Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Two Nottingham entrepreneurs feature in list of UK’s most inspiring leaders

The founding duo of Nottingham business Think for the Future have been named amongst the UK’s 100 most inspirational and innovative individuals and progressive leaders from across the private, not for profit and public sectors.

Cherie White and Hannah Rees are the only individuals from the East Midlands to be named on the 2018 ‘Faces of a Vibrant Economy’ list, produced by business and financial adviser, Grant Thornton UK LLP.

Each year Grant Thornton identifies and brings together 100 progressive leaders and 2018 is the first year Think for the Future’s directors have been included on the Faces list.

Established in 2012, Think for the Future’s core philosophy is to enable and empower young people to thrive, rather than simply survive.

The company is an educational social enterprise which provides schools, teachers and disadvantaged communities with innovative solutions to remove barriers to their success; tackling pastoral and behavioural problems that are preventing participants from reaching their full educational potential. It delivers unique behaviour mentoring, student resilience workshops, staff development workshops and youth groups across the East Midlands for ages 11-16.

Commenting on being chosen as one of this year’s 100 Faces of a Vibrant Economy, Think for the Future Director Cherie White said: “We are so pleased to be named as the East Midlands Faces of a Vibrant Economy and receive this recognition for our passion and commitment to helping young people thrive rather than simply survive in the modern world.”

The company’s co-director Hannah Rees added:

“In the last 6 years, we have worked with over 50,000 secondary school students delivering our innovative learning for life services across the East Midlands. Being one of the Faces will mean that we can continue to grow our services into other regions and expand our impact to more young people across the UK.”

The Faces campaign is part of Grant Thornton’s commitment to shaping a vibrant economy in the UK. The firm compiles the annual list to identify and highlight individuals, from emerging entrepreneurs to big business names, and leaders, who inspire by example and show how better business can be done.

Chris Frostwick, practice leader at Grant Thornton’s East Midlands office explains:

“The Faces of a Vibrant Economy are selected from across the UK and represent diverse sectors and industries.  Among them are business leaders, entrepreneurs, local government innovators and third sector trailblazers – recognised for their commitment to developing an economy that enables people, organisations and communities to flourish.

“At Grant Thornton, we know that doing well by doing good makes business sense and believe that leaders embracing this ethos deserve to be championed. That’s why we launched the Faces campaign – to celebrate individuals who exemplify the Vibrant Economy movement, which aims to shape an environment where people, organisations and communities thrive.

“By celebrating these remarkable leaders, we recognise their role in developing a more purposeful and innovative business environment. Think for the Future founders and directors Cherie White and Hannah Rees epitomise the essence of our Faces campaign, as they show us how business can be done through ‘human’ leadership which nurtures talent, and demonstrate that profits with purpose lead to sustainable business, showing us that it’s not only possible, but also necessary, to do well by doing good.”

The Faces of a Vibrant Economy are selected from across the UK and represent diverse sectors and industries.  Among them are business leaders, entrepreneurs, local government innovators and third sector trailblazers – recognised for their commitment to developing an economy that enables people, organisations and communities to flourish.

Each year Grant Thornton identifies and brings together 100 progressive leaders across private, public and third sectors that demonstrate excellence in two or more of the following areas:

  • Growth – fostering a culture of growth, job creation and leading their organisation into new markets
  • Innovation - solving problems, leaders whose products or services are disrupting the sector and challenging the status quo
  • Purpose – investing in their workforce, connecting financial profit to social purpose and contributing to the wider community.

The 2018 Faces have become part of a wider community that is now 300-strong. The community connects leaders with similar mind-sets and missions, who may otherwise never meet. It gives an opportunity to share ideas and insights, as well as learn from each other.

Five aspiring student photographers worked alongside a professional photographer and mentor from JSR Agency to undertake portrait photography of the leaders of these organisations. These talented artists were selected as part of a nationwide competition to complete the commission. These photos, along with profiles of the 2018 Faces of a Vibrant Economy, including Cherie White and Hannah Rees profiles are available on the campaign website.


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