The Brand Foundation is a registered charity no. 1165700. That means 'not for profit' so every penny we receive in sponsorship goes directly towards helping entrepreneurs succeed with their start-up businesses.


As a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and business academics, The Brand Foundation houses a multitude of business and life experience spanning 250 years; we want to ‘give something back’ to budding entrepreneurs and existing businesses.

Looking at the services and tools currently available to start-ups, we discovered that there was no free software to help start-ups model and validate at the very early stages of their idea development. Spreadsheets can be complicated and regularly get in a tangle.

The Brand Foundation gives all budding and current entrepreneurs free access to its ‘BizKit’ modelling platform to develop their ideas, skills and plans in a secure, online environment. As users model their idea/s they will also create a professional three-year business forecast, giving them greater confidence when discussing next steps with funders and /or mentor support groups. If the idea owner already has funds, they don’t need to upgrade to ‘BizTik’ (which is geared more towards funding). If the entrepreneur does need funding to launch their business, they will be in a position to choose their fund partner/s knowing what their idea potential is. Their funder will normally reimburse the upgrade fee, which is set at a maximum of £60, or less if the funder is one of our sponsors (100% of which goes towards helping other entrepreneurs in the future).

A benefit to existing businesses is our annual ‘BizKit Challenge’, which helps to develop employees with ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ who might not be in a position to start their own business. Individually or in groups, users can model their internal ideas for their employer to help grow the business from within, thereby promoting their own individual value as an employee.


Our charitable purpose for the public benefit relates to the advancement of education and knowledge in the theory and practice of business. What does this mean? We have provided a free business modelling platform so that budding entrepreneurs can model their ideas to see how they might look over 36 months. But we are also looking to ask people questions about their experience and knowledge of entrepreneurship and business. We will use the feedback anonymously to help educationalists further their knowledge and improve curriculums for entrepreneurship at all ages from secondary school upwards through adulthood. In both cases, we are attacking the 90 per cent attrition rate and as a result, we can help budding entrepreneurs to become more successful.


Because we are online, we have sensible overheads. Our people strategy is to employ graduates and/or full/part-time personnel who want to be trained in how to set up and run their own business over an initial 18-month period and beyond if they want to continue to learn and support the sector.

By supporting our BizKit system and the users who are modelling their business ideas, plus taking on a normal internal business department (finance, operations, sales, support, etc.) we are creating a business model that can eventually be exported to other countries too.


We have a Trustee Group who have had or are continuing to enjoy their own successful and flourishing careers. The group meet monthly to review progress and make decisions against the company’s business plan.

    Jerry Brand

    Founder; responsible for direction and operation of The Brand Foundation


    Six years working in two businesses, followed by own company ownership from 1988; Russell & Brand 1988/96, Orange Balloon 1997/99, Host Management 2004/15. Currently non-exec shareholder in Caternet 2004 to date, and Uniware Systems 1991 to date.


    Enjoys golf, watching rugby and keeping fit.

    why the foundation?

    I have run my own businesses successfully since 1988 and other than the usual charitable donations one makes I have always been too busy to ‘put something back’. Having exited Host Management in 2015 and with a new ‘industry’ quickly developing in entrepreneurial support, I felt the time was now right to put that something back by helping to nurture and encourage the fantastic motivation and ‘buzz’ that comes with starting one’s own business.

    But I want to do this in a way that guarantees anyone who has an idea and the drive to start their own business is offered free support and a secure environment to develop their idea themselves. Thus increasing their chances of success and keeping as much of their hard-earned equity as possible. The side benefit is that also have professional software, free advice and business experience at their side.

    But we haven’t stopped there as we also saw the opportunity to widen the ‘net’ to help intrepreneurs - people who are entrepreneurs but for all kinds of reasons can’t strike out on their own, so they are fully employed and committed to their employers. Intrepreneurs are the life blood of existing companies and organisations and we can run our ‘BizKit Challenge’ for our sponsors, to help model their ideas that their bosses can take on board to help add-value to their business growth. We will learn just as much for the future of entrepreneurship training from them as we will from our budding entrepreneurs, plus we help existing businesses grow!

  • Jerry Brand Founder
  • Tim Parker

    Trustee and non-executive chairman


    Tim started his career as an economist at HM Treasury, but he soon realised he had a taste and affinity for business, specifically as an expert ‘intrepreneurial CEO’! At the age of 26, he was appointed President and CEO of GS Blakeslee, a subsidiary of Thorn EMI, based in Chicago. Returning to the UK, Tim subsequently became CEO of Kenwood, and in 1989 he led a management buy-out from Thorn floating the company in 1992. In 1996 Tim was appointed CEO of Clarks and over the next five years he oversaw a turnaround of the family-owned global business. In 2002, Tim led a £300m buy-in of Kwik-Fit, trebling the operating profit of the company. In 2004, Tim led the £1.6bn buy-in of the AA, and after a fundamental restructuring of the business and major investment into the development of the AA brand, the business was merged with Saga in 2007 at a value of £3.3bn. In 2008, Tim joined the Board of Channel Nine TV in Australia, where he served as non-exec Chair for two years, and he has also been Chairman of Autobar, Europe’s largest office coffee company. In 2008/9 Tim invested in and became Chairman and CEO of Samsonite, a global luggage brand. The brief to turn the company around was achieved by 2011, with the company growing sales in double digits, and the company successfully floated on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Tim remains as Chairman of the company, and analyst expectations for 2015 are sales of $2.5bn, and EBITDA of $400m. In 2014, Tim was appointed Chairman of the National Trust, and in October 2015 became Chairman of the Post Office, a government-owned enterprise. He has served on three FTSE 100 Boards; Alliance Boots, Legal & General and Compass Group. Other roles include Chairman of the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and a board member of CDC Group, formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation. Tim has been a board member of the Audit Commission and also the South West Regional Development Agency. He is a director and owner of British Pathe, one of the World’s most important 20th century film archives.


    In his spare time, Tim plays the flute, enjoys running and goes to the opera as often as possible.

    why the foundation?

    I'm involved with the Brand Foundation, because I believe strongly in helping people to create wealth for the benefit of society through new jobs and taxes, and because I want more people to be in charge of their own destiny.

  • Tim Parker Chairman of the Trustees
  • Joanna Donaldson

    Trustee; responsible for Government liaison


    Former Senior Civil Servant, with experience in both policy and Human Resources. Joanna spent much of her career at the Department for Business (formerly the Department of Trade and Industry), most recently as HR Director and Acting Director General for Corporate Effectiveness.

    She is also an Ashridge accredited executive coach, associate of Hay KornFerry, and a trustee of St Christopher’s Hospice.


    Married with three children and one son-in-law.  Joanna enjoys reading, walking, and bridge.

    why the foundation?

    Supporting people who want to set up their own business has the potential to make a real difference, to individuals and to the economy.  The Foundation aims to reach people from all sectors of society, women and men, providing them with independent advice and information to help them get started. That's a good cause to get involved with, and my skill set works well within the group. 

  • Joanna Donaldson Government Liaison
  • Hugh Green

    Trustee with interest in finance counsel and leadership


    Hugh has been an audit partner at KPMG for 18 years and ongoing.  He has extensive experience across Media, Leisure and related sectors working with a wide range of listed and PE backed companies as well as large family owned groups and public sector organisations. Hugh has significant experience on major Transaction Services assignments, including IPOs, buy outs, mergers, demergers and major acquisitions. Hugh has led KPMG’s work within the Travel, Leisure and Tourism sector in the UK, working closely with colleagues around the world. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Special Interest Group on Tourism & Hospitality and a non-executive member of the Audit Committee of Visit Britain within the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). He is a member of KPMG’s Capital Markets Group and leads the firm’s provision of Accountant’s Reports within Investment Circulars.


    Hugh runs a lot, plays tennis and football, and breeds Wiltshire Horn sheep.

    why the foundation?

    Some level of financial knowledge is required to succeed in any business but it certainly doesn't need to be a primary skill. So demystifying the numbers side can be very important - meaning entrepreneurs can make sure they understand what they need to, while continue to focus on those areas where they can personally make the biggest difference.

  • Hugh Green Finance counsel
  • Simon Hodson

    Trustee with a particular interest in legal matters and good governance


    A corporate lawyer by profession, he joined the firm in 1984 and became a Partner one year later. His career has seen him accumulate a wealth of expertise across almost every area of corporate law, during which time he has gained particular experience in private company acquisitions and disposals. Simon was Senior Partner of DAC Beachcroft for two elected terms from 2005 until November 2015. He led the business through a period of significant expansion and investment alongside former Managing Partner, Paul Murray, whose term also came to an end in 2015.Since the end of his term as Senior Partner, Simon has successfully combined his career at DAC Beachcroft with a number of external appointments and non-executive directorships in a diverse range of business sectors.


    Enjoys most sports and anything that keeps him outside.

    why the foundation?

    After enjoying a career which has focused on the successful commercial development of other peoples' ideas, he wants to bring that assistance/experience to the widest possible community.

  • Simon Hodson Legal counsel
  • Fiona Stewart

    Trustee responsible for female entrepreneurs, marketing and fund raising


    My formative years were spent undertaking market analysis, marketing strategy and planning roles. I became CEO of a brand consultancy and a specialist research company within global marketing services groups.

    I founded and still run my own marketing strategy business, Antennae, and continue to coach and mentor individuals, particularly those transitioning into leadership roles.


    I have been married to an Italian for over 25 years and we have two grown up children.

    I am passionate about good food, reading and enjoy concerts, cinema and theatre.  I am a late covert to running and am attempting my first marathon in 2017 (in Venice!).

    why the foundation?

    I have reached the stage in my life where I am keen to apply some my skills and experience to develop future generations of entrepreneurs, particularly women, who are so necessary to fuelling the enterprise economy.

  • Fiona Stewart Female entrepreneurs
  • Chris Sheppardson

    Trustee responsible for media and PR activities


    Chris founded Chess Executive in 1998 and over the past seventeen years, the business has become the home of one of the leading business journals for the Hospitality sector and also a lead consultancy for Hospitality across the world. EP Magazine (www.epmagazine.co.uk)  leads a range of activities that includes publishing, securing investment for entrepreneurs, marketing and comms, and development support for Emerging Leaders across all hospitality sectors through coaching, mentoring and events. Chris is also; a Patron of the Edge Hotel School, Patron of ACE, and Founder and Trustee of the One and All Foundation www.oneandall.org.uk Chris has also had three books published and is presently working on a further two due to be published in 2016. The three to date are; If Only – the decline and fall of England as a footballing superpower (2015), Leaders and Entrepreneurs in Hospitality (2011), The Luxury Hotels of London (1991). Books in production are; Your Personal Best, and Sport is for the Brave.


    Books and sport

    why the foundation?

    For too long entrepreneurs have been left to sink or swim and yet they are so important to the economy and for business. The idea of encouraging talent to express themselves and not to be afraid to be innovative is a very important task and the Foundation has these important objectives at the heart of its agenda.

  • Chris Sheppardson Media and PR
  • Paul Burns

    Trustee responsible for academic liaison


    Five years as Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in London working with smaller, growing businesses. 5 years running my own business undertaking research, consultancy and training about smaller firms for leading banks, accounting firms and governments. 35 years as an academic at Warwick University Business School, Cranfield School of Management (as Professor and Head of Department) and Bedfordshire University (as Professor and Dean of a Business School with a turnover in excess of £25 million). Also Visiting Fellow at Harvard Business School (USA) and Visiting Professor at the Open University Business School. Former President of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Author of numerous books and journal articles.


    Writing and skiing

    why the foundation?

    Throughout my working life I have been involved with entrepreneurs and start-ups, trying to change attitudes towards this career option. I introduced the Graduate Enterprise Programme into UK Universities back in 1983 and pioneered broader education with the Small Business Programme on BBC2 in 1990. I am now retired but continue with this interest in my writing and other activities.

  • Paul Burns Academic liaison
  • Ian Page

    Trustee responsible for online eLearning training services


    Ian started his career in Argentina as a commercial banker. After positions in Paraguay, Hong Kong and Tokyo he became a Eurobond trader in the city in the 1980’s and set up his first business in 1989. Ian identified the opportunities that online training would present, and the huge potential for growth in this area with the Internet growing exponentially in the nineties. As a result, Ian and his wife Amanda launched SkillGate; one of the first companies during those ‘dot.com’ years to supply eLearning and Learning Management Systems to businesses in the UK. Today SkillGate boasts a strong team, passionate about helping their customers develop their staff skills to the highest level via online or eLearning. All their clients are in sectors where value for money, innovation and effectiveness count. With a customer base that includes hundreds of top UK based companies, SkillGate has come a long way since its inception and the Page family continue to create new strategies and directions for the company to explore.


    Revolution and the Government of Napoleon 1st, the history and actions of Regiments at the Battle of Waterloo, the history of economics, Roman roads in Sussex and using the web as an educational media.

    why the foundation?

    As entrepreneurs, both Amanda and I are firm advocates of the fact that it is the ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ that creates growth, and new businesses are one of the major opportunities for a successful UK into the future. Over the years, we have seen entrepreneurial ventures come and go, noting that many of the ones who succeed successfully match ‘ambition’ with ‘capability’. As experts within the training industry, we felt that we could use our experience to encourage and support the entrepreneurs of the future who come to the Foundation, on both an advisory and practical level. With the focus on us being a Charity to ensure that all the advice goes to potential entrepreneurs free of charge and in a secure environment, we felt this was a great set of people to join up with to make a positive contribution.

  • Ian Page eLearning