Sue Nelson

Entrepreneur | Investor | Broadcaster | Speaker | Author

FROM ZERO TO HERO

About SUE

Born into inner city poverty against a backdrop of racist and misogynistic 1960s Britain, Sue finally ‘made it’ becoming a self-made multi-millionaire at 59 years old. Admittedly slower than some entrepreneurs, but she got there in the end. 

After working for 35 years she decided to set up her own tax company with her best friend's daughter, Brady Last. They started in her small conservatory on two laptops and with a large stash of Yorkshire tea bags. The kids had left home and at 54 years old, she thought she should do something risky for once in her life. She put her entire savings into starting a business even though there were no clients in sight. She convinced Brady to join her in this one last hurrah. 

Accountants laughed at them, banks wouldn't give them an overdraft (never mind a loan), and rivals tried to put them out of business. Five years later it was sold to EY, that big multi-billion pound turnover company who just loved the staff and the brand.

How did she build a buy-out in such a short time and from scratch? Hiring people with no qualifications, starting a radio show (wtf!), co-founding a women's business group, sponsoring charities and writing a book or two, among other things . . .

BREAKTHROUGH FUNDING

By the end of 2019 Sue's team had secured £60 million in cash or tax benefit for over 1,000 small businesses, creating at least 150 new jobs in the process. They did it in just 5 years. Read the remarkable story of their success.

PEOPLE ARE EVERYTHING

How a team which included a British Army sniper fresh from Afghanistan, a zookeeper, an office cleaner, a dental receptionist, a failed call centre worker and a window specialist officially became the UK's Best Independent Tax Consultancy Firm.

SOCIAL IMPACT

Sue built the Breakthrough brand by prioritising its social impact. Strong financial performance was essential but being a truly good corporate citizen brought hugely profitable results and attracted the best people who wanted to share that culture.

FOODTALK RADIO

The famous weekly podcast celebrating all things food and drink. Sue as lead presenter, has recorded 288 episodes to date which sadly involves tasting a lot of delicious food and alcohol.

BREAKTHROUGH WOMEN

In 2016 Sue set up Breakthrough Women with Deborah Turner, a biannual event for businesswomen dedicated to giving them more confidence and raising their visibility in the workplace.

TECHTALK RADIO

Sue has interviewed tech trailblazers on her TechTalk Show from Dr. Sue Black, the saviour of Bletchley Park, to Jacqueline de Rojas, President of techUK and Maggie Philbin, former presenter of Tomorrow's World.

PUBLICATIONS

In 2017 Sue wrote and published FoodTech UK to make a case for the UK as the centre for foodtech innovation and to attract inward investment to the UK. This brings her tally to ten published books.

TLA FOODTECH

Inspired by the work of Russ Shaw in setting up Tech London Advocates, Sue founded the TLA FoodTech Working Group to create a collaborative community of UK organisations involved in Food Tech.

EY INCENTIVES

EY bought Breakthrough Funding on 31 March 2020. The same great team is in place headed as ever by Brady Last. Such global presence is helping to spread the social impact still further.

GALLERY

Speaking, broadcasting, winning awards and meeting truly inspiring people