Connect Gazelles announcement new Entrepreneurs in Residence

17th June 2014

Connect Gazelles are pleased to announce that they now have 50 of Yorkshire most successful entrepreneurs helping their members with the latest to join being two of this century's most successful Yorkshire businessmen, James Lambert and Colin Graves.

James Lambert, chairman and exCEO of R&R Ice Cream, is the current Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year. James took the R&R turnover from £250K to £1billion. Joining him is Colin Graves, founder of Costcutter, who built the company to a £750m turnover before selling. He is now Chairman of Yorkshire CCC and deputy chair of the English Cricket Board (ECB). James says, "I am keen to help Yorkshire companies grow as they will create jobs and wealth in Yorkshire as I have done with R&R Ice Cream. Connect Gazelles aim to do exactly this so when Nick Butler asked me to become one of their Entrepreneurs in Residence I had no hesitation in agreeing" Connect Gazelles offers its members' access to Yorkshire's most successful business people who give their time free to help Yorkshire businesses grow. They have all grown their own businesses to £30m-£200m turnovers. There is no other group in the UK providing such a service. Colin says, -When I started Costcutter in 1986 in Yorkshire, I was aiming to earn a living for my family and myself. In the end Costcutter created jobs and a good living for thousands with 1700 franchises outlets and 200 of its own retail units. When Nick Butler explained that creating jobs and wealth is what the Connect Gazelles aim to do, I was happy to help them do this by agreeing to become one of their Entrepreneurs in Residence" Nick Butler created Connect Gazelles in 2011 to enable Yorkshire's ambitious companies to learn from Yorkshire's most successful entrepreneurs, create jobs and grow. He says, -We are delighted to welcome James and Colin as new Entrepreneurs in Residence. There are many organisations, often government funded, which propose to offer advice from business consultants. Unfortunately many of these consultants have limited first-hand business experience at the level our members require. Every one of our Entrepreneurs in Residence has 'been there, done that' and gives our members their time for free. I'm amazed that this model is not adopted nationwide as it has a proven track record of success. Nick having trained in the City, worked for many years as a corporate lawyer at DLA Piper in Leeds, during which time he dealt with mergers and acquisitions, floatations and VC transactions culminating in the award of the Dealmaker of the Decade title by Insider magazine in 2001. Nick was shortlisted for the Yorkshire Ambassador Award at last year's Business Masters Yorkshire awards.

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