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.
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.
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".
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 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.
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
When Gerald Ronson, one of the world’s most respected property developers, sought a new right-hand man, he had the pick of the property playing field. Yet, Mr Ronson, head of Heron International, turned to the legal trade for his candidate. Jonathan Goldstein was the chief executive of Olswang law firm when he was poached by Mr Ronson, a previous client. The duo have been working together since May 2007.
Richard Hunter is one to watch. The former north Londoner has been appointed CEO of Shufersal (formerly Supersol), Israel’s largest retail chain with 230 supermarkets. He joined from sister company NetVision, a communications provider where Mr Hunter, 40, had been CEO since 2007.
Both NetVision, with an annual revenue of £220 million, and Shufersal, with a yearly turnover nearly £2 billion, are controlled by Nochi Dankner’s IDB Group, a diversified business conglomerate with total assets worth over US$ 30 billion. Mr Dankner is one of the most influential businessmen in Israel.
China is ushering in a new wave of foreign investment and experts say the country will overtake Japan as the world’s second largest economy, behind the US, within five years.
Leonard Shopper, a leading authority on facilitating business in China, believes it could become the world’s number one economy. Mr Shopper, 75, is the director of China Projects Development Inc (CPD), which helps foreign companies develop successful businesses in the Chinese market. It has been active there for almost four decades.
Nikki Burg does not usually talk to journalists. In fact, she makes it her business not to. As personal assistant to one of the world’s most accomplished businessman, Russian-born oligarch Len Blavatnik, discretion, says Miss Burg, is everything.
But the 40-year-old has something she wants to share. Adamant she has the best job in London, she is keen to dispel the myths associated with being a PA and has launched a training course to help others.