The power of ambition: How West Midlands business leaders are driving growth

Chris Handy

Chris Handy, Partner at LDC, celebrates the entrepreneurs at the heart of the region’s economy and invites them to enter the LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Leaders programme for 2024.

Ambition is the driving force that propels business success, and there is no shortage of it right here in the West Midlands, across a variety of exciting and fast-growing sectors.

Every year Birmingham Tech Week highlights our most innovative businesses, as a new tech hub in the city centre looks set to catalyse the region’s efforts to become a technology superpower. And while the West Midlands continues to build on its heritage as a centre of the UK’s advanced manufacturing industry, it is also a hot spot for everything from retail to financial and professional services.

Businesses in the West Midlands continue to face a complex and fast-moving economic environment. But, despite this, we’re seeing firsthand how they continue to press ahead with their growth plans with the same determination we’ve been supporting in the region for more than 40 years.

Spearheading this are entrepreneurs who deserve to be celebrated. That’s why, for the seventh year running, we’ve launched our annual search to find the UK’s most outstanding business leaders.

The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders 2024 will champion those who demonstrate remarkable ambition within their own companies and the communities in which they live and work.

Whether they’re focused on creating jobs, promoting social equality, championing sustainability, expanding internationally, or integrating purpose into their business practices, for us, it’s about recognising those who are pushing for growth and making a real impact on the companies they lead.

We’ve invested more than £770m in 36 West Midlands businesses since 2012, and know there are countless entrepreneurs with outstanding leadership qualities right here on our doorstep.

The West Midlands’ most ambitious

Last year, we celebrated five incredible West Midlands-based business leaders in the LDC Top 50 and three in our Ones to Watch. Individuals such as Jared Owen of Birmingham-based global shopping engine Redbrain; Nick Imlah, founder of Brownhills-based Unitech Industries, a stainless steel and mild steel specialist, and Martin Smith, who is behind Staffordshire-based automotive engineering and manufacturing business The Hex Group, all reflect why the region is one of the best places in the UK to do business.

Mo Hussain and Alan Rock of Warwick-based Moasure are another example. Moasure’s app allows users to take measurements for landscaping or construction simply by moving their phone, and its founders have successfully increased the business’ international presence via five global warehouses and through sales to 150 countries.

We also recently caught up with Dale Parmenter, founder of Birmingham-headquartered DRPG. His global creative communications group has undergone a remarkable transformation in the two years since Dale featured in the LDC Top 50. The filmmaker turned entrepreneur has pioneered some exciting new applications for artificial intelligence, achieved B Corp certification and acquired two agencies.

The drive and determination that these entrepreneurs embody is inspiring. But it doesn’t stop there. My sense is that leaders like them – those who seize opportunities to strike out and lean into the challenges of today – can flourish even further to lead the world-class businesses of tomorrow, provided they can access the right capital and support to drive their ambitions.

And it’s this ambition that we want to recognise.

This year’s awards will of course include The UK’s Most Ambitious Business Leader for 2024 – the standout individual who showcases the leadership qualities needed in business today, but there are also wider individual categories for people, sustainability and international ambition.

The West Midlands has an abundance of agile and resilient entrepreneurs – and we want to hear from them. Nominations for this year’s programme close on Friday 24th May, so there’s still plenty of time to get involved.

More information on how to nominate can be found here.

Chris Handy is Partner and Head of the West Midlands at LDC