News release

Grant Thornton unveils 2018 Faces of a Vibrant Economy

As part of Grant Thornton’s commitment to shaping a vibrant economy in the UK, each year the firm identifies and brings together 100 progressive leaders across private, public and third sectors that demonstrate excellence in two or more of the following areas:

  • Growth – fostering a culture of growth, job creation and leading their organisation into new markets
  • Innovation  - solving problems, leaders whose products or services are disrupting the sector and challenging the status quo
  • Purpose – investing in their workforce, connecting financial profit to social purpose and contributing to the wider community

The Faces of a Vibrant Economy are selected from across the UK and represent diverse sectors and industries.  Among them are business leaders, entrepreneurs, local government innovators and third sector trailblazers – recognised for their commitment to developing an economy that enables people, organisations and communities to flourish.

Sacha Romanovitch, CEO at Grant Thornton UK LLP, said:

“At Grant Thornton, we know that doing well by doing good makes business sense and believe that leaders embracing this ethos deserve to be championed. That’s why we launched the Faces campaign – to celebrate individuals who exemplify the Vibrant Economy movement, which aims to shape an environment where people, organisations and communities thrive.

“From jet aircraft manufacturers, farmers, local government leaders dance school principals; our Faces share the same commitment to make a positive impact. For many of these leaders, clear purpose is the North Star, helping them to navigate and make the right decisions in the longer term. Being purpose-led in this way involves a fundamental mind-set shift from 'what I can do', towards ‘what we collectively can do’. 

“By celebrating these remarkable leaders, we recognise their role in developing a more purposeful and innovative business environment. They show us how business can be done through ‘human’ leadership which nurtures talent.  They provide examples to inspire other business leaders and the next generation to shape a Vibrant Economy. They demonstrate that profits with purpose lead to sustainable business, and show us that it’s not only possible, but also necessary, to do well by doing good.”

The 2018 Faces have become part of a wider community that is now 300-strong. The community connects leaders with similar mind-sets and missions, who may otherwise never meet. It gives an opportunity to share ideas and insights, as well as learn from each other.  

Sacha continues:

“We firmly believe that collaboration can also enthuse and assist the next generation. It’s why we are creating links between the Faces community and our Schools Enterprise Programme, to develop financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills in support of the Key Stage 3 curriculum.  We also recently piloted an event for year 12 students, working with Faces and people from our own business to challenge the way young people see their role in the community and provide inspiration about how they can start building a career that truly contributes to a shaping an economy where everyone benefits.” 

Jennifer Ogole, founder of Brent based youth charity Bang Edutainment, said:

“It’s so refreshing to see a big organisation interfacing with local community groups. Being a Face of a Vibrant Economy is important to us in terms of the recognition for the important work we do but also as an opportunity to meet other Faces, connect with commercial organisations and also adding value to what we do through the use of Grant Thornton office spaces.   

Tom Mercer, founder of breakfast retailer MOMA, said:

“I’m proud to be a Face of the Vibrant Economy. It’s great to see Grant Thornton taking so much initiative in promoting businesses across the UK and really stimulating enterprise.”

Saj Jetha, founder of talent development consultancy, The Smarty Train, said:

“To me, being a Face of a Vibrant Economy means being surrounded by people who share one common characteristic: they do the right things rather than doing things right every day.”

Five aspiring student photographers worked alongside a professional photographer and mentor from JSR Agency to undertake portrait photography of the leaders of these organisations. These talented artists were selected as part of a nationwide competition to complete the commission. These photos, along with profiles of the 2018 Faces of a Vibrant Economy, are available on the campaign website.