The Mentors

Our panel of experienced entrepreneurs is here to support you throughout every step of the Academy, and beyond. Here is an example of the mentors participants have previously worked with...

James Robson James Robson, Exwold Technology
Founder of Exwold, James has built a business that operates from four sites and employs around 120 staff. With turnover in excess of £10m and customers around the world, Exwold has come a long way in its 20+ year history. An accredited coach and 2016 Entrepreneurs’ Forum Mentor of the Year, James has received an MBE for his services to North East business and dedicates a lot of his time to supporting other aspirational companies.


Nigel Mills Nigel Mills, The Lakes Distillery
Managing director of Mills Group for 25 years, Nigel grew the brand to more than £80m turnover, plus additional service sales of £80m. When he sold to Tesco in 2011, Mills had 2,200 staff, 77 convenience stores and eight supermarkets across the UK. Having owned a successful 4-star hotel in Cockermouth for the past 23 years, Nigel recently embarked on a new journey to build a world-class whisky distillery - The Lakes Distillery - and received a CBE for services to entrepreneurship and business in the North East and Cumbria.


Pamela Petty Pamela Petty, Entreprenising (formerly of Ebac)
Pamela spent 30 years in the family business, developing new processes to help Ebac grow. As managing director she reduced production cycles and her leadership allowed the manufacturing business to successfully compete with overseas companies. Leading a successful RGF bid to support a £7m project, Pamela brought the production of washing machines back to the UK, creating up to 200 new jobs. In 2018, Pamela was the winner of the North East Mentor of the Year award.


Dr David Cliff Dr David Cliff, Gedanken
Gedanken, the German word for thoughts, is David Cliff’s business consultancy and coaching company, helping people with the thought processes and strategies they need to find a clearer direction and to improve performance. David’s MBA and Doctorate in Business Administration are matched with over 35 years of management and personal development experience, making him a hugely experienced professional coach. David was named North East Mentor of the Year in 2017.

For more information, or to discuss the Academy in more detail, call the any of the Forum team on 0191 500 7780 or