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The Genesis Initiative was formed to improve the quality of debate on SMEs and generate economic reform in the UK, driven by SMEs and supported by parliamentarians.

The Senate meets at least three times during each Parliamentary session, normally in March, June and October. It involves highly professional and qualified representative of entrepreneurs, SME academics, parliaments and assemblies and SME organisations within the UK (some 117 representing some 1 million members).

This combination of entrepreneurial zeal, concentrated research and commitment from experts working on behalf of SMEs is linked with All-Party support across the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

Their joint efforts contribute to the continued growth of the SME sector within the UK.

This experience and knowledge is shared with international partners who wish to work with or emulate this model.

Small business is the backbone of the UK economy and when it does well the whole country does well. The role of Genesis is to act as an umbrella organisation, working on your behalf to optimise potential growth in the SME sector by fostering a “can do” culture. We aim to participate fully in achieving economic and structural reforms that will enable business to flourish.

New jobs, new ideas and new wealth will be created if small businesses are thriving. Our role is to help sustain this business environment.

We work closely with opinion-formers in pressing for change where change is necessary. By galvanising the SME community we can ensure that the voice of the sector will be heard loud and clear.

  • Patron
    Prince Michael of Kent

    HRH Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO

    Prince Michael of Kent GCVO KStJ (Michael George Charles Franklin; born 4 July 1942) is a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, being a grandson of King George V and Queen Mary. Prince Michael occasionally carries out royal duties representing the Queen at some functions in Commonwealth realms outside the United Kingdom.Otherwise, he manages his own consultancy business and undertakes various commercial work around the world. He has also presented some television documentaries on the royal families of Europe. He is named after Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia, the younger brother of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and first cousin of three of his grandparents.

    • Governing Body
      • Chairman
        John May

        John May BA, DIA, FCA

        John is Chairman of both the Genesis Initiative Limited and the Small Business Bureau Limited. His role involves lobbying groups to Government on behalf of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Businesses (MSMEs). A highly experienced chartered accountant, John is Managing Partner of City & Westminster Corporate Finance LLP. He is also director of a number of public and private limited companies.His principal role involves raising investment and finance both in the UK and Internationally. He is also Principal of a boutique Chartered Accountancy practice advising companies on finance raising, mergers and acquisitions, business strategies and entry onto the public markets, principally AIM, in addition to providing general accountancy, tax, directorships and advisory services.

        • Deputy Chairman
          Professor John Stanworth
          • Directors
            • Ross Coates MBE
              Policy UK

              Ross Coates MBE

              Ross Coates is founding and managing partner of Ross Coates solicitors, formed 20 years ago and now employing 45 staff across two offices in East Anglia. Honoured with an MBE for political and public services, Ross has devoted his entire career in support of the SME sector. He has been a director of Genesis since 2008 and is editor of The Genesis Initiative Manifesto 2014.

            • Lord Cotter
              Liberal Democrat

              Lord Cotter

              Lord Cotter served as a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament from 1997 until 2005, and throughout this time he acted as Small Business Spokesman for the Liberal Democrats. He became a member of the House of Lords in 2006. He continues to take an interest in a number of areas, and until the election of the coalition government he led for the Liberal Democrats on Small Business issues and vocational education, specifically apprenticeships. Within the coalition, he still concentrates on business and vocational training issues.

            • Chris Davies

              Chris Davies

              Chris Davies is a former Member of Parliament for Brecon and Radnorshire. As well as being a school governor at both his local primary and secondary schools, Chris is also the main ring commentator and assistant honorary director of horses at the Royal Welsh Show. Before entering Parliament, Chris was the manager of the largest mixed veterinary practice in mid Wales. He is also a rural estate agent and auctioneer. He stills regularly puts his auctioneering skills to good use, raising thousands of pounds for charities, local schools, churches and community groups. Chris is also a former county councillor for the Glasbury ward on Powys County Council, a position he held for 3 years. He is married to Liz and has two children, Sophie and Lottie.

            • Dr David Doyle
              Policy EU

              Dr David Doyle

              David is a policy adviser, author and lecturer specialising in EU financial services legislation. A former diplomat based on mainland Europe, spanning roles in both multilateral and bilateral assignments, David is a long-standing member of the Board of the joint MEP-EU industry body, The Kangaroo Group, (secretary to its Financial Services Working Group) and The Genesis Initiative. An Ambassador to UNESCO, he is also involved in the Transatlantic Business Council (TABC), and acts as an EU policy expert on the European Council on Corporate Governance, operated by the Conference Board, a non-profit think-tank. David’s authored works include Cost Control – A Strategic Guide, as well as contributing the EU chapters to The Future of Finance after SEPA, and A Practical Guide to Corporate Governance.

            • Karen Finegold

              Karen Finegold

              Karen is currently the Head of the Engineering Industries Association (EIA). The EIA promotes trade and represents the interests of its members and the UK engineering manufacturing sector. In particular SMEs, both in the UK and internationally are represented. In 2021 the EIA partnered with the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA). Together the associations represent the companies who create and supply the technology that manufacturers use, and those that use them. Karen also holds director and advisory roles with industry and government bodies. She champions the UK manufacturing and technology sectors and works with them to encourage engagement and promote the skills and innovation available in the UK. Karen is a director of Finance for Entrepreneurs and Finance for Female Entrepreneurs, which has access to a British Business Bank platform to secure business loans.

            • Joe Harrison

              Joe Harrison

              Joe Harrison is the Chief Executive of the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF Ltd) which is a trade body that represents over 20,000 retail market traders throughout the UK. The organization was founded in 1899. In his role Joe also acts as the secretariat to the All Parliamentary Group for Retail Markets. As of December 2017 Joe has acted as a specialist advisor to the then newly formed London Markets Board. He is widely regarded as an expert in all aspects of the markets industry and takes an active role advising Government Ministers at Westminster and through the Retail Markets Forum, civil servants at Whitehall on market matters. He has taken lead roles in organisations such as the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), serving as a board member from August 2009 to December 2016. Joe was appointed a Director of the Genesis Initiative in 2018.

            • Professor Robin Jarvis
            • Professor Ken O’Neill

              Professor Kenneth O’Neill

              Ken is Professor Emeritus of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development at the University of Ulster, Chair of the School for Social Enterprise in Ireland and the Centre for SME Development in the university’s Business School and was the first person to be awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion – Lifetime Achievement Award (2005). He sits on the Academic Advisory Council of the Chartered Management Institute, is a member of the Governing Body of Belfast Metropolitan College and International Small Business Congress, as well as NED of many not-for-profits and SMEs. His roles have included President of the International Council for Small Business, President of Institute for Small Business Affairs, Board member of the CBI SME Council, Vice-President of the Institute of Business Advisors and Chairman of Young Enterprise (NI) Ltd.

            • Garry Parker
              Policy International

              Garry Parker

              A director of The Genesis Initiative since 2001, Garry is a public affairs adviser and trainer and a lobbyist for not-for-profit and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) organisations. He has played key roles at EU and UK government levels, championing the MSME sectors, notably in the campaigns for combating late payment in commercial transactions and reduced rate of VAT for labour-intensive services. In 2008, Garry founded the British and Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce. He has been actively engaged in representing Genesis and its Senate Members in Brussels and across Europe in general.

            • Chris Parr
              Corporate Affairs

              Chris Parr

              Chris is a UK Solicitor of more than thirty years standing who has extensive international, commercial law experience in: oil & gas exploration, industrial gases, chemicals, engineering, waste-to-energy, semiconductors and corporate finance. His legal specialties are: commercial and corporate contracts, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. He qualified, in-house while working within Conoco (UK) Ltd and then progressed as in-house counsel with John Brown Engineers, Air Products, Monsanto, Multiserv and ON Semiconductor. He was GC EMEA&A for Monsanto’s spin-out chemical company, Solutia; VP Legal Affairs (EMEA) for MultiServ; and, latterly, Regional Counsel, Asia, with ON Semiconductor. He has also spent time in private legal practice in London and with a London-based corporate finance boutique. Chris’s career has taken him to many different parts of the world, including: Japan, China/Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, India, Australia, the USA, Scandinavia, and the EU. He has lived and worked in Belgium, France and Switzerland. He studied negotiation at Harvard Law School and is an accredited mediator through the London School of Mediation. He is a writer on legal and business subjects; and, a lecturer on JVs, contract drafting and negotiations.

            • Moonpal Singh Grewal
            • David Thomas
            • Adam Tyler

              Adam Tyler

              Adam began his early life as a Merchant Navy officer with Shell. In 2005 at The Royal Bank of Scotland, Adam took over the running of a Financial Trade Association. This comprised of 1600 Commercial Finance Brokers and 150 UK lenders to business. During that period he oversaw lending to SME’s of around £100 billion. In addition, he had the chance to help shape and influence some of the new UK business lenders that came to market following the financial crisis. Adam is now the Executive Chairman of the Financial Intermediary and Broker Association. He is also a Director of the Genesis Initiative, and runs a Finance Platform helping small businesses across the country to gain better access to finance. He also helps small business find the all important funding they need to grow their business.

The Genesis Initiative Limited (‘the Company’) is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. The Company through its board determines overall policy as well as funding and specific issues relating to the operation of the Company and Senate. The board also oversees the preparation of the Genesis manifesto.

The Chairman of the Company is John May FCA.

The Company has a board of directors which meets on the whole three times a year.

The Genesis Senate is sponsored by the Company and is the vehicle through which trade associations and other business people can meet to raise and discuss points of current concern, with a view to relating these to policy makers.

Meetings of Senate take place three times each year in the Palace of Westminster and have a regular attendance of between 40 to 50 people. Meetings are usually preceded by a working breakfast or lunch at which ministers and other policy makers speak and members have the opportunity to raise points of interest.

The Chairman of Senate is Chris Parr, Solicitor.

The Company number is 03728244 and is run from the registered office, Curzon House, Church Road, Windlesham, Surrey, GU20 6BH. A copy of the Memorandum and Articles of the Company can be inspected at this address