I have spent 40 years running my own companies and selling them. Leading companies from £3m to £180m turnover and acting on the boards of more than 100 growth companies over the last 20 years. Consulting in 85 countries then opening businesses in 15 countries by working with the public, private and not for profit sectors. I have advised Ministers in over 30 countries and delivered key note speeches in 75 countries. Now I have taken this hard won knowledge and integrate it into my clients companies to accelerate their growth and profitability.
Get to know me
I was lucky to be born into a lovely family. My Dad was a plumber and a proud local craftsman; my Mum brought the family of four children up smothering us with love and reassurance. We lived in a big old family house in the Wirral on Merseyside. However, even in these early days I could sense the unfairness of life when I would travel into Liverpool city centre and see some people who were not blessed with good schools and parents who did not have the opportunity to work. I felt uneasy that my life was good and yet only 10 miles away many families had to live with no work, no skills, poor education and a very different starting point to me.
Moving from school to work
Entreprenuership was an early friend as I sold vegetables and salad from my allotment at 14 years of age. Summer jobs helping at the local boating yard gave me an insight into how small family businesses were operated. When I left school I was unemployed and started work as a youth trainee in the National Health Service. I loved it. I was taught about respect, administration and public service. However I yearned for the chance to run my own business. Following my heart I moved to the world of restaurants and small business, eventually opening my own restaurant, bakery, florist and wholesale butchers business. The opportunity to lead and drive my own business was intoxicating. I learnt first hand how to grow a small business into a strong portfolio of companies. As a team we won a national award for the restaurant and I was recognised on a National TV programme winning an entrepreneurship award for the growth achieved by my company.
As a local businessman I was active in my community in both voluntary and elected roles. After 10 years I sold my businesses and was invited to take a leading role in the regeneration of Merseyside. As deputy chief executive of Merseyside Training and Enterprise Council I had responsibility for the skills, employment and enterprise programmes for more than 1 million people and 65,000 companies.
I became transfixed by the way resources could be creatively brought together to create jobs, improve schools and boost entrepreneurship. I had £65 million a year of UK and European funds to invest to make a difference. A smart mix of skills, community engagement, employer investment, university know how and technology, alongside physical regeneration could transform people, families, communities and regions. It was a jig saw, a chaos of dynamics, risk taking and order, I was hooked.
Over these seven years I met some wonderful community leaders and private sector businessman who cared about the communities where their employees lived. I had been able to work and lead partnerships that had made a significant impact on Merseyside. Jobs had been created, new companies started, science parks opened, two 4 star hotels boosting local tourism, childcare was improved and available to working families. Inequality was on the agenda and being tackled, young people had been engaged; they had found skills and jobs. The long term unemployed had been retrained and made to feel valued back in the labour market. Lets be fair, if you looked beneath the gloss Merseyside was still riddled with unfairness and poverty, but the journey back to greatness had begun and there was enough momentum to continue the journey.
Now I wanted to take these tools to other parts of the UK and the rest of the world.
Investing for growth
After leaving public office I decided to invest in a company which could utilise the tools and expertise I had developed leading change in Merseyside. Together as a team we took the company from £3m to £180m over the next 16 years and made a successful exit. I led the growth of services to disadvantaged communities and brought enterprise solutions to disadvantaged groups. I drove the international roll out of these tools into Israel, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia, Zambia and 85 countries around the world. As the business grew from 65 staff to nearly 5,000 staff around the world we conquered every growing pain. In each country I established a new company, starting from grass roots and built a leadership team, board and front line delivery capability. I identified local needs, designed programmes and solutions and then secured local government funding to improve peoples lives.
I formed Roy Newey Growth Partnership because if Liverpool had taught me anything it was that you couldn’t transform regions alone. A partnership of public, private and community leaders has to sit at the heart of regeneration. I also learned that nothing shifts without the battering ram of Growth. You have to grow capability, investment, hope, belief and grow the attractiveness of the region. To secure the on going support of government, business and communities the results have to be unambiguous.
Over the last 20 years I have had the pleasure of working as a consultant in over 85 countries worldwide. I have witnessed sickening levels of poverty and lack of leadership. I have seen small projects make huge differences to communities. I have listened to leaders of government set out simple yet creative plans for transformation. I have had the chance to work with and lead some real warriors of hope as they build and rebuild communities and economic growth. I have participated in projects that have been turning points in attacking the hopelessness of unemployment. I have also learned so much from the people I worked alongside and the countries I worked in for 12 years.