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Meet our experts

Meet the top business leaders who deliver business-changing advice and determine the final Pioneer 10.

Steve Chapman

Marketing Strategist & Senior Copywriter

Steve is a marketing strategy specialist and an accomplished copywriter. That lets him provide insightful strategic marketing advice on how to position businesses, products and services, and the skills to make that happen.

Originally an electronics engineer, he has amassed over 30 years of experience marketing within technology sectors. It takes special expertise to comprehend sophisticated products and develop engaging marketing initiatives. Today, that’s the core of business at Swordfish Marketing, an agency based in the Harborough Innovation Centre that Steve runs. He likes to keep a balance by supporting local companies in other sectors alongside Swordfish’s portfolio of corporate technology clients.

In recent years, Steve coached teams of final-year Business Studies students in a series of annual business competitions for young people in Dorset, winning awards for his mentoring. 

Web: www.swordfish-marketing.com

Graham Darbourne

FCA Director at Bulley Davey Limited Accountants

Financial executive with a broad experience in all aspects of accounting, auditing, taxation and financial management. Qualified as a chartered accountant in 2005.

Specialties: Start up businesses, audit & accounts (small & medium size owner managed companies), management accounting and forecasting, charities, personal tax and corporate tax.

Web: www.bulleydavey.co.uk

Nicola Denny

Managing Director of MAY Marketing

Nicola thinks big picture. With over 15 years of experience with multinationals, big brands in the beauty world and small to medium-sized companies in the food and drink arena, Nicola is commercial, insightful and passionate.

She has experience across a number of channels including retail, B2B and B2C as well as in-depth knowledge of direct selling.

Web: www.wearemay.com


Kate Jackson

Innovation Director at Oxford Innovation

Kate has been a successful private business coach for 10 years, with a strong track record in helping businesses fulfill their potential. Kate will provide business support to customers based in HIC and in the local area. Kate has started, grown and sold a company and says that “Running your own business can be liberating, exciting and fun but it can also be frightening and quite a juggling act”. The demands on business owners can often be overwhelming and having the opportunity to discuss their business in confidence with an impartial business coach can make an enormous difference.

Web: www.oxin-centres.co.uk

Caroline Kemsley-Pein

Founder of Kemsley & Company - Solicitors

Background Information

  • Modern languages degree from Bristol University
  • Qualified in 1988
  • Trained & worked in the city and has wide experience of corporate transaction and commercial work

Specialising in;

  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Deal structure
  • Target investigations/due diligence
  • Confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements
  • Joint venture/investment arrangements
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Management buy-outs
  • Intra-group/corporate restructuring
  • Company share purchase/reductions of capital
  • Compliance/secretarial work
  • Bank security documentation
  • Terms & Conditions of business

Web: www.kemsleylaw.co.uk

Rona Purdham

Director of Rona Purdham Financial Management Limited

Rona is a highly experienced Chartered Management Accountant, providing financial expertise, tools and support to the businesses in which she has operated. With a talent for understanding commercial business, and what is needed to achieve strategic goals, she facilitates financial decision-making to optimise business results.

Rona spent 17 years with the Kellogg Company where she ultimately held a range of senior positions within commercial Finance, leaving in 2005. In the following 10 years, Rona has held interim senior finance roles in a range of industry sectors including retail and information services.

In 2015 Rona set up a business consultancy, transferring the focus of the first class financial support that she has provided to larger organisations to small and medium sized organisations, enabling them to improve the profitability of their businesses.

Web: www.ronapurdham.co.uk