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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


Stuart Hartley

Innovation Director at Oxford Innovation

Stuart is an innovation growth expert with expertise in business development activity within SMEs. His experience stems from supporting over 1500 businesses whilst at De Montfort University and a further 5 years of running his own businesses. He specialises in helping to develop and implement innovation practices within businesses through strategy, marketing and business model innovation. Stuart has hands-on experience in running a business, he is a SFEDI qualified business advisor and was previously nominated for an enterprise educator award.

Web: www.oxin-centres.co.uk

Kate Jackson

Business Coach at Oxford Innovation

Kate has been a successful private business coach for the past 18 months, with a great track record in helping businesses fulfil their potential. Kate will spend one day a week using her expertise to help companies around the Harborough district. Any company that pays business rates to Harborough District Council can take advantage of Kate’s expertise. Kate has also experienced running a contract catering company which she sold before moving into business coaching.

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