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2015

James Meekings

Co-founder and UK managing director

Funding Circle

Capitalising on the growing trend for crowd-funding, James Meekings left his full-time job as part of the FIFA World Cup bid team for England 2018 to set up Funding Circle. He is a graduate of The Marketing Academy and was CMO at Funding Circle until 2013, when he moved into the chief commercial officer position. He is now UK managing director, having focused on commercial development, growth and launching the business into new finance markets. Since its creation, Funding Circle has lent more than £590m to over 7,000 businesses.

Biggest challenge: "Awareness is a key issue this year. The small business community continues to think 'bank-first' and it is our job to raise awareness of the other options now available to them."