Chief Executive of thebigword Group, Larry Gould, has been awarded an honorary degree by Leeds Metropolitan University as part of the Summer Graduation celebrations.

Larry was born and raised in Leeds and started up his company, originally called Link Up Group, in Headingley in 1980 with two employees. Over the next 15 years, Link Up grew to 24 branches throughout the UK employing more than 300 staff and 4000 contract temporary workers. In 1996 Larry sold the recruitment arm of the business in a multi-million pound deal to a US equity fund.

Recognising the potential of the internet for his language and translation business, Larry rebranded the company and named it ‘thebigword’, developing the business to be the 12th largest language company in the world. thebigword has also been ranked by the Sunday Times and is included in the International Fast Track 100  for 2011.  thebigword has nine offices across three continents and a client list that includes a great proportion of the FTSE 100 list and many global companies on the Dow Jones and NASDAQ Indices.  Its global headquarters remains in Leeds.

Larry has a long-standing connection with Leeds Metropolitan University. In the early 90s he completed the Institute of Directors Diploma in Company Direction and now senior staff from thebigword regularly deliver guest lectures at the University and numerous graduates from the University have been employed by the company.  The University is now working with thebigword in developing an online recruitment, selection and comprehensive training programme for interpreters.

Larry has recently become Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the North and Midlands.

Summer Graduations took place at the University’s Headingley Campus from Monday 18 to Saturday 23 July, where more than 5,000 students graduated over six days, alongside nine honorary degree recipients.

Graduations from all four of the University’s faculties took place – The Carnegie Faculty, the Faculty of Business & Law, the Faculty of Arts, Environment & Technology and the Faculty of Health & Social Science.