Jonathan Straight is unforgettable. The 45-year-old entrepreneur, who sports a waxed moustache and owns more than 200 pairs of spectacles, made the front page of the Sun in the 1980s when he changed his name from Gay to Straight. He also happens to be behind one of Leeds's most successful business stories.
Mr Straight, who lives in Alwoodley and is a member of the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue, is the founder and majority shareholder of Straight plc, the UK's leading supplier of kerb-side recycling containers.
Stuart and Sabryna Pitch - temporary medical tattoos
Father and daughter Stuart and Sabryna Pitch are proposing an alternative to medical identity bracelets - temporary tattoos.
Twenty-two-year-old Sabryna, who has been diabetic for 16 years, says she has gone through several bracelets, which either faded or got lost. She subsequently got a permanent tattoo, "Diabetic". But their company, Meditemptatts Ltd, offers a range of temporary hypo-allergenic transfers for sufferers of invisible medical conditions such as allergies and epilepsy.
Alison Raphael and Sophie King Snoozechair A reclining, moving baby chair
Mums Alison Raphael and Sophie King believe they have the answer to baby sleep problems. The duo have created Snoozechair - a reclining baby chair which mimics the motions of a car in order to pacify babies and help them settle. Mrs King, a cranial osteopath, and Mrs Raphael, a hypnotherapist specialising in sleep deprivation, came up with the concept after working with mums and their babies who were struggling to sleep.
Property developers - indeed investors of every stripe - may wish to avert their eyes. Neville Kahn, the global leader of Deloitte's reorganisation services, who has led the administration of some of the recession's most high-profile casualties, believes it is the property players who could prove to be the fall guys of 2010.
Mr Kahn, who ran the administration of Woolworths, Mosaic and Stylo, says: "Whereas in the first half of 2009, we saw a lot of retailers struggling, the retailers have got their act together and are in a much healthier position.
It will come as a kick in the teeth to the nation's businesses but Jeremy Newman, one of the most experienced business chiefs, believes the UK will become a significantly less important economic power in ten or 20 years times than it is today.
Mr Newman, the chief executive of accountants BDO International, says he is more bullish about countries outside of the UK than he is about Britain. He explains: "Until the financial services sector picks up again in the UK, things are going to be difficult here.
When former stockbroker Stephen Cohen set up his water systems company two decades ago, he was mocked by industry professionals and the media alike.
But 20 years on, he is clearly having the last laugh. His company, Vivreau, is now Europe's leading developer and manufacturer of purified drinking-water systems. With a turnover of around £5 million, the company supplies chilled and sparkling water - as an alternative to pre-bottled mineral water - to around 75 per cent of the FTSE 100 companies.
New builds and major refurbishment projects are out - and top-end rentals are in.
That, at least, is the opinion of Glasgow-based international architect Adrien Von Ferscht. He argues that in the current climate, renting a high-spec house is likely to prove more attractive to homeowners than buying.
The 66-year-old, who has more than 40 years' experience creating interiors for private homes across the world, has turned his attention to the UK rentals market. He recently completed designs for 45 bespoke, luxury apartments in Glasgow intended for long-term rents.
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.
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.
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.