Business consultancy owner Shirley named ‘one to watch'

Shirley Palmer

COUNTY Antrim business owner Shirley Palmer, chief executive and founder of The Simple Series, has been named as ‘One to Watch' in the Lloyds Development Capital's (LDC) top 50 most ambitious business leaders programme in London.

The programme, which is supported by The Times and now in its fourth year, celebrates the inspiring leaders behind some of the UK's most successful and fast-growing medium-sized companies.

Selected from a pool of 600 nominees and 150 interviewees, Shirley is the only business owner from Northern Ireland to be named in the overall LDC programme, which showcases the leaders behind tomorrow's mid-sized firms and growing businesses that are making a big impact.

Shirley has led a very successful career to date, working for nearly 20 years in the private equity sector in London before setting up, a consultancy focused on conscious leadership and mindset mastery.

During the outbreak of the pandemic, she created The Simple Series (, a consultancy firm which aims to help entrepreneurs and company owners to get the most out of their business.

With The Simple Series, business owners and entrepreneurs can avail of a range of services and programmes covering business strategies, business mentoring, leadership, and management, change management, marketing and sales strategies to name but a few.

Shirley said: “To be listed alongside some of the most successful and ambitious business leaders in the whole of the UK, and to be the only one from Northern Ireland to have made the ‘Ones to Watch' list, is a fantastic achievement and one that makes me feel very proud.

“I set up The Simple Series with the desire to assist businesses, regardless of size or sector, to achieve their fullest potential. I recognised that in this ever-changing business economy some businesses need a little bit of support to realign themselves, to navigate market challenges, to grow or even to start afresh and our services are geared towards helping them to do just that.

“The events of the past 18 months have been extremely tough for businesses and entrepreneurs, which is why I believe that services such as those offered by The Simple Series are necessary.”

Shirley returned to live in Northern Ireland in 2019, and earlier this year she teamed up with business enterprise agency Ledcom to launch the Seed Formula with funding from the Ulster Bank.

It is a 12- week programme geared towards guiding and supporting women from rural communities across the north to start a business in their chosen field. The programme is currently ongoing, and Shirley hopes that it will have a profound effect on the number of female entrepreneurs in rural communities and subsequently, will have a positive impact on the rural economy.

“I am extremely passionate about enabling people to follow their dreams and start their own businesses, which was a huge motivating factor behind the launch of the Seed Formula programme.

“I believe women from rural communities have a lot to offer and having more female entrepreneurs situated outside larger towns and cities, will have a very positive effect on the rural economy by creating new jobs and enhancing the quality of life,” added Shirley.

“Businesses contribute a great deal to the local, and indeed global economy, therefore ensuring that these businesses are a success, is extremely important. Going forward it is my hope that The Simple Series will continue to grow and expand, just like the companies and entrepreneurs I work alongside.”

LDC's John Garner added: “The last 18 months have presented challenges that none of us could have foreseen, but despite everything, it's fantastic to see that so many business leaders have achieved some truly remarkable things.

“This year's ‘Ones to Watch' group epitomises that fighting spirit and have truly impressed the judges with their stories of growth and ambition.

“Congratulations to all those featured, and we look forward to seeing their continued success and impact, and contribution to the broader UK economy.”

Shirley has worked with thousands of start-ups, SMEs, entrepreneurs, and visionaries across many different countries including Australia, Canada, Europe, UK, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Her clients also span numerous sectors including business services, consumer brands, software and IT services, healthcare, education, property, technology, and finance.

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