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Dragons' Den investor amongst those honoured by York St John

James Caan, best known as one of the all-powerful investors in the successful BBC series ‘Dragons’ Den’, is one of three exceptional individuals to be awarded Honorary Degrees by York St John University at its graduation ceremonies at York Minister on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 November this year.

James Caan will be attending the afternoon ceremony on Thursday 18 November where he will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from York St John University. James will receive his award in recognition of his success as an entrepreneur and business leader, and his generosity in using his experience to advise other businesses and entrepreneurs, especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

In addition to his involvement on Dragons’ Den, James has achieved widespread recognition as a successful business entrepreneur. He arrived in the UK aged 2 as an immigrant from Pakistan, and despite receiving no formal business education when he was young, he has gone on to establish an international recruitment and head hunting empire and private equity investment company. James is committed to education and the development of talent, through his role as co-chair of the Ethnic Minority Business Task Force and his contribution to the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Team. He is also actively involved in a number of charities and set up The James Caan Foundation, which supports the education of disadvantaged children in Pakistan and the UK.

Also being honoured by York St John this year is Valerie Taylor, OBE, a physiotherapist who founded a rehabilitation centre for the poor in Bangladesh. After spending time there with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) in 1969, Valerie became aware of the great need for rehabilitation services for the disabled and set up the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) in Dhaka in 1979. Today, CRP is an internationally renowned training hospital and rehabilitation centre which regularly welcomes volunteers from overseas, including occupational therapy students from York St John University. Valerie will receive an Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences on Friday 19 November in recognition of her long and distinguished career and service to the poor and disabled people of Bangladesh.

Mr Janakiraman Ramachandran will also receive an Honorary Degree from York St John on Friday 19 November, in recognition of his contribution to education and social development in India. Mr Ramachandran is Chancellor of AMET University in Chennai, India, which he founded in 1993 with a population of 14 students and has expanded rapidly to 1,500 students today. In 1976 he founded the NAESEY project, which provides free training courses for the unemployed of South India to help them earn a regular income and achieve social status. He has been the sole funder of this organisation which, in the thirty years of its existence, has assisted more than 0.15 million people get out of poverty and into employment.

Honorary Degrees will be presented at the graduation ceremonies in York Minster by either York St John’s Chancellor, Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, or by Vice Chancellor, Professor David Fleming, in front of an audience of graduands, their families and friends, and staff and guests of the University.

For further information please contact Amy Hall, PR & Communications Officer on T: 01904 876466 or E: a.hall@yorksj.ac.uk