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Ethic Idol

New research by Venture Finance suggests that today’s business people admire a new group of idols, led by Cafedirect CEO Penny Newman.

Following the sale of The Body Shop to L’Oreal, Venture asked owner/managers of SMEs who they see as the next inspirational, ethical business leaders. Newman led the pack with 36 per cent of the votes, followed by Jorgen Philip-Sorensen, CBE, chairman of Ecover, and Dale Vince OBE, founder of Ecotricity. Richard Reed, Adam Balon and Jon Wright, co-founders of Innocent Drinks, took fourth place with 24 per cent.

Steve Websdale, director of Venture Finance, believes well-known business personalities can play a key role in encouraging entrepreneurialism. “Nowadays, many business owners have a desire to make a positive contribution to the world or, at the very least, to ensure their business is as sustainable as possible,” he says.

“Trailblazers like Penny Newman offer inspiration and demonstrate that it is possible to be ethical and profitable. We would encourage others to take a leaf out of her book and set up the business they’ve always aspired to run.”

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