Fred Done is EY’s ‘Overall North Entrepreneur Of The Year’

  • Share

Wednesday 27 June 2012:  Fred Done, Founder and CEO of Warrington based Betfred – the world’s biggest independent bookmaker – was named EY’s Overall North Entrepreneur Of The Year at an awards dinner in Manchester last night.

The judges described Fred as an ‘inspirational and outstanding entrepreneur,’ who continues to bring fresh and innovative thinking to a mature business. He has grown the Betfred business to a company which now employs over 8,000 people with a turnover in excess of £4billion.

Starting with just one betting shop in 1967, Betfred now has 1,350 shops nationwide. It recently acquired the Government owned Tote for a quarter of a billion pounds, which affords Betfred an exclusive licence to run pool betting on horse racing throughout the UK.

Alongside the success of Betfred, Fred has developed other successful business ventures – Penninsula Business Services and Sports Tours International. He has also supported entrepreneurship through his investments in businesses such as CorpAcq and Fideliti.

EY’s North Entrepreneur Of The Year leader, Catherine Fairhurst, said: “The judges were impressed by Fred’s entrepreneurial approach, enthusiasm and energy. He has ‘made sacrifices and taken risks’ to build a business, which has gone from strength to strength and is now an instantly recognisable brand nationwide.”

Out of 55 finalists from across the North West, Yorkshire and North East, Fred was one of 12 business leaders [listed and profiled below] to be recognised at EY’s North region Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards, held at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester.

All Northern winners will represent the region at the UK finals in October, and have a chance to compete at EY’s World Entrepreneur Of The Year in Monaco next year.

Finalists – combined revenues of £6billion

In its 26th year, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards programme now covers 93% of the global economy. Sponsored in the UK by Credit Suisse, it has celebrated the achievements of 43,000 business leaders in 50 countries and 140 cities.

Catherine Fairhurst continued: “Every year, we are impressed with the scale of entrepreneurship within this region – 2012 has been no exception. The programme gets bigger and better each year. The remarkable entrepreneurs in this room have combined revenues of £6billion. They will drive growth in the UK and lead our economic recovery.”
Other winners in the North ceremony

Retail & Overall: Fred Done, Founder and CEO, Betfred, based in Warrington
Betfred is the world’s biggest independent bookmaker with 1,350 shops nationwide.The judges described Fred as ‘a man with true vision and entrepreneurial flair.’

People Excellence: Matthew Sanders, Chief Executive Officer, de Poel, based in Knutsford
de Poel is the UK’s No.1 purchaser of temporary agency labour, providing a neutral vendor solution to companies. Matthew was recognised for his investment in people and teams, achieving a team retention rate of 95%.

Cleantech & Renewables: Ian Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Matrix (Green Sky Energy), based in Bury
Green Sky was a start-up formed in 2009, with the aim of creating the UK’s leading carbon and energy reduction management company. The Judges described Ian as ‘one of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs. Ian has a great story, a great team, and a great strategy.’

International: Iqbal Ahmed, OBE, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Seamark, based in Manchester
Seamark imports, processes and distributes frozen seafood and poultry. The judges commented that Iqbal ‘personified entrepreneurialism’. A second generation business, Seamark has grown and grown. 84% of their total sales come from exports and 50% of all shrimps exported from Britain come from their processing operations.

Manufacturing: Peter Schofield, Group Chairman, Tetrosyl Group based in Bury
Tetrosyl is the largest manufacturer and supplier of car care products in Europe. Peter took on a £22million company and turned it into a £180million turnover company. Tetrosyl aims to become a £500million a year company within the next 5 years.

Technology: Lawrence Jones, Chief Executive Officer, UKFast, based in Manchester
UKFast is one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies providing management hosting and cloud services. With the effective use of clever technology and drawing upon Richard Branson as a business mentor, Lawrence believes he can grow the business to £100 million.

Consumer Products and Services: Wayne Edy, inov-8, Founder and Chairman, based in Crook, County Durham
inov-8 is a British born international brand, producing cutting edge minimalist footwear. The judges described Wayne as ‘a true risk taker’ who gave his all to the business.

Private Equity backed: Andrew Hodgson, Chief Executive Officer, Soil Machine Dynamics, based in Wallsend, North Tyneside
Soil Machine Dynamics is a leading manufacturer of remote intervention equipment, operating in hazardous environments worldwide. Andrew joined a £30million loss making business. Today it is profitable and turning over £100million a year. The judges commented ‘They’ve got the strategy right, the ideas, the vision, and a cutting edge technology.

Social Enterprise: Margaret Elliott, OBE, Director of Care Services, Sunderland Home Care Associates (2020), based in Sunderland
Sunderland Home Care is an employee owned social enterprise providing a number of care services to vulnerable and disabled people in the area. Margaret started her first social enterprise by persuading her husband to take out a loan for her. The judges commended her ‘passion, perseverance and continued enthusiasm’.

Business Products & Services: Bill Scott, Chief Executive Officer, Wilton Group, based in Middlesbrough
Wilton Group provides a complete service to the offshore/subsea oil and gas industries. The Judges acknowledged Bill’s extraordinary personal and professional risks to build the business, demonstrating huge drive and determination.  He left a main board director position to set up his own business using his own cash and borrowing money on credit cards.

Transformation & Turnaround: John Walsh, Managing Director, Abraham Moon & Sons, based in Leeds
Abraham Moon & Sons is a manufacturer of high quality wool fabrics for fashion and home interiors. The judges described John as ‘a man with big ideas and big ambitions. John has transformed the business by taking its products into new markets.’

Technology Commercialisation: Simon Spinks, Managing Director, Harrison Spinks, based in Leeds
Harrison Spinks is a highly vertical luxury bed and mattress manufacturer. The judges commended his tenacity and perseverance in taking a technology to market, describing him as a ‘true entrepreneur and inventor’.