Champion of East Midlands small businesses honoured at Buckingham Palace

Natalie Gasson-McKinley

Natalie Gasson-McKinley, the dedicated advocate for small businesses in the East Midlands and a trailblazer in promoting diversity in leadership boardrooms, was honoured at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 8 November with the presentation of her MBE by King Charles III.

The prestigious recognition was awarded for her outstanding services to businesses in the East Midlands.

Since her recognition in The King’s first New Year’s Honours list, Gasson-McKinley has received an numerous messages of congratulations, including from Government Ministers who have commended her advocacy work for small businesses and her personal drive to diversify leadership in corporate boardrooms. Her efforts have been instrumental in encouraging more women, particularly those from ethnic minorities, to assume leadership positions.

During her tenure at the Federation of Small Businesses, where she spent over a decade, Gasson-McKinley tirelessly promoted and championed small businesses throughout the East Midlands. Her unwavering commitment to their cause has left a clear mark on the regional business community.

Gasson-McKinley’s journey continues with her recent appointment as senior manager in the Policy and Strategy Team at the British Business Bank. In this role, she leads the organisations Unlocking Potential objective, part of the Bank’s mission to ensure entrepreneurs have access to the financial resources they need to start and grow their businesses.

She said: “It was such an honour to meet The King at Buckingham Palace and to spend time talking to him about small businesses. To have my family there with me made a momentous occasion even more special. It has been an absolute honour to represent small businesses, and I’m proud of the work I’ve done to encourage women from ethnic minorities to lead and be seen, representation matters.

“I’m proud to be continuing my work to create environments that encourage entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses through the British Business Bank. I’m delighted to be able to continue my contributions to businesses but on a much bigger scale.”