Brenda McLeish OBE DL has been named Entrepreneur of the Year at the North East England Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.
This accolade for the CEO of Learning Curve Group (LCG) comes just 6 months after being awarded an OBE for her contribution to education in the Queen’s New Years Honours list and 2 months after becoming a Deputy Lieutenant for County Durham.
For winning the Entrepreneur of the Year category for the North East, Brenda will now be shortlisted for the national award at the British Chamber of Commerce Awards in October.
The award recognises Brenda’s dedication to the education sector and the learners that she has supported throughout her career. With more than 20 years’ experience in the education sector, Brenda has helped drive significant growth in the business, which delivers an extensive range of educational services and training programmes across diverse industry sectors to a multitude of learners with varying societal backgrounds.
Brenda’s determination over the decade in which she has been in leadership at LCG has seen the company turnover increase from £1m to in excess of £50m, going above and beyond to promote positive change for the industry, fundraise for many charities, and truly embody the organisations vision of transforming lives through learning.
CEO of Learning Curve Group, Brenda McLeish OBE DL, said: “It is such a fantastic achievement to win Entrepreneur of the Year at the North East England Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, I am truly humbled. I would like to thank the fantastic team of Purple People at Learning Curve Group, as I would not have been able to achieve this without their hard work and support. I look forward to continuing to lead this incredible business to more success and transforming lives through learning.”
One of Brenda’s keys to success is business culture, which is something she has instilled in her employees at LCG. She leads by strong company values, focusing on employee engagement and making LCG a great place to work.
Since Brenda has been CEO of LCG she has led the business through multiple successful acquisitions and through a pandemic. She has engaged employees from Antrec, Profound, Acorn Training, The LHAA and most recently MPCT to make them quickly feel part of the LCG family. MPCT is LCG’s largest acquisition to date, taking on an additional 30+ sites and 180 employees.
Brenda has set out a five-year strategic plan for LCG to more than double in size – both in terms of turnover and employees. The training provider aims to double learner numbers which will involve growth within multiple sectors, utilising multiple funding streams.
LCG will also gain more ‘Purple People’; within five years staff numbers are expected to be over 1,500, creating more jobs in the North East where their Head Office is based and across the country in their skills academies. LCG is on track to become the training provider of choice by 2025 and expand its reach further across the country.
LCG were also nominated for the Diversity and Inclusion Award due to their consistent work to create an inclusive workplace. The training provider is continuously implementing initiatives to ensure the workplace is inclusive and accessible for all.
Andrew Haigh, Chamber President (Newcastle Building Society) said: “The Chamber’s business awards celebrate everything we know makes strong, successful firms and employers. Whether that’s going green or grasping export potential, scaling up, developing skills or demonstrating excellence in diversity and inclusion, the 10 award categories covered small and large businesses, charities, mutuals and social enterprises. And this year’s winners represent exceptional diversity. And it is this diversity in business which is at the heart of a strong, successful, thriving North East economy, and which in turn underpins our strong, thriving communities.”