Relevant experience of the Committee members

Baroness Cohen of Pimlico 
Baroness Cohen spent 13 years working at the Department of Trade & Industry and was heavily involved in the reconstructing of the British steel industry. She spent 20 years as a Director of a small merchant bank and has been a Director of the London Stock Exchange since 2001with a special interest in the Alternative Investment Market.

Lord Cope of Berkeley  (Chairman)
Support for small businesses has been a recurring theme throughout Lord Cope’s career as a Chartered Accountant and politician.  As an MP he helped to set up the Small Business Bureau which originated the Government Loan Guarantee Scheme.  He was Minister of State for Small Firms in Margaret Thatcher’s Government. He later served under John Major as Paymaster General at the Treasury, where he helped introduce simpler VAT schemes for smaller enterprises.

Baroness Drake
Baroness Drake worked for 25 years in the ICT sector, giving her a good understanding of the importance to SMEs of access to and deployment of technology when competing in overseas markets. She campaigned vigorously to change government policy on the delivery of fast Broadband on a UK-wide basis, seeing this as vital to SMEs to enhance their capacity to compete internationally. As a board member for 6 years of the Sector Skills Development Agency, she addressed at both the national and sector level issues relating to skills shortages and productivity challenges, paying particular attention to SMEs and their position in supply chains.

Lord Empey
Lord Empey has served in the Northern Ireland Assembly as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and as Minister for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland. He is currently Vice President of the Institute of Export, and has a strong business background having worked for Goodyear Industrial Rubber Products, House of Fraser and his own retailing business.

Lord Grade of Yarmouth 
Media and business have dominated the working life of Lord Grade, who feels that salesmanship is an essential part of business growth, both in the UK and abroad. Exporting UK produced content has always been a part of his career in broadcasting, which includes time in charge of the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Lord Grade has a wide range of business interests, including listed companies, private equity buy-outs and some smaller start up companies.

Lord Haskel 
Lord Haskel spent 30 years working in the textile industry, building a business based on technical textiles and learning French and Spanish in order to sell products and technology to many countries. He was Chair of the Labour Party Finance and Industry Group and served as opposition spokesperson on trade and industry.

Lord Haskins
Lord Haskins is the Director of two large farms in Yorkshire, and spent 40 years developing Northern Foods, one of the largest food manufacturers in the UK, from a small north of England-based dairy into a giant food conglomerate.

Baroness Kramer 
For most of Baroness Kramer’s career she has worked in the banking sector, working with commercial companies in America where she was Vice-President of Citibank in Chicago. She later advised on infrastructure projects in Central and Eastern Europe. During time as an MP, Baroness Kramer served as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for the Liberal Democrats.

Lord Mawson 
Founder of the Bromley-by-Bow Centre in East London, Lord Mawson is a social entrepreneur whose work focuses on development and entrepreneurism. He is an advocate of enterprise, innovation and community. 

Lord Storey 
Lord Storey is a working Headteacher of a large inner-city primary school renowned for its enterprise education. He has been Leader of Liverpool City Council and Lord Mayor, during which time he oversaw the regeneration of Liverpool, and he champions city regions to be the power-houses of economic growth and development.