Nigel is Chairman of The Big Issue, a social enterprise founded in 1991 enabling homeless individuals in the UK to earn a living, and the CEO of Big Issue Invest, a social investment business founded in 2005 that provides finance to social enterprises. The Big Issue is currently considered among the UK's most trusted social brands.

Now in its eighth year, Cranfield VentureDay has grown to become one of the country’s leading events for entrepreneurs and investors. 

Also giving a keynote at this year’s conference is Glenn Collinson, recent recipient of the Cranfield Entrepreneur Alumnus of the Year award. Glenn, who is the co-founder and former director of Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR Plc), is recognised as a successful entrepreneur and leader, having managed the rise of CSR Plc from a start-up project in 1998 through its listing as a public company in 2004, to $705m in revenue and $154m in pre-tax profit in 2006.

Nigel and Glenn will be joined by a host of successful entrepreneurs who will share with delegates their journey to success including: Alastair Lukies CBE, founder of Monitise Plc and Chairman of Innovate Finance; James Burstall CEO of Argonon and Michael Hayman and Nick Giles co-founders of Seven Hills. Among the Cranfield faculty will be Formula 1 Professor Mark Jenkins, who is a world renowned expert on competitive strategy and innovation. There will be the opportunity for delegates to network with the speakers throughout the day.

Dr Shai Vyakarnam
, Director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield, commented: “No matter what stage of the entrepreneurial journey you are at, VentureDay will have something of interest for you. Whether you have your first idea and are looking for advice on the next steps or you are looking to take a step back from your business, there will be a session for you.”

Jonathan Moules from the Financial Times will be giving delegates a masterclass on how to make sure they get their story out there at the right time.

Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurial Services at Smith & Williamson, who are long term supporters of Cranfield’s Business Growth Programme and VentureDay, commented: "Cranfield's VentureDay is one of the highlights in the entrepreneurial calendar, where established or sometimes already exited founders give generously of their time and experience to those who are on the way up. Not to be missed."

As well as being an excellent networking opportunity, conference delegates will also benefit from exposure to Cranfield’s latest research and insights on entrepreneurial issues.

Notes for editors

VentureDay 2015 is hosted by the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield School of Management and is supported by Smith & Williamson, EMW, Coutts, Central Bedfordshire Council, CUBIC, and Cranfield University Technology Park.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.