Bev Hurley

“The UK’s future rests on our young people, and with nearly a 3/4million NEET and 1 in 5 without even a basic qualification, that’s a shocking waste of individual, social and economic potential. If we’re serious about the ‘levelling up agenda’ and addressing disadvantage and inequality, we have to start with young people, especially the 1 in 5 who leave education without a basic qualification. 

Learning entrepreneurship and transferable soft skills in a creative, engaging way with enriched support on mindset and confidence, mental fitness and social mobility, gives young people confidence, self-efficacy, resilience and self-belief – they are the future they’ve been waiting for. Changing society needs a visionary, dynamic leader, who understands the issue first-hand, and is driven to make a positive difference one person at a time – Alex has all this in spades and I’m honoured to be part of his team.”

Bev is CEO of the YTKO Group, and brings 30 years of first hand business expertise to her role as Ignite Champion. Prior to leading YTKO to a 100+ employee business, she built three successful small companies. Alongside its commercial work, the Group delivers a significant amount of public sector start-up, growth and access to finance projects for local authorities and LEPs across the UK. These have enabled the growth of over 20,000 businesses and the creation of over 10,000 new jobs for the UK economy. In addition to her direct experience, this wealth of successful practitioner delivery, coupled with a deep understanding of local, regional and national economic development challenges, enables Bev to provide a range of perspectives to the board and its membership. 

Bev has also grown two very successful membership networks, Norfolk Network and Enterprising Women, and is one of the UK experts on gender entrepreneurship. A UK Female Enterprise Ambassador, speaker, and angel investor, Bev has a number of private and public sector non-executive directorships, joining the IED Board in 2011. She holds the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, and was awarded a CBE in 2014.