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Dan Barker interviews inspiring business people and entrepreneurs within the three counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. We hear their stories, how they started running their own business, as well as the successes, failures and lessons learnt along the way. The aim of the podcast is to inspire others, at the same as connecting more people within this great region of the UK. As a photographer and video producer, Dan gets to meet many different business owners in the a ...
 
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AfterWords

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AfterWords

Hurst Publishers

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AfterWords explores the stories behind groundbreaking books. From colonialism and genocide to mysterious deaths and Brexit Britain, listen for lively discussions between authors and journalists. Produced by George McDonagh, for Hurst Publishers. Theme music is from https://filmmusic.io "Particles - Inspiring Emotional Romantic" by Rafael Krux (https://www.orchestralis.net/) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
 
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Rich is a former radio presenter of almost 20 years in the commercial sector. He runs his own podcast and his own production company helping others get theirs set up and keeping them going. He's a communications professional and a host on the side, working as an event compere and stadium announcer at West Bromwich Albion. www.giftedgab.co.uk https:…
 
Dave is a strategic business leader with over 25 years experience working across numerous industries. Having spent the last 16 years in the hospitality sector, where he's currently Head of Finance at Marston's PLC in Wolverhampton, he's developed a people-focused passion for wellbeing and personal development. Outside of the day job, he coaches, me…
 
After working with larger agencies began to feel too impersonal, Faye decided to start her own business to offer a bespoke service catering to the smaller independent business sector, where she could have a close working relationship with her clients. Prior to this, she had built an established career in events and marketing where she was able to d…
 
Paul Chester is a business owner based in Worcester and runs the seasonal and niche company "Three Counties Christmas" Having trained at university in Bristol to become a teacher which he did for five years at a local school. After 5 years, he then made the transition to running his own business. www. threecountiescrhistmas.co.uk https://www.linked…
 
Ruth grew up in Worcestershire and settled back in the county after studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Huddersfield University. She built her commercial career at a local cyber security software company - Titania , where she worked for 9 years, and became VP of Operations. In 2011 she became a founding member of the Worcestershire …
 
Originally from Bulgaria, Kristo's passion for engineering and innovation brought him to the UK, and the opportunities he found meant he's since made Hereford his home. His company, Simple Design Works, is a product design agency, but he runs it in such a way as to be far more than that, as he collaborates with like-minded people to help make Heref…
 
Lucy says she was the archetypal good girl, and followed the traditional path – head girl, uni, job, married, kids, career – all ticked off the list by the time she was 30. She was living the dream, except it wasn’t bliss, nor a nightmare. She felt like she was coasting. By 35 she was divorced, left her job, sold her house and started again, and th…
 
In this episode, the tables were turned, as the organiser of the Malvern Festival of Innovation, Adrian Burden, interviewed Dan, live in front of a theatre audience, about his journey from aerospace engineering to photography, and now video production and hosting this podcast. http://www.danbarkerstudios.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/danbarkerstu…
 
Emma Richardson is a director of a financial, clerical and executive search firm based in Droitwich, called Four Squared Recruitment and owned by accountancy firm Ballards LLP. Born and bred in Worcestershire, she’s also spent time working in London where she ran her own boutique head hunting firm. From her recommendations on LinkedIn, it seems tha…
 
At one stage in her life, Marie felt that she’d burnt out and had no purpose, to the point where she considered taking her own life. She’d reached a cross-road. Was she going to continue on her downward spiral of poor Mental Health or was she going to take responsibility for her own wellbeing and ultimately her destiny and reinvent herself? I’m ple…
 
Dave Bird is the founder of Small Biz Digital Media, a company that helps small businesses, particularly professional services, with their video and audio marketing. With a background in environmental sciences and years working within the environment agency, he transitioned to becoming self-employed as a marathon running coach, which led him to his…
 
After finishing a degree in teaching, and travelling, she thought she would help her mum and dad promote the gin made by them and another farming family here in Herefordshire. Two years later she’s still helping and loving every minute. Penrhos Spirits was born from a desire to utilise everything the farm has to offer. For many years the founders, …
 
Stuart owned and ran a gift business in Ledbury for around thirty years, which in the 1990’s was turning over £3.5 million a year. Some of that success was due to the fact he designed a product that sold 8.5 million units and really helped establish the company. He says that in spite of everything, he was guilty of working in the business and not o…
 
Aleksandra is the owner of Evendine Sourdough Bakery in Malvern, Worcestershire, and from what I’ve heard, has an incredible story to share. She says that baking sourdough bread has enabled her to connect all of her passions into one form; her passion for health, community, history and sustainability - which is channelled into every loaf. She start…
 
After a 22-year leadership career with Boots UK and Boots Opticians, Alan left in the summer of 2017 to follow his passion and start his own business as a leadership and business coach These days, he’s helping leaders and entrepreneurs to create deeper levels of clarity for themselves and their business, intended to fuel optimal actions that create…
 
After trying a few different career paths, he found himself working long hours for a haulage company and at one point, a very kind boss gave him access to a van for a weekend, which is where his business story starts. For the first few months he helped friends move small items & did a number of small house removals. Realising he had a love for remo…
 
Alice Fox runs a fast-paced and dynamic print and sign manufacturing business in Worcestershire with her partner. With a background in Customer Experience, she has a passion for delivering outstanding customer service for their clients and also ensuring a happy and engaging workplace for her employees. A large proportion of their work is deadline o…
 
Dr. Emma Philpott MBE is CEO of IASME Consortium Ltd, a company based just up the road at the Wyche Innovation Centre in West Malvern, which focuses on information assurance for small companies and the supply chain. They worked with the UK government to develop the Cyber Essentials scheme and were awarded the contract to be the sole NCSC Cyber Esse…
 
Ben Hughes took over a business that his Mother stated in the late '90's, running guardianship for students from overseas coming to study in the UK. He's based in Malvern, Worcestershire, and looks after students up and down the country, studying at some of the most prestigious educational institutions. https://www.pippasguardians.co.uk/ https://ww…
 
Sue Vaughan is from a family of Herefordshire cider makers, who’ve been honing their craft for 8 generations. The family farm has diversified in more recent years to include hop fields and vines. The cider company, Celtic Marches’ now have a sister company, Marches Bottling and Packaging, which is less than 5 miles away, helping maintain their goal…
 
Alice Cooke is a copywriter who’s recently moved back to Herefordshire and is about to scale her copywriting business. She’s been a journalist for a little over ten years, for titles including Country Life, Sussex Life, Utility Week and Bakery Business. Having been asked to write for friends and family over the years, she found she both enjoyed the…
 
He runs multiple businesses, and from what I’ve seen – does an incredible job of it, clearly enjoying what he does and inspiring those around him. Having started out with a Subway store in Cheltenham, he quickly grew to two stores, but found having a franchise required too much of a regimented formula. He learnt a lot and decided to start his own c…
 
Rory McAllister has a background in radio and television, mainly working for the BBC as a presenter, sports commentator and newsreader. His CV includes working on Strictly Come Dancing and The One Show – to name but a few. He also runs his own live theatre event, ‘Cinema In Symphony’ And he’s the VIP matchday host at Worcester Warriors. More recent…
 
James Syree is CEO of a large firm of chartered accountants based in Worcestershire. Since being appointed as CEO in 2018, he’s championed culture change to encourage transparency, collaboration, and an “employee voice”. He also believes in surrounding himself with teammates who can (in his words) “do things better than he can”. He acts for a range…
 
Sonja Leason was a homeless single mum at 17, Managing Director by 30, #1 best selling author by 36 and property investor at 37. She’s a #1 best selling author of A Woman's Work, a book that was written to help more women into business. The book knocked Elon Musk off #1 and Simon Sinek off #2! Her podcast, Struggle to Success, interviews inspiratio…
 
She's the cofounder of an innovative start-up business which delivers insight for low level airspace utilisation. As a member of Cohort 3 of the prestigious BetaDen scale-up accelerator, they’ve won multiple awards and been named as one of the Geospatial World 50 Rising Stars. They’re working with national partners, such as the Royal Mail, to try a…
 
He’s a serial tech entrepreneur based in Malvern. He’s written a business book, has a degree Cambridge, a PhD from Oxford, and built and sold a tech start-up out in Singapore. These days, he co-owns and manages the Wyche Innovation Centre, he’s the founder of the annual Malvern Festival of Innovation, and is co-founding CTO of BlockMark Technologie…
 
He's just made the move to being self-employed after a 35 year career in the consumer goods markets, including operating as Managing Director of a £40m UK subsidiary. He's a glass half full kind of person and his wife says his epitaph should read "no-one can say he didn't try". Now working as a life and executive coach, he's giving back and aiming …
 
In many ways he IS Worcestershire Business - as he’s so involved in the local business community. Amongst many other things, he’s best known for starting #WorcestershireHour on Twitter. He also founded the annual Worcestershire Festival of Business Exhibition, which will be returning for its 7th year in September. His company is The Sales Performan…
 
Today’s guest is a determined person who now runs a successful digital marketing agency in Hereford, focused on Web design and SEO. Having grown up largely within the care system in London, at one stage he found himself in Hereford without a support network and was involved in a hit and run accident which left him with a broken hip. He lost his job…
 
I first met Janina at a networking event several years ago and I instantly remembered her and her business, due to the unique positioning and business offering. I bang on about niching quite a lot and I always mention her as a great example of a niche business She’s a bilingual graphic designer and intercultural management trainer. Her bilingual de…
 
Paul Valentine is a born and bred Worcester-based entrepreneur. He’s the founder of a technology group supplying IT services, telecoms, high-speed internet and Wifi, as well as business mobile plans and other services. His customers include many high street brands, as well as local Worcestershire businesses, like Worcestershire Business Central, Wo…
 
Today’s guest describes herself as a natural wordsmith who loves creating content focussed on customer engagement. She’s co-director of customer experience marketing agency, Fresh Nous in Worcester And you may remember her business partner Luara Dupont was on episode 4 – after the recording, Laura enthusiastically told me “you should get Celia on h…
 
I'm sure after this episode we'll all be feeling motivated to get our for a run or do some starjumps! Today’s guest is a good friend of mine and a fellow photographer. Specialising in sports photography, he shoots editorial portraits of athletes, field of play and sports product photography from his studio in Winchcombe. He’s been published in some…
 
Persistence and passion shone through during this interview and Tom left me feeling motivated to progress my own business! Tom Fenton is the co-founder and CEO of Hereford and Malvern based tech start-up Veritherm. He has a track record of entrepreneurship, starting when he was 17 years old and previously worked alongside his parents managing a spe…
 
Buying a local business and making a success of it is no easy task. Jane Salt of Hay Wines in Ledbury shares her journey out of corporate life and into business. This was a particularly special episode, as Jane was my first ever paying photography client and we've both grown our businesses in Ledbury over the last 8 years. www.haywines.co.uk https:…
 
In this motivating episode, Jack shares his experiences in business and what drives him to do what he does every day. Jack Wratten is an entrepreneur and founder of Bloom Space in Malvern, and the Bloom Incubator, helping people plan, start and grow their businesses. He has a ton of experience starting and scaling multiple businesses and he's passi…
 
Picking up the phone and calling people to find new business - it doesn't come naturally to all of us. But Neil Edwards realised this is what he needed to do as soon as he started his first business. Now working as a business development consultant, Neil does this for his clients, amongst many other things. www.ideabase.co.uk https://www.linkedin.c…
 
As a result of high-class customer service, John has grown his business by reputation, providing unrivalled service to residents and businesses alike. John developed an interest in computers at a very young age, and being mostly self-taught, built the skills and knowledge to enable him to manoeuvre his way through the ever-developing world of compu…
 
Rich Hurst is a presenter who came to Worcestershire in 2010 to host the Wyvern FM Breakfast Show. The station became Free Radio in 2013, then in 2019 he went on to begin covering shows for the BBC. In 2014 he set up GiftedGab.co.uk, and has worked as a live presenter on a wide variety of projects, whilst also comparing events for businesses and ch…
 
Kim Jong Un and the Bomb by Ankit Panda is the extraordinary story of how a small, poor country became a nuclear power—and why we will have to live with it. Listen to Ankit in conversation with Tom Plant, director of proliferation and nuclear policy at RUSI, about the history of nuclear weapons in North Korea, why the programme is so important to K…
 
It all started when Luke was 11, growing and selling marigolds from the boot of his Dad's car. That gave him a taste for working for himself and all the highs and lows, challenges and victories, risks and rewards that it entailed. With the help of his Mother, Father and sister, Luke opened his first shop in Hereford in 2001. Luke told me before the…
 
The Great Decoupling by Nigel Inkster explores the growing technological rivalry between China and the United States. Listen to Nigel in conversation with Kerry Brown, specialist in Chinese international relations, history and politics, about the contest between the two countries and how the outcome will shape twenty-first century geopolitics.…
 
A classical musician by training, Elizabeth studied flute and piano at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and then Trinity Laban, London, where an inspirational ‘Business For Musicians’ course ultimately proved more interesting than her daily diet of musicology, theory and historical performance practice. She established Worcester-based Encore …
 
Ian Woodley of Worcestershire based design agency Stilo quickly realised he wanted to run his own business, after being employed as a graduate for just 18 months. He and a colleague realised they could provide a better service than was being offered to their clients through the agency they worked for back then. It took a week for the phone to ring,…
 
James and Linda own and run Barton Court in Colwall, Worcestershire. Since the pandemic, they've found a new direction for the property, which they had planned to be a wedding venue. However, they're fully behind the new idea and looking forward to welcoming local business owners to their stunning property. In this episode, we discuss their interes…
 
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