Honorary Membership allows us to recognise exceptional and iconic individuals within the business world who have lent their support, cooperation and contribution to the Entrepreneurs’ Forum on a continual basis.
The Forum’s board of directors are responsible for nominating and awarding honorary membership but Forum members are welcome to put forward their suggestions for consideration.
Self-deprecating and honest, Graham Wylie describes himself as simply down to earth, surrounding himself with great people which he cites as the key driver to his phenomenal success.
Renowned worldwide as the individual who changed the accountancy software industry, serial entrepreneur Graham is now involved in IT, clinical data and the ever shifting hospitality and property markets.
He left Newcastle University in 1980 with a Bachelor's degree in Computing Science and Statistics. A year later he was co-founder of a company called Sage, selling accountancy software to small businesses. When he retired from the company 21 years later Sage had a global valuation approaching £3.3 billion and was the only technology stock in the FTSE 100 index.
Following the phenomenal success of Sage, Graham could be forgiven for taking his millions and disappearing off into the sunset. But this ideas man did just the opposite. In the autumn of 2003 the miner's son was back in business, starting up Technology Services Group (TSG) and growing significantly by acquisition. The company has made over 30 acquisitions and has coverage across mainland UK from Aberdeen to Southampton with a large product portfolio.
Since 2004 Graham has also been involved in developing Close House Estate into a luxury hotel and golf course. The new development, Number 19, was launched in May 2011 by Lee Westwood and boasts a contemporary, state-of-the-art facility for members and event hire.
Graham's contribution to the North East region has been acknowledged by the award of honorary doctorates, by both the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Northumbria University, and the freedom of the city of Newcastle. In 2003, Graham was honoured by the Queen, with the award of a CBE for his services to industry.
Graham becomes The Entrepreneurs' Forum's first honorary member to recognise not only the groundbreaking nature of what he has achieved in business, but also the outstanding level of his ambassadorial devotion to the region.