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Lord Young of Graffham, 1932-2022

Everyone at Seven Hills is saddened to learn of the passing of Lord Young of Graffham.

A close friend of the firm since 2010 and a former member of our advisory board, Lord Young was a great champion of small business and UK enterprise, as patron of the Small Business Charter and an instrumental part of its founding in 2014, Enterprise Advisor to the Prime Minister (2010-14), Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1987-89) and Secretary of State for Employment (1985-87). His own business career spanned six decades and includes starting businesses in construction and property, holding the position of Executive Chairman at Cable & Wireless, and board roles on innovative technology companies.

Lord Young drew on his vast experience of entrepreneurship, business leadership and policymaking to act as an influential advocate for the great potential of business, acting as the catalyst for the enterprise campaign Startup Britain, co-founded by Michael Hayman. His approach has played a significant role in inspiring Seven Hills’ own mission to campaign for Change Makers – which saw him awarded Seven Hills’ inaugural Change Maker of the Year award – and he will be sorely missed by everyone who knew and worked with him.

Michael Hayman, co-founder of Seven Hills, said: “Lord Young made an immense contribution to public life. He was an enthusiast for the potential of business in general and small firms in particular. His work on the enterprise agenda was instrumental in creating practical and powerful contributions to the national effort.

“We loved working together and have had the privilege to do so on many occasions. He has been a tremendous champion and advocate for our own work and growth over the past 12 years. Always positive and incredibly supportive he was a kind, brilliant and inspiring person.

“He leaves an enduring legacy and will be very much missed. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”

Michael most recently interviewed Lord Young at the Small Business Charter’s Help to Grow event in June 2022, at NatWest, which celebrated the first year of the Help to Grow: Management Course. Here, he shared his view on the valuable role business schools play in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs across the UK:

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