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Entrepreneurs, innovation and growth


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Speaker(s): Luke Johnson
Chair: Dr Linda Hickman

Recorded on 3 October 2011 in Old Theatre, Old Building.

Luke Johnson will talk about how new firms and their founders create jobs and wealth, and what we can do to stimulate an enterprise economy.

This event marks the publication of Luke's new book Start It Up.

Luke Johnson is the Chairman of Risk Capital Partners, a private equity firm he founded in 2001. For six years until 2010 he served as Chairman of Channel 4 Television, a major British broadcaster. He is Chairman/part owner of the restaurant business Giraffe with 40 branches, and Chairman/owner of Patisserie Valerie, Druckers and Baker & Spice, three chains of over 70 retail patisseries. He recently took control of Bread Ltd, Britain's largest artisan baker, including the retail bakery Gail's.

As Chairman and majority shareholder of Signature Restaurants he built up the Strada 75 branch restaurant chain and owned various classic London restaurants including The Ivy, Le Caprice and J Sheekey. Previously he was Chairman of PizzaExpress PLC. During his involvement the share price rose from 40p to over 800p. In the 1980s he worked as a stockbroking analyst for Kleinworts. He co-founded the largest UK chain of dental surgeries, Integrated Dental Holdings, which was sold for over £100m after ten years of ownership.

He wrote a business column in The Sunday Telegraph between 1998 and 2006, and now writes a weekly essay in The Financial Times. In 2009 he became the Chairman of The Royal Society of Arts. He graduated in medicine from Magdalen College, Oxford University.

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