Press release

17 Sep 2020 , 09:30 London, GB

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2020 UK finalists announced

EY has announced its EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK finalists today, with 30 entrepreneurs making the shortlist.

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  • 29 entrepreneurs from 24 businesses selected as finalists across the UK

EY has announced its EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK finalists today, with 30 entrepreneurs making the shortlist.

This year’s finalists highlight the vibrant diversity of the UK entrepreneurial landscape, with companies from sectors including technology, consumer, leisure and healthcare, represented across the country. In what has been a really tough period of trading for entrepreneurs, it has been uplifting to see so many of our entrants thriving, and where necessary that a few have been able to successfully pivot and adapt their businesses to the environment.

Marked against six criteria by independent regional judging panels, the shortlist celebrates business leaders who showcase real entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering ambition in solving tomorrow’s challenges.

Joanna Santinon, Partner and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year leader, UK, said: “Entrepreneurs are facing one of the most challenging environment’s we’ve seen and we continue to be impressed by their relentless determination and resilience in an uncertain climate. The calibre of all the applicants has been truly inspiring. While some of our finalists have had to navigate a very turbulent year, some have been able to seize unexpected opportunities to accelerate growth.”

David Scott, Founder and Chairman of LGT Vestra, said: "Many of us at LGT Vestra are entrepreneurs and we are delighted to have been able to share our experiences, insights and passion with the applicants we have met. Whilst these unprecedented times have created challenges, it has been inspiring to see entrepreneurs show their resilience, tenacity and ability to adapt. We are delighted to celebrate the finalists' achievements through our sponsorship of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020."

The UK finalists will progress to the UK judging and final, vying for the title ‘EY UK Entrepreneur Of The Year’. The overall winner will then represent the UK at the ‘EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year’ in summer 2021, a forum which attracts the world’s most inspiring entrepreneurs from more than 60 countries.

UK judging panel

  • The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 UK judging panel will be chaired by Simon Rogerson, Co-Founder of Octopus Group, who will be joined by:
    • Ambarish Mitra, Founder of Blippar, and a tech investor
    • Emma Griffin, Non-Executive Director and investor
    • Jon Wright, Partner, JamJar Investments
    • Sahar Hashemi OBE, co- founder of Coffee Republic & Skinny Candy, and investor

Full list of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 UK finalists by region:


  • David Calder, CEO of Adarma, one of the largest independent security services companies in the UK. Based in Edinburgh.
  • Stewart Graham, Managing Director of Gael Force Group, a manufacturer and supplier of marine products, technology and services to the aquaculture, commercial fishing, commercial and leisure marine industries. Headquartered in Inverness.
  • David Farquhar, CEO of Intelligent Growth Solutions, which uses ground-breaking technology to enable the efficient production of crops in indoor locations. Based in Edinburgh.
  • Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland, CEO and Chief Experience Officer of Ooni Ltd, pioneers of the first portable outdoor wood-fire pizza oven. Based in Edinburgh.
  • Sarra Bejaoui, Managing Director of Smart PA, leading experts on outsourcing, PAs, business support & administration services. Headquartered in Edinburgh.


  • James Parker, Owner and CEO of Gym King, which specialises in ath-leisure wear available in over 1,000 stores worldwide. Based in West Yorkshire.
  • Jamil Mawji and Faisal Lalani, Co-Founder and Director of National Care Group Limited, a leading provider of care and support services to vulnerable adults throughout the UK. Based in Lancashire
  • Steve Parkin, CEO of Moores Furniture Group, a leading manufacturer and installer of kitchen and bathroom furniture in the UK. Based in Wetherby.
  • Graham Donoghue, CEO of Sykes Cottages, one of the UK’s fastest-growing independent holiday cottage rental agencies. Headquartered in Chester.
  • Paul Baker, Founder of St Pierre Groupe, an international market leader in European bakery products. Based in Manchester.

Midlands & South West

  • Lucy Woods, CEO of Accident Exchange Limited, a credit hire and credit repair company. Based in Birmingham.
  • Sam Cinkir, Managing Director of Este Medical Group, a leading skin and hair specialist. Based in Birmingham.
  • Steve Hewitt, CEO, and Ben Francis, Founder, of Gymshark Ltd, an ath-leisure brand which is now one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK. Headquartered in Solihull.
  • Steve Hill, Managing Director of Light Source Design Limited, one of the UK’s leading telecommunications network delivery partners. Based in Nottingham.
  • Byron Dixon, Director of Micro-Fresh, an award-winning technology which makes anti-bacterial products. Based in Leicester.
  • Simon Hirst, CEO of Sygnature Discovery, one of Europe's leading drug discovery contract research organisations. Based in Nottingham.

London & South East

  • James Gordon, CEO of Audiotonix Group Ltd, a global market leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of entertainment technology. Based in Surrey.
  • Jennifer Sundberg and Pippa Begg, Co-CEO of Board Intelligence, a technology and advisory firm pioneering a service that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of company boards. Based in London.
  • Paolo Pieri, CEO of Circle Health, the largest UK Private Hospital provider with over 53 Hospitals. Headquartered in London.
  • Justin Basini, CEO of ClearScore, one of the UK's fastest growing free credit checking and credit report services. Headquartered in London.
  • Jonathan Satchell, CEO of Learning Technologies Group Plc, a market-leader in digital learning services and technologies. Based in Brighton.
  • Jacqueline O'Donovan, Managing Director of O'Donovan Waste Disposal Ltd, a leading waste management company specialising in construction and demolition waste. Based in London.
  • Jason du Preez, CEO and Founder of Privitar, a market leader in the development of data privacy software and technology. Based in London.
  • Dominic Joseph and Adam Ludwin, CEO and Co-Founder of Captify, one of the largest holders of first party consumer search data outside of Google. Based in London.


EY Entrepreneur Of The Year’s national headline sponsor is global wealth management firm LGT Vestra.