chicago focused on growing their US operation. He still misses their summers…but not the winters!



Anita is an experienced Board level HR Director with a proven track record of strategic delivery in Cultural Change, Employee Engagement, Leadership Development, Acquisitions and Recruitment and Reward.

Anita was previously HR Director UK and Nordics, for Capgemini Plc and more recently People Director at Vaultex, the largest provider of B2B cash processing services in the UK.  She is a member of CIPD, sits on the steering committee for Coventry University Business School and Adoption Advisor and Panel Member for Buckingham County Council.




Chief Executive, Gaming Economics
Marketing, business planning, business development, e-commerce.

A General Motors-trained engineer, held senior marketing and commercial roles with the Hertz Corporation in both UK and Europe. Former marketing director, British Horseracing Board, Lee has also held senior CEO/COO roles over the past 15+ years with Tote Direct, Coral-Eurobet plc, Chartwell Games International, Boylesports and ONEworks. MBA from University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), Lee is a Chartered Marketer and a Fellow of the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing. Currently founder/CEO of Gaming Economics, an international e-gaming consultancy and advisory business, with clients in Europe, Asia and the Americas.



Finance and Business Services Expert, FCCA

Business Strategy and Innovation, Business Process Evaluation and Optimisation, Asking Right Questions, Asset Creation, Financial Planning and Cash Flow management, Funding.


Director/Financial Planner at Essentially Finance Ltd

Business Finance

Les strongly believes that establishing and quantifying client objectives are the solid cornerstones of the financial planning process.  It not being about product, performance or flavour of the month but understanding where people want to be, where they are now and reaching their destination.  His extensive knowledge and experience of more than twenty five years provides clients with the security and knowledge that they are always heading in the right direction, taking alternative actions as needs be.



Managing Director, SweetSpot
Business Generalist.



Director, Business Projects Consult Ltd

Ecommerce strategy, Mobile Business.



Head of Communications, Vaultex UK Ltd

PR, Internal & External Communications, Marketing Communications, Branding.



Founder, SABIVO Design

Publishing – greetings cards, design, product development, sourcing, negotiation, market; Retail & Buying (Fashion, volume & luxury) – sales, marketing, brand image; PR; social media.



Fashion Management Consultant

Fashion, business process, leadership, management, pricing, process engineering, purchasing, quality control, retail, sales, strategic, supply chain, vision, sourcing, product development, budgeting, cost control.

Russell has spent the last 20 years successfully helping fashion companies work smarter. He was 12 years at Burberry where he managed the operations of the womenswear division. He then spent three years with Temperley managing their product from sketch to store. In2009 he founded fashion management consultancy The Scaphan Network. At Scaphan, he helps fashion brands grow by giving the brand leaders advice, guidance and contacts to help their business succeed.



Director, Humanrace

Events, event management.



Series Director, Smile Inside Films Ltd

Freelance TV direction, production.



Director of Diamond Thoughts Ltd

Manufacturing and retail.



Secondary school Governor, Trustee of PDSA

Investment and finance.

Paul Perlin

Director – Principal, Perlin Franco Ltd


Rina Thakkar

Audit & Accounts Manager, Perlin Franco Ltd


How do I get a mentor?

Bright Ideas Trust will work with you to identify areas of your business where you could benefit from extra help and support.  Your Business Manager will then approach a Mentor and ask him or her to contact you directly to arrange a meeting to identify what is required.

Mentoring works on a one-to-one basis and the Mentor will work to establish a close relationship and to understand all elements of your business.  The Mentor will then identify the challenges that you need help with and work with you to address them.

How do I become a mentor?

If you are interested in becoming a Bright Ideas Trust Mentor, you can download an application form, provide us with your background and career information and we will contact you directly to follow up.

To be considered as a Mentor for Bright Ideas Trust you will ideally have:

  • Recognised skill or ability in a particular field or specialist area of business
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the key issues and critical commercial aspects of running a small business
  • Experience of setting up and running your own business
  • A broad general business knowledge

Prospective mentors will be asked to provide two relevant references and to complete a Bright Ideas Trust Business Mentor application form.

If you want to volunteer as a mentor please drop us a message here.

Apply for support today!

Contact Us:

Bright Ideas Trust C/O Mintel, 11 Pilgrim Street, LONDON, EC4V 6RN.

+44 (0)794 352 0354

Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm