Our Story

Don Phillips is the founding director and CEO of LDA. He met Martin Hanney, our other founding director, through his brother Steve Hanney the founder of Aspenify, the key technology that we build our platform on. Don and Steve worked together at HP from 1983 to 2003 and they have been involved in startup and scale up businesses ever since. 

Don and Steve worked in the retail finance sector together at HP, and each worked across many sectors and global markets during their careers at HP. They become involved in many aspects of business startup and scale ups - mergers, acquisitions, growing service businesses, growing organically, growing through acquisitions, cultural changes, the power of brands and many more. They understand the entrepreneur and what they need to take a good idea and create a successful business. 

The result of Don, Martin and Steve’s extensive experience is a network of entrepreneurs, associates, advisors and growth experts who are bound together by a mutual interest in developing sustainable businesses, and developing the individuals that found and run these ventures to deliver to their potential. 

Don founded LDA in 2003 and worked to support the growth of many successful business such as Perrin Systems Ltd, Kavanagh Systems Ltd, Theorem Solutions Ltd and Arrow ECS Ltd, but he also witnessed many businesses fail because the entrepreneur did not have specific business knowledge and expertise behind them, Don became passionate about stopping this from occurring. Giving every entrepreneur the opportunity to be guided through a proven startup methodology with business experts became the driving force for LDA. 

Don also has a life-long interest in social enterprise and has worked to help create and support many successful organisations in the third-sector, such as Bubble Enterprises CIC, Carisma Services Ltd and Chelwood Foodbank Plus CIO. Carisma is where he met the President of LDA, Prof Erinma Bell MBE. Erinma helped to strip away the gun crime that used to dangerously affect Moss Side and the surrounding area, allowing Manchester to shed its nickname of ‘Gunchester’. Erinma is now the Councillor for Moss Side as well as continuing the work she started with Carisma Services, which now focuses on positive futures for young people in Manchester. 

Those that work with LDA come from a diverse background but they all share a passion for entrepreneurial success. Joining us as an entrepreneur, associate, sponsor, third-sector business or government agency will open up a world of opportunity for you and your dreams.


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