Top UK Entrepreneurs continue to create jobs on large scale despite wider unemployment

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The UK’s top entrepreneurs are continuing to create jobs on a large scale, despite high unemployment, figures compiled by EY have found.

Leading entrepreneurs have seen 36 per cent overall employment growth at their companies in two years. The number of jobs created by the more than 40 finalists of the UK’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year rose from 11657 to 15806 between 2008 and 2010.

The businessmen and women, most of whom have started their companies from scratch, have created and invested in, employment in sectors from retail to cleantech, and in many parts of the country suffering stubbornly low employment rates.

In retail, Mark Neale, Managing Director of The Mountain Group more than doubled the number of employees from 305 to 654, while fellow retailer Chris Dawson of CDS Superstores increased jobs from 2078 to 2652. In Forfar, jobs at Balhousie Care Group rose from 400 to 649 jobs, while Michelle Clothier and Sam Conniff of social enterprise Livity saw jobs rise from 9 to 31.

Despite challenging economic conditions, the entrepreneurs have also seen revenue growth rates of 47% over the two years until 2010.

However in a recent poll of finalists of the competition which reaches its final on Monday (3 October), entrepreneurs cited shortage of skilled staff as remaining one of the key challenges faced in driving enterprise. They also said immediate tax breaks were urgently required as the most important measure needed to boost enterprise and growth, describing the 50p tax rate as an obstacle to incentive.

Richard Hall, partner and UK Entrepreneur Of The Year leader, said: “The spirit of innovation demonstrated by the UK’s high-growth entrepreneurs is very strong, and clearly has not been stifled by the economic downturn. Entrepreneurs demonstrate the importance of innovation in creating jobs, which is going to be crucial in kick starting economic growth in the UK regions.”

“We are finding that entrepreneurs are not only creating jobs but investing in people and training to secure the skills they need. However there still requires further support to ensure that the appropriate skilled jobs are generated in the UK.”

The final of EY UK Entrepreneur Of The Year, sponsored by Credit Suisse, will be held in London’s Hilton Park Lane on 3 October 2011, hosted by Fiona Bruce and attended by Business Secretary Vince Cable. The independent judges have recognised the recent vision and success of the entrepreneurs across regions and sectors including recruitment, retail, technology and consumer products.

The successful entrepreneur will then compete with winners of the prestigious title across the world, at the world Entrepreneur of the Year awards in Monte Carlo next year Last year’s winner Ayman Asfari, Group Chief Executive of oil and gas company Petrofac Limited was recognised from turning the company into a US$1mn US domestic business to a leading international services company worth US$8bn. Former category winners have included Hilary Devey, star of BBC’s Dragons’s Den and former Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Matthew Riley, of Daisy telecoms, who grilled candidates on this year’s The Apprentice.

For further information contact Jonathan Marciano on 0207 951 9456.

These figures were taken from submissions by finalists of the EY Entrepreneur of the year programme and have not been independently verified.

Sponsored in the UK by Credit Suisse, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates people who build and lead successful, growing and dynamic businesses; recognising them through regional, national and global awards programmes in more than 135 cities in 50 countries.

The finalists for UK Entrepreneur are:

Adconion Media Group LtdTyler MoebiusCo-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
AFG Media LtdGregor Lawson
Ali Smeaton
Fraser Smeaton
Airline Services Holdings LimitedBryan Bodek

Chief Executive

Alexander Dennis LimitedColin RobertsonChief Executive Officer
Antal International LimitedTony GoodwinChief Executive Officer and Founder
AppSense LtdCharles Sharland

Executive Chairman

Argent Energy (UK) LimitedJim WalkerManaging Director
Balhousie Care GroupTony BanksChairman
Barrhead Travel Service LimitedSharon MunroChief Executive
BioRegional Development GroupSue RiddlestoneExecutive Director and Co-Founder
Catlin Group LimitedStephen Catlin

Chief Executive

CDS (Superstores International) LimitedChristopher Dawson

Managing Director

Climate Cars LimitedNicko Williamson

Managing Director

Copal Partners LimitedRishi Khosla

Chief Executive Officer

ECO Plastics LtdJonathan Short

Chief Executive Officer

Ella's Kitchen Group LimitedPaul LindleyFounder and Chief Executive Officer
Endava LimitedJohn Cotterell

Chief Executive Officer

Entertainment Magpie Limited

Steve OliverWalter Gleeson

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Operating Officer
Entiér LimitedPeter BruceManaging Director
EvoEnergy LtdKevin Hard

Chief Executive Officer

Fircroft Engineering Services LtdJohnathan Johnson

Chief Executive Officer

Globus (Shetland) LtdHaraldur Agustsson

Managing Director

Greenergy International LtdAndrew Owens

Chief Executive

Hill Holt WoodKaren Lowthrop

Chief Executive Officer

Hydrasun Holdings LimitedBob DrummondChief Executive Officer
Impact Arts Projects LimitedSusan AktemelDirector
Keltbray Group (Holdings) LimitedBrendan Kerr

Chief Executive Officer

Keltbray Group (Holdings) LimitedBrendan Kerr

Chief Executive Officer

Lexon (UK) Ltd

Anup Sodha Pritesh Soppal

Joint directors
Livity LimitedMichelle Clothier
Sam Conniff
Managing Director
/ Co-founders
Markco Media LimitedMark Pearson


Mary’s MealsMagnus MacFarlane-BarrowChief Executive
Nails Inc. LimitedThea Green

Founder and Managing Director

Node4Andrew Gilbert

Managing Director

powerPerfector plc GroupAngus Robertson

Chief Executive Officer

R Griggs Group LtdDavid Suddens

Chief Executive

Rixonway Kitchens LtdPaul Rose

Chief Executive

Skyscanner LimitedGareth WilliamsChief Executive Officer & Co-founder
Tekmar Energy LimitedJames RitchieGeneral Manager
The Mountain Group LimitedMark NealeManaging Director
thebigword Holdings LtdLarry GouldChief Executive Officer
Tullis Russell Group LimitedChris ParrGroup Chief Executive
Wonga.comErrol DamelinFounder and Chief Executive Officer