Michelle Mone’s husband linked to three tax avoidance schemes 

Michelle Mone’s husband linked to three tax avoidance schemes 

HMRC has added five existing tax avoidance schemes to its online list of tax avoidance promoters, enablers and suppliers – three of which are linked to Michelle Mone’s husband, Douglas Barrowman.

Douglas Barrowman, Lady Mone’s husband since they married on the Isle of Man in November 2020, is the founder and chairman of the Knox Group, a financial services and wealth management firm based on the island, which is widely considered to be a tax haven. HMRC said a Manchester-based company, AML Tax (UK) Ltd, which ran the three newly named tax avoidance schemes was “a part of Doug Barrowman’s Isle of Man-based Knox Group”.

Experts have welcomed HMRC naming these schemes, but urged the government to “take decisive action” and put a stop to these operators “once and for all”.

Fred Dures, founder of PayePass (umbrella company payroll auditor), commented: “The more tax avoidance schemes that are named and shamed the better. It means fewer individuals, recruiters and businesses engaging flexible workers are at risk.

“Even so, this list barely scratches the surface. It doesn’t call out the major players posing the biggest threat and avoiding the most tax, either. And I’ve no doubt that HMRC has a … Read More

Getting To Know You: Paul Hargreaves, Founder & CEO, Cotswold Fayre

Getting To Know You: Paul Hargreaves, Founder & CEO, Cotswold Fayre

As part of our series profiling the finalists of the Business Champion Awards 2023 we spoke to Paul Hargreaves, the founder of Cotswold Fayre, who are a double finalist in this years awards.

What do you currently do at ‘Cotswold Fayre’

I am the founder and CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) at Cotswold Fayre, which has two sides to the business.  The main business, which started in 1999, is a wholesaler of speciality food to around 2,000 retail sites across the UK – farm shops, garden centres, delicatessens, food halls etc.  Then in June 2021 we also opened our own retail site, called Flourish, which sells our own products and has a 120-cover restaurant.

On both sides of the business, I am fortunate to have two fantastic leadership teams who look after most of the day-to-day side of the business.  I set culture and strategic direction and support them in the great work they do.  I have discovered as I become older that more often than not other people can do a better job than me; I just need to be good at finding the right people!

What was the inspiration behind your business?

Originally, I was selling a few … Read More

Converge shatters ‘entrepreneur’ myth as it launches 2023 challenges

Converge shatters ‘entrepreneur’ myth as it launches 2023 challenges

Converge, the premier company creation initiative for Scotland’s universities and research institutes, is dispelling the myth that you need to call yourself an “entrepreneur” to set up a business as it reveals this year’s challenges.

The initiative – which helps staff, students, and recent graduates to launch businesses – is instead highlighting the impact that founders can have through their companies, both for people and for the planet.

This year’s quartet of challenges – Converge, Create Change, KickStart, and Net Zero, which all open on Wednesday – will help innovative start-ups and spinouts to create products and services that go beyond simply making a profit but also have an impact on people’s lives.

£320,000 in funding and support is available to the winners and runners-up, along with access to the advice, events, and training that make Converge the most-effective company creation initiative in Scotland.

Since it began in 2011, the initiative has helped more than 600 people to launch more than 300 businesses, creating in excess of 800 high-value jobs and raising £280 million in follow-on funding along the way.

Companies launched with its support have a 69% survival rate after three years, compared with a UK average of 40%.… Read More

Ryan Reynolds donates £1,600 towards youth football team’s new kit in Wrexham

Ryan Reynolds donates £1,600 towards youth football team’s new kit in Wrexham

Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds has surprised a children’s football team by donating £1,600 so they can buy a new kit.

Kayleigh Barton, who set up a fundraising page for her son’s under-12s team – FC United of Wrexham – said she was in “complete shock”.

Reynolds and fellow actor Rob McElhenney are owners of the city’s National League side, which they took over in 2021.

In response to Ms Barton’s appeal, Reynolds made a donation of £600 followed by another of £1,000.

Ms Barton said: “I was nearly in tears. I know how much that money means to the club and the lads. Happy is an understatement.”

In her original plea, she said she wanted all the boys to be able to wear the same kit “as they work so hard”.

GoFundMe confirmed the two donations were from the actor.

The 46-year-old also messaged the team’s founder Andrew Ruscoe to say “enjoy the new uniforms!”.

Mr Ruscoe told local newspaper The Leader that he’d asked the actor to retweet the fundraising appeal but didn’t expect him to donate himself.

The team tweeted a video of its players thanking Reynolds and said it would add the Deadpool logo to the sleeves … Read More

Subak calls for climate data startups to apply to 2023 cohort and supercharge their missions

Subak calls for climate data startups to apply to 2023 cohort and supercharge their missions

Global climate tech accelerator and regranter Subak today launches applications for its 2023 cohort and calls on not-for-profit startups with data-led climate missions to apply.

Subak’s two global nodes will support 14 early-stage startups in 2023 through an intensive three-month accelerator. The selected organisations will each receive unrestricted grant funding and will be guided through a bespoke curriculum tailored to their needs across tech, data, impact policy and business fundamentals.

Subak’s London team will support eight startups from the UK and Europe who will each receive £10k in unrestricted grant funding. Subak’s Melbourne team will support a further six startups from Asia Pacific, including AUS$15k of unrestricted grant funding.

The intensive three-month programme is designed to fast-track startups to secure further funding, scale-up their activities and impact, and deliver their climate missions through policy and behaviour change. The programme will be followed by a further six months of community-building, where organisations will receive ongoing support from their mentors and collaborate with other members in Subak’s network.

Subak’s members are supported by some of the best minds in tech, environment and science, including Amali de Alwis MBE (former MD of Microsoft for Startups UK and CEO of Code First: Girls), Michelle … Read More