James Caan

Serial Entrepreneur, CEO of @HBPrivateEquity, Chairman of @StartUpLoansUK, Philanthropist and former Dragon

James Caan is one of the UK’s most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs.  He made his fortune in the recruitment industry, which included the global success of his companies, Alexander Mann Group and Humana International, and he has been building and selling businesses ever since.  In 2004 he founded private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw based in London’s Mayfair.  The company specialises in buyouts, venture capital, real estate and now manages a portfolio of over 30 companies.

James is best known for joining the panel of the hit TV show on BBC, Dragons’ Den, where he invested in 14 companies and committed over £1m of investment, over 4 series.

In 2011 James launched a property venture, HB Real Estate, to target investments in prime London residential and commercial real estate assets.  The new division has raised a £100m fund and has recently made its first acquisition, a residential asset in prime Knightsbridge with an estimated GDV in excess of £30m.

James has received various prestigious awards including 'BT Enterprise of the Year', PricewaterhouseCoopers 'Entrepreneur of the Year' and Entrepreneur of the Year in the Asian Jewel Awards.

James supports a variety of government initiatives including The Entrepreneur’s Forum;James was selected to join a panel of high profile business people who meet regularly to debate their views on enterprise policy.

In May 2012 he was appointed Chairman of StartUp Loans, a government initiative to support young people with funding to start up new businesses in the UK.  Over £112 million of loans will be offered to 18-30 year olds over the next 3 years.

James is heavily involved with charity and set up The James Caan Foundation in 2011 to help underprivileged children get access to education.

James has written three bestselling books, The Real Deal, his autobiography, Get the Job You Really Want, based on his 30 years of experience in the recruitment industry (Get the Job reached No. 1 in 3 categories on Amazon and was the best-selling practical business book of 2011).  In his latest book, Start Your Business in 7 Days, James uses his experience to help the new generation of entrepreneurs to work out if their business ideas are workable and bankable.  Start Your Business reached No. 2 in the Amazon business chart within two weeks of launching.

James is extremely passionate about supporting small businesses and recently launched a free app, James Caan Business Secrets to help other entrepreneurs on their journey to success.  The app was the fastest downloaded business app of 2011 and is regularly ranked in the Top 100 apps ever in Apps Magazine.

James was approached by CNBC to host The Business Class in October 2012. The Business Class was a seven-part series where James was joined by experts from a cross section of industries, looking at the challenges and opportunities faced by 6 businesses. They discussed the key issues facing today’s SMEs, the resources available to them and what is needed to become successful.  Each 30 minute episode featured an innovative business which was seeking guidance to help it grow in the market place.


‘James Caan is indeed an incredible gentleman. Soft spoken and direct, eloquent with a strong touch of the "I have been there" candour. I found the event very encouraging and the right kind of gathering for the current economic climate.’ - Business Connections Attendee

“James was a star, as ever. His presentation was interesting, sharp,
informative, succinct and to the point. The audience asked some great questions so all in all he went down a storm.” Lucy Moss Event Coordinator Business Connections

"Not only is your presentation being widely discussed at all levels within the legal sector, but many who attended the event have stated they took away an amazing amount of information. Your presentation has been rated by the attending delegates as ‘Excellent’. This I have found to be a rarity within the legal events market, as typically senior management from the sector tend to be extremely critical of most presenters, especially those from outside of the sector.” - Darren Armstrong, MD Netlaw

“Mr Caan’s light and personable delivery was an instant hit with delegates who enjoyed his personal recollections of achievements – and failures. "Absolutely inspirational - the whole event had so much flair,” - Raglan Tribe from Mindsheet Ltd.

"I thought James was very inspirational yesterday, great advice to look at what the market is doing and go in the opposite direction, it really rang true for me.” - Eoin Moynihan, Managing Director of Titans Associates

Speaker Enquiry