Samantha Rutter, CEO of Open Study College (@OpenStudyColl), has been named as one of the UK’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders for 2020, by leading private equity firm LDC.
Now in its third year, the programme, supported by The Daily Telegraph, celebrates the inspiring leaders behind some of the UK’s most successful and fast-growing medium-sized firms.
There were more than 350 nominations, with those profiled hailing from across the country, operating across a multitude of industries, employing more than 5,250 people and collectively contributing more than £1bn to the UK economy.
Samantha Rutter was 19 when she founded Solihull-based Open Study College with her father, Mark. Fast forward 13 years and as CEO, Samantha has grown the distance learning business, to provide over 650 courses, from A-Levels to nail therapy and animal care, to more than 90,000 students. She has plans to grow turnover to £12m by 2024, through acquisitions and international expansion.
She commented: “I feel honoured to be recognised in this way. This isn’t just an achievement for me, but one for the whole Open Study College team, and a testament to the hard work that goes into providing access to education for all. It has been such an incredible journey since our launch over a decade ago, and I truly believe we are only at the tip of the iceberg.
“It’s our learners that drive our passion. Many of whom come to us because they are at a crossroads or, for personal reasons need our support, but then go on to achieve such incredible things. Now more than ever we need to do all we can to support the development of people’s careers both here and across the globe and we look forward to what the future holds.”
John Garner of LDC added:
“The UK has a long-standing reputation for its entrepreneurial endeavour, but there has never been a more important time to recognise or back ambition in British business. The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders aims to do just that. All of the inspiring leaders featured in our Top 50 this year have driven their business forward during a period of adversity, whether by expanding internationally, delivering real innovation, showcasing resilience or making a difference in their communities. They all deserve their place and I look forward to seeing their continued success.”
LDC is the UK’s leading mid-market private equity firm. Backed by Lloyds Banking Group, LDC is committed to investing £1.2bn over the next three years to support the ambitions of management teams leading mid-market businesses across the UK.