James started his career in executive recruitment where he built one of the world’s leading talent acquisition firms, Alexander Mann. Today, the company has grown to become a market leader with over 7,500 employees in 27 countries and revenues approaching $1bn.
Having successfully sold Alexander Mann to a private equity firm, James took some time out to study at Harvard Business School. This inspired him to use the funds from the sale of his company to back other entrepreneurs, using both his capital and business expertise to enable others to emulate his success.
James has always had a passion to see budding entrepreneurs flourish and was extremely excited to be approached by the UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, to help the government launch its unique strategy to back start-up businesses. As founder and chairman, with the support of the UK government and £500m in funding, James launched The Start-Up Loans Company. James surpassed even his own expectations of the success that Start-Up Loans would achieve having created 28,000 businesses in 36 months, employing over 100,000 people.
The success of The Start-Up Loans Company attracted the interest from the BBC’s hit TV series, Dragon’s Den, which approached James to join the panel of investors. During the four seasons that James appeared on the show he invested in 14 businesses with approximately £1.4m of his own personal capital.
Having learnt so much from starting thousands of businesses, James decided to write his autobiography (The Real Deal) which became a best seller and allowed him to share his journey and experiences with other budding entrepreneurs. From this success, James went on to write a book, tailored specifically to the entrepreneur community (Start Your Own Business in 7 Days) which has now become a must read for entrepreneurs all over the world.
As a figurehead in the UK, James was recognised in the Queen’s 2015 New Year’s Honours list which recognises contributions made by individuals that impact the country, society and industry. James was awarded the recognition and title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for the entrepreneurship and charitable services he has made through the James Caan Foundation; a charity set up to support projects across the world that look at enterprise to provide people with a better future.
My specialism is advising and investing in professional service businesses, which are predominantly business based. My sector specialises in property and real estate as well as businesses that specialise in recruitment and human capital.
I currently have 27 investments in all aspects of recruitment and human capital and currently have 12 advisory firms in the property and real estate sector. I am therefore able to evaluate propositions quickly and efficiently as from my existing portfolio I have a strong understanding of the opportunities within these sectors.
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