Business features

What I did after Wrapit folded

By Candice Krieger, May 13, 2010

When Pepita Diamand's upmarket wedding gift list company Wrapit went bankrupt in 2008, her professional reputation was shredded.

The company's collapse caused a huge furore - thousands of newlyweds and brides-to-be were left without gifts, wedding guests faced a combined loss of an estimated £700,000 and victims staged protests outside HSBC, Wrapit's main creditor. Almost two years on and Ms Diamand, who says she lost everything in the process, is starting to rebuild her career, working as a brand consultant for retail companies with an online presence.


Giving Israeli big pharma a booster

By Simon Griver, May 6, 2010

Despite revenue of $13.9bn (£9.2bn) in 2009, 25 per cent more than in 2008, Teva Pharmaceuticals still has far to go to surpass the UK's largest drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which reported £23.7bn from its pharmaceutical activities last year.


Who gets the business vote?

By Candice Krieger, April 28, 2010

Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Group

Now that we are nearing polling day, it is probably a good time to ask why so many large companies have become so disenchanted with the UK.

First, there's clearly the macro point. If you're running a global company, whether public, private or private equity-owned, one of the key factors - if not the key factor - in determining long term share owner value, is topline sales growth.


How to cash in on parking (like me)

By Candice Krieger, April 22, 2010

What is the best way to become a successful internet entrepreneur? Find a problem and solve it. That is the advice of Anthony Eskinazi, who did just that with his award-winning online venture, Launched a little over three years ago, revenue has grown 300 per cent over the past 12 months.

The business idea was to connect property owners with a spare parking space to drivers in need of somewhere to park. It now has 50,000 users across the UK, who use the service to book a driveway, garage or car park space on a one-off or regular, short-term or long-term basis.


How I made Barratts shine again

By Candice Krieger, March 25, 2010

When retail veteran Michael Ziff's Stylo - the shoe group which owned Barratts and Priceless Shoes - went into administration last year, he admits it was one of the most horrific experiences of his life. But some 12 months on and Mr Ziff, who brought the family-run footwear chains out of administration, is confident the business will bounce back to become the UK's leading family footwear retailer.


Please knock: £25 million hotel seeks A-list attention

By Candice Krieger, March 18, 2010

Alon Bejerano has opted for a more creative role. The 31-year-old former investment fund manager is now busying himself with colour charts, wallpaper patterns, lampshades and the like. That's because Mr Bejerano is now the co-director of AB Hotels.


We're taking Giraffe to new heights

By Candice Krieger, March 11, 2010

Juliette and Russel Joffe, the founders of restaurant chain Giraffe, might be sticking their neck out when they say business is doing well. But then they have every reason to be bullish, even in the current climate.

At a time when many restaurants struggle to cope with the impact of the economic crisis, the Joffe's family-friendly business reported positive like-for-like sales for 2009 - up five per cent on the previous year. In fact, the recession, says Mr Joffe, has "been positive for us".


Israeli cash still fancies Europe

By Candice Krieger, March 4, 2010

Europe has fallen out of favour with financiers as they fret over the possibility of a European debt crisis emerging from the continuing turmoil in Greece. But according to Edouard Cukierman and Haggai Ravid, experts on investing in the region, it is still a fruitful place to raise money.


Israel's high-tech 'addiction'

By Candice Krieger, February 25, 2010

Israel is becoming addicted to start-ups, says Dr Ed Mlavsky, the founder of venture capital fund Gemini and credited as one of the five most influential people in the Israeli high-tech industry. He argues that Israel is home to an increasing number of "repeat entrepreneurs" - those who sell their original business but go on to inherit, establish and/or buy other ones.


Abrahams: my £1bn gift to the north east

By Candice Krieger, February 18, 2010

David Abrahams is known to many as the businessman at the centre of a Labour Party donations scandal in 2007. But if the property entrepreneur - who reportedly gave £650,000 to Labour in other people's names so as to remain anonymous - pulls off his current property scheme, he will be remembered in far a more positive light: for having transformed the economy of the north east.

Mr Abrahams, 65, is developing his Durham Green Business Park, a