Tracey Cunnington - Marketing Assistant

Novacroft’s Debra Charles is recognised for twenty years as a tech entrepreneur

The achievements of Debra Charles, Founder and CEO of Novacroft have been celebrated at Cranfield University’s 2019 graduation ceremonies.

Debra received her Honorary Doctorate from the University for her work shaping UK business. She graduated alongside Sacha Romanovitch, Co-Chair of the Inclusive Economy Partnership; and Simon Rowlands, Founder of Africa Platform Capital.

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor at Cranfield University, said:

Debra, Sacha and Simon represent the very best of British business. All three have demonstrated that business excels when it is driven by a clear purpose that benefits all of us in society.

Debra Charles said:

It is with immense pride that I receive the Honorary Doctor of Science, particularly as it is from Cranfield University, which I hold in the highest regard. Cranfield is enabling and equipping our children to seize the opportunities of the coming decades. To me, that’s of significant importance, because my legacy is about ensuring that humanity thrives as we approach the fourth industrial revolution.

Making a difference

With a focus on harnessing technology to help people, Debra, with the team at Novacroft, has made life easier for more than 30 million people during its twenty years in business. This has been done through customer support, online application and smartcard production services for projects including Transport for London’s concessionary Oyster photocards.

Leaving a legacy

Debra is a Cranfield University Entrepreneur Alumnus of the Year and a member of the University’s Advisory Board. Debra is also a Northampton Community Foundation trustee and co-founder of The Kindness Movement, which is dedicated to promoting the softer skills that will be increasingly important differentiators between humans, robots and artificial intelligence systems of the fast-approaching Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In March 2019, Debra launched the #CharityForum as part of her mission to leave a sustainable legacy and to support charities as the backbone of society. The #CharityForum is is a group of game changing individuals, collaborating with energy and focus, to embrace the future. The group is already making an impact. Find out more.