Gillian Marshall Takes The Lead At Entrepreneurs' Forum

Posted on the 9 September 2014

Gillian Marshall Takes The Lead At Entrepreneurs' Forum

A leading figure in business support, commercial connections and promoting the North East for investment is to lead the region's principal organisation for entrepreneurs.

Gillian Marshall has been appointed the new chief executive of the Entrepreneurs' Forum and will drive the organisation forward into a new era.

With a background in business development, finance and building partnerships, Gillian will spearhead the mission to put entrepreneurs at the heart of the North East's growth agenda.

She is taking over from Nicola Short, who led the Forum from being a not-for-profit publicly funded body to a self-sustaining membership organisation of more than 300 entrepreneurs and 14 corporate partners.

Gillian said: "I'm stepping into the CEO role at a really exciting time. The Forum is on a very strong footing, growing every month, hosting sell-out events and playing an ever bigger role in supporting entrepreneurs, helping to make vital connections and widening our networks outside the North East for the benefit of the region."

Established 12 years ago by North East business leaders Sir Peter Vardy, Lorna Moran OBE and other senior figures, the Forum's aim has been to bring entrepreneurs together to share invaluable experience, knowledge and contacts via connections, mentoring and events.

Gillian joined the Forum, which is now based in Gateshead, as business development manager for the north of the region in May 2013 from her previous role as commercial partnership manager with UK Trade & Industry.

Before that she was business advisor and business development manager with Business Link North East and later Business & Enterprise Group, having previously spent 22 years with Barclays, including being regional development manager for the corporate sector.

Gillian said: "Prior to joining the Forum I had always admired it for its critical role in bringing entrepreneurs together and providing the platform for all the amazing experience and knowledge that exists within our business community to be shared.

"We have some outstanding established entrepreneurs in the North East and it makes complete sense to draw on their expertise to support the emerging talent and success stories of the future."

Forum chairman Nigel Mills said: "The role of Entrepreneurs' Forum CEO is both challenging and demanding and with her experience and record of success in business support and putting people in touch, Gillian could not be better qualified.

"There is a huge job to do in the North East and we remain as ambitious and focused as ever on helping put entrepreneurs at the forefront of opportunities for growth.

"We are a strong, sustainable organisation for which Nicola must take an enormous amount of credit, and for which we thank her immensely. She remains passionate about the Forum's work and will continue to be an ambassador for us and our members."