Lord Young of Graffham, 1932-2022, Rest In Peace

We are deeply saddened by the news that Lord Young of Graffham has passed away. Lord Young was the Patron of the Small Business Charter having been instrumental in setting it up in 2014 whilst serving as Enterprise Advisor to the Prime Minister. He was Secretary of State for Trade & Industry between 1987-1989, having previously held the post of Secretary of State for Employment from 1985. His business career spans six decades and includes starting businesses in construction and property, holding the position of Executive Chairman at Cable & Wireless, and board roles on innovative technology companies.

Lord Young drew on his vast experience of entrepreneurship, business leadership and policymaking to act as an influential advocate for the great potential of business schools’ support for small businesses and local economic growth. He will be sorely missed.

Michael Hayman MBE DL, Chair, Small Business Charter, said “Lord Young made an immense contribution to public life. He was an enthusiast for the potential of business in general and small firms in particular. His work on the enterprise agenda was instrumental in creating practical and powerful contributions to the national effort.

"Our own work at the Small Business Charter and the delivery of the Help To Grow programme are a direct result of his incredible energy and results oriented approach. As our Patron we were privileged to know and work with him. Always positive and incredibly supportive he was kind, brilliant and inspiring.  He was a phenomenal advocate for our work.

"He leaves an enduring legacy and will be very much missed. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time."

Lord Young joined us at the Help to Grow Event on 14 June 2022, hosted by NatWest, to celebrate the first year of the Help to Grow: Management Course. Here he is talking about the valuable role business schools play in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs across the UK:


Lord Young of Graffham DL, 27 February 1932 – 9 December 2022. Rest In Peace.