The WE LEAD team is a diverse group of academics and business professionals from across the UK.

Find out more about the group:

Leadership team

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Liz Frost
Project and Communications Manager

Professor Kiran Trehan is a leading global expert on diversity, enterprise and leadership development. Through the direction of WE LEAD’s activities Kiran is driving a new-generation response to transforming leadership diversity in communities and corporations.

She is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement at the University of York and was the co-author of the West Midlands Leadership Commission report ‘Leaders Like You’ which identified barriers and enablers to improving diversity amongst leaders in the West Midlands.

See Kiran’s full profile

Liz is currently working on project management and communication activities on a project funded by the Institute for Leadership and Management to look at Responsible Leadership through engaged scholarship.

Liz joined WE-LEAD in January 2019 in the role of Project and Communication Manager. Having previously worked at De Montfort University and University of Birmingham as a Research Centre Manager, she has spent the last few years experiencing first-hand both small business and family business management. She is now enjoying a balance of both areas of work.

Amanda is Associate Director for Research and Enterprise with portfolio responsibility for innovation development, consultancy, training and executive education, local and regional economic development, apprenticeships, collaborative partnerships, commercialisation of the University’s intellectual property and incubation and start-up support.

See Amanda’s profile

Carole researches entrepreneurship in family and social contexts and chairs the Global STEP Family Enterprising Project working with 40 universities around the world to examine successful transgenerational entrepreneurship practices within large family businesses. She is academic advisor to the Institute for Family Business Research Foundation and chair of their advisory panel.

See Carole’s profile

Our associates

Jane’s key research interests centre on small family firms, with a focus on the socio-emotional wealth of family firms. Due to her own background as the third generation of a family farm business, Jane’s work explores the relationships and representations of agricultural family businesses and the landscape in which they operate. Gender is a critical aspect of the work Jane does around family farming, family business and the role that women play on both the business side and the family side.

Jane has been working with Professor Kiran Trehan on a project funded by the Institute for Leadership and Management to look at the challenges leaders in micro and small businesses face in building sustainable businesses and also how leaders can be developed in micro and small business.

Rachel is a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests include social linguistic study of everyday communication, contemporary translation theories and methodologies and their applications in Sino-British cultural and commercial interactions.

Susan is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Birmingham. She is holder of the Queens Award for Enterprise, UK field Editor for Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice, Editor for the International Small Business Journal, Fellow of the UK Institution for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Her research interests focus upon entrepreneurial behaviour with a particular expertise in gender issues; she has published her research in FT top 50 journals and a diverse range of leading US and UK journals.

She is currently completing a three-year project exploring entrepreneurial activity amongst women refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. This project has been undertaken with Professor Haya al Dajani at Plymouth University and funded by the ESRC and DFiD; it focuses specifically upon the potential empowerment opportunities small scale entrepreneurship might offer to women displaced by conflict from their homelands in Iraq, Syria, Palestine and sub-Saharan Africa.

Mark is Professor of Business Research Methods at the University of Birmingham.  His research on entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) focuses on SME success, trust and distrust in entrepreneurial relationships and on later-life entrepreneurs.

His interests also include research methods, in particular participants selection and methods for understanding organisational relationships; human resource aspects of the management of change, in particular trust within and between organisations and organisational learning. 

Natalia is a Research Associate at WE LEAD, and Professor of Entrepreneurship within the department of Business and Society at Audencia Business School, Nantes, France.

Her research interests cut across diverse but complementary areas of entrepreneurship, gender, family firms, ethnicity and social class. In her latest work she is exploring migrant entrepreneurs' micro-resilience, strategic agility of small firms, women's involvement in family firms and mothers’ involvement in entrepreneurship.

Our entrepreneurs in residence

Teresa is founder and CEO of National Award-Winning Jungle HR a strategic HR Consultancy Practice that works with Executive Boards and Leadership Teams during times of change and business transformation.

She has operated at Senior level within a variety of industries and sectors including FTSE 100 and 250 companies, Financial Services, Retail, Travel Industry, Private and Public Sectors, Charitable Organisations and a Sunday Times Top 100 Company that grew 30 per cent year on year.

Her achievements are award winning and include leading on the acquisition of the iconic Gleneagles hotel, delivering business transformation programmes across Europe achieving combined cost savings of c3.5million euros as well as providing Executive Coaching to Board and C-suite members.

Teresa has also been appointed to one of only 50 UK Female Entrepreneur Ambassador roles, she has been recognised as a Top 100 F:entrepreneur and is a business board member of the Women and Enterprise, and Women and Work All Party Parliamentary Groups. She is a TEDx Speaker, media commentator and has appeared on BBC One’s Sunday Politics Show and local BBC Radio. Teresa has also been a judge at the UK Biz Awards and UK Employee Experience Awards.

Her bestselling book, ‘Closing the Gap – 5 steps to creating an Inclusive Culture’ provides Corporate CEOs and HR Directors with a clear framework which can be used to create a culture that welcomes diversity and aims to close the gap in gender pay using her TRIBE methodology.

Learn more about Jungle HR

Rosie founded Miss Macaroon in 2011, a social enterprise which invests 100 per cent of its profits into providing training and jobs for long-term unemployed young people.

Alongside WE LEAD’s Director, Professor Kiran Trehan, Rosie was appointed as one of the West Midlands Combined Authority Leadership Commissioners. The Leadership Commission produced the ‘Leaders Like You’ report, which was commended by Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Rosie is also currently working with WE LEAD on a collaborative initiative with Network Rail and a whole host of academic institutions, private businesses and third sector organisations. The project is aiming to greatly increase the social impact of Miss Macaroon through the provision of mentoring and stronger pathways into employment through apprenticeships.

Learn more about Miss Macaroon

Jacqueline Jackson is the 4th Generation Partner of Thomas Jardine & Co; Non-Exec Director; Chair of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Regulating our Future Industry Group; IOD Committee Member; Entrepreneur in Residence, Leader in Residence and Honorary Teaching Fellow at Lancaster University.

Jacqueline is an expert in Leadership Learning and has a wealth of experience in Board Facilitation, Peer Group Facilitation, Family Business and SME Growth. She brings her practical and theoretical skills together as the Partner of Thomas Jardine & Co, her 4th generation family business, which has moved from 'Grocers' to specialists in family and foodie businesses across the generations.

As her career has spanned both education and business, Jacqueline believes that the value is in understanding the research, understanding its impact and how businesses can use that to move forward.

Find out more about Thomas Jardine & Co

Jackie is an award-winning Enterprise Ambassador who leads Leapfrog Mountain, an accredited Leadership and Mentoring Academy.

She has worked in the business banking and teaching sectors for over 30 years, having been responsible nationally for training, project management and people development.

Jackie has been recognised as a pioneer in the field of mentoring and has led and advised on numerous enterprise support and mentoring programmes. This includes working with organisations such as Pearson, Royal Institute of British Architects, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Lloyds Banking Group, Lloyds Foundations, the School for Social Entrepreneurs, UK and Belgium Government, as well as the charities: the School of Hard Knocks and Leonard Cheshire.

She has a background in family business and is focused on helping others to succeed. Her experience in this field has led Jackie to chair roles with the UK Corporate Mentoring Network, the Enterprise & Diversity Alliance and the UK's Enterprise Mentoring Advisory Council. She is an Ambassador for the charity the School of Hard Knocks and a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Arts and the Institute of Enterprise & Entrepreneurs.

Jackie was awarded her OBE in 2017 for services to training and people development.

Find out more about Leapfrog Mountain

Cleone Foods manufacture Jamaican Patties under the “Island Delight” brand to a number of major retail multipliers, making it the largest manufacturer of Jamaican Patties in the UK. Wade believes that one must always improve on their previous best to keep the business successful. His vision and enthusiasm for generating success and promoting social responsibility is now utilised by many other companies and organisations.

He holds board level positions with other local businesses, including Birmingham Assay Office, Greets Green Partnership, Landlord and Property Agents amongst others.

Find out more about Island Delight


Dr Jo North is the Managing Director of The Big Bang Partnership Ltd, a commercial innovation consultancy that works with businesses to help them to innovate and grow. Jo has leading-edge expertise in working with companies to optimise their commercial creative potential build an innovative, entrepreneurial capability into organisational culture.

Jo brings a unique perspective to people and organisational development as she combines her mentoring, facilitation and innovation skills with real world, commercial business experience. Jo has proven expertise in designing and delivering commercial innovation activities and also in coaching high potential managers and directors. She has worked in a variety of different industries – from accountancy to retailing, publishing and transport, where she acquired significant experience of working at Board level across a number of sector-leading businesses.

Jo is an Associate Lecturer at the University of York where she designs and delivers corporate training in business creativity and innovation in the UK and overseas. She taught the Ideation, Marketing and Strategy modules of the University of York's MSc in Engineering Management for eight years.

She is Technology and Transformation Director for Port of Tyne, leading the strategy and development of the UK’s first maritime innovation hub and open innovation programme.

Driven by her passion for helping individuals and organisations to succeed and achieve their full potential, Jo achieved her PhD in corporate entrepreneurship at the University of York where she undertook ground-breaking research into developing entrepreneurial innovation talent in UK organisations.

Find out more about the Big Bang Partnership Ltd

Ian and Dennis founded ID Security Systems in 2006 with a vision to provide innovative bespoke security solutions. Between them they have over 40 years of combined experience in the design, installation and maintenance of advanced security systems.

They also believe passionately about the importance of 'giving back' and have been involved with a number community projects with BITC (Business In the Community), 12/8 Business Group (peer to peer mentoring) and privately.

Find out more about ID Security Systems

Contact us

Liz Frost
Project and Communications Manager