Is the secret to winning to never stop believing?

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2019 judges

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UK

Chair Diane Foreman

Diane Foreman
CEO, Emerald Group Ltd

Jon Wright

Jon Wright
Partner, JamJar Investments

Simon Rogerson

Simon Rogerson
CEO, Octopus Group

Bhikhu Patel

Bhikhu Patel
Co-founder and Co-chairman of Waymade Capital

Diane Foreman

Diane Foreman

CEO, Emerald Group Ltd

Diane Foreman has grown successful businesses in health, property, award-winning ice creams (NZ Natural) and built globally successful Emerald Foods which was sold in 2015.

What makes an Unstoppable entrepreneur?
“True entrepreneurs are unstoppable. While success catapults them further, challenges motivate and catapult them into the future. A true entrepreneur never says no but instead says how.”


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Simon Rogerson

Simon Rogerson

CEO, Octopus Group

Simon co-founded Octopus, successfully disrupting two of the least trusted industries in the world – financial services and energy supply

What makes an Unstoppable entrepreneur?
“A burning, all-consuming desire to make the world around them a better place. And a very clear purpose that people (employees and customers) want to be part of. It helps if you’re resilient, obsessive and unfailingly positive. ”


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Jon Wright

Jon Wright

Partner, JamJar Investments

Jon co-founded innocent drinks in 1999 with Adam Balon and Richard Reed, CBE, and was a joint-CEO of the business until 2013. In 2004, the three set up the innocent foundation, and Jon has been a Trustee ever since. Today, he still works with Adam and Rich, running JamJar Investments which helps entrepreneurs build successful businesses and have a positive effect on the world around them.


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Bhikhu Patel

Bhikhu Patel

Chairman, Waymade Capital

Bhikhu and Vijay, Co-Founders, Co-Chairmen of Waymade Capital continue to develop Pharma, Property, Private Equity and Philanthropy together with the next generation.

What makes an Unstoppable entrepreneur?
“An unstoppable entrepreneur has total unswerving self-belief to convert innovative ideas into reality. They should understand challenges in their field of endeavour, must be commercially aware and must have passion, drive and determination to overcome hurdles. The ability to react quickly to unexpected hurdles in a fast, transparent, digital world is essential. They should provide clear decisive leadership which inspires and motivates their team.”


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London & South

ChairMatt Isaacs

Matt Isaacs
Co-Founder and Chairman, Essence

Farida Gibbs

Farida Gibbs
CEO, Gibbs Hybrid

Irina Hemmers

Irina Hemmers
Partner, Inflexion Private Equity Partners LLP

Henrietta Morrison

Henrietta Morrison
Founder, Executive Chair and Brand Director, Lily’s Kitchen

Midlands

Co-ChairNicholas Georgevic

Nicholas Georgevic
Chairman and Chief Executive, Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care

Co-ChairTracy Lewis

Tracy Lewis
Executive Chair, Inspired Thinking Group (ITG)

Rosie Ginday

Rosie Ginday
Founder, Miss Macaroon

Wendy Merricks

Wendy Merricks
CEO, Jumar Solutions

Gurinder Sunner

Gurinder Sunner
Investor, BGF

Michael Ward

Michael Ward
CEO, Gateley Plc

North

Chair Mark Whitworth

Steve Smith
Director, Daisy Group Holdings

Jonathan Bell

Jonathan Bell
Head of North West, LDC

Lucy Armstrong

Lucy Armstrong
CEO, The Alchemists Northern Limited

Jacqui Hall

Jacqui Hall
MD, CNG Ltd

Clare Roberts

Clare Roberts
Chief Executive, Kids Planet Day Nurseries

Jonathan Seaton

Jonathan Seaton
Founder and CEO, Twinkl Educational Publishing

Mark Whitworth

Steve Smith

Director, Daisy Group Holdings

Steve has worked with Matthew Riley (2007 UK Young Entrepreneur of the Year) at Daisy since 2009, building a market leading B2B Communications and IT Services business.

Daisy employs 3700 staff across the UK, serving 90,000 customers and 2,000 partners, with latest reported revenues and ebitda of £685m and £127m.

Prior to joining Daisy, Steve was an EY Partner leading the EoY North programme since its initial launch in 2000.


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Jonathan Bell

Jonathan Bell

Head of North West, LDC

Jonathan is responsible for LDC’s new business team in Manchester. Jonathan joined LDC in 2006.

What makes an Unstoppable entrepreneur?
“I believe ambition is always the defining characteristic of the most successful entrepreneurs, those that have the vision and aspiration to continue moving forward, the guile to overcome obstacles and the belief to outperform their competitors.”


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Lucy Armstrong

Lucy Armstrong

CEO, The Alchemists Northern Limited

Lucy is Chief Executive of The Alchemists, which works with high growth mid-corporate businesses to accelerate their development and success.

What makes an Unstoppable entrepreneur?
“To recognise and act on their limitations”


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Jacqui Hall

Jacqui Hall

MD, CNG Ltd

Jacqui Hall is MD of CNG Ltd, the UK’s leading independent shipper and supplier of commercial gas.

What makes an Unstoppable entrepreneur?
“Entrepreneurs become unstoppable when they recognise the need to have courage and take calculated risks. There'll never be a situation that is completely certain, but trusting what got you this far is a strong start; never being too proud to accept the wisdom and expertise of others is really important.”


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Clare Roberts

Clare Roberts

Chief Executive, Kids Planet Day Nurseries

Kids Planet is a family-owned group of 38 nurseries covering the North West and the Midlands.

Established by working mum Clare Roberts and her father John Hoban in 2008, Kids Planet has grown over the last decade to become a leading early years provider in the North West and is now covering the Midlands.


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Jonathan Seaton

Jonathan Seaton

Founder and CEO, Twinkl Educational Publishing

Jonathan founded Twinkl in 2010 with a mission to ‘help those who teach’. Twinkl creates online resources used by educators globally.

What makes an Unstoppable entrepreneur?
“Strong leadership skills and an unflinching desire and determination to be successful, a problem solver, so many people miss the opportunity to solve a problem.”


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Scotland

Chair Andy Lothian

Andy Lothian
Group CEO, The Insights Group

Vicky Brock

Vicky Brock
Co-Founder and CEO, Vistalworks and Get Market Fit

Jim Pettigrew

Jim Pettigrew
Chairman of the board, CYBG/Virgin Money

Theresa Shearer

Theresa Shearer
Group CEO, The Piper Group

Mike Sibson

Mike Sibson
Investor, BGF

Jane Wood

Jane Wood
UK Nations and Regions Director, BT Group

Keith Neilson

Keith Neilson

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Craneware

Keith co-founded Craneware in 1999. He is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), syndicate member and partner in Par Equity LLP. In addition, Keith is also a board member of CodeClan, the Scottish Digital Skills Academy and the Scottish North American Business Council (SNABC).

Under Keith’s guidance, Craneware is recognised as the pioneer in revenue integrity management and a leading provider of superior products and professional services.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK category winner 2008


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Sherry Coutu

Sherry Coutu

Chairman, Founders4Schools

Sherry is Chairman of the charity Founders4Schools and is a former CEO and angel investor, who serves on the boards of companies, charities and universities including Raspberry Pi, Zoopla and the London Stock Exchange Group.

As a philanthropist Sherry is a supporter of the Crick Institute and Yourlife Campaign and is currently listed by Management Today as one of the Top 50 Most Inspiring Women in Europe.

She serves as an Ambassador for London, is the author of ‘The Scale-up Report’ on UK economic growth and was honoured with a CBE for Services to Entrepreneurship in 2013.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year London finalist 1999
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year London finalist 2000


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Chris Gauld

Chris Gauld

CEO, Spark Energy

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 UK category winner

Chris co-founded Spark Energy in 2007 after identifying an opportunity to offer a better utility solution for letting and estate agents, landlords and home movers. Today, Spark serves over 400,000 customer accounts, employs over 400 people across Britain and will see its turnover top £200m in 2018. Chris took over as CEO in 2014 and led an MBO in 2016, which gave the company the institutional backing and financial support it needed to accelerate its growth as the only multi-utility provider built around the needs of home movers. In 2017, Spark acquired Home Telecom, adding superfast broadband and SKY TV to its offer.

What makes a successful entrepreneur?
“You have to be determined, resilient and tireless in pursuit of your vision. You need to be able to take people with you on your journey, whether staff, partners or customers – the ability to build a team that enables you to achieve your goals is a huge asset.”

What will you be looking for in this year’s finalists?
“I want to see finalists coming forward with products, services, and solutions that improve outcomes for the end user and a clear plan to deliver it and make it big. Everyone has made it this far because they’ve got a great idea, but ultimately that idea is only going to succeed if you can demonstrate a real benefit to the customer and the drive to make it happen.”

Twitter: @chrisgauld


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Mark Kerr

Mark Kerr

Head of Scotland, LDC

Mark heads up LDC’s Scottish team and has 20 years' experience in private equity. He has invested in over 25 companies across a range of sectors including healthcare, financial services, software and energy. He sits on the boards of Ramco Tubular Services, PDG Helicopters, CMS Enviro and the Aberdeen Sports Village.

LDC is one of the UK’s leading regional mid-market private equity houses, having invested £1bn over the last three years in ambitious UK businesses, with a desire to see their organisations grow.


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Mike Loggie

Mike Loggie

Chief Executive Officer, Saltire Energy

Mike established Aberdeen-based firm Saltire Energy in 1986. He has grown the company, creating three operating divisions: Saltire Energy Products, Saltire Pressure Control Products and Saltire Drilling Tools.

Saltire Energy is a leading rental specialist in oil and gas equipment to the global energy sector. The group has operations across the globe with seven bases, spanning Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK finalist 2015


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Andy Lothian

Andy Lothian

Group CEO, The Insights Group

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 Scotland overall winner

Insights is one of Scotland’s most successful growing businesses and a global leader in innovative learning and development. With a presence in over 40 countries, it helps the world’s leading companies build great leadership and purposeful, inspiring cultures.

Andy established Insights over 20 years ago, and continues to lead with passion and commitment. He lives by his purpose “to create a world where people truly understand themselves and others, and are inspired to make a positive difference in everything they do”.

What makes a successful entrepreneur?
“Purpose; creating a compelling vision; resilience; communicating with impact; building a strong team; consistent values; coaching, developing and leading others; authenticity and self-understanding; agile thinking; creativity and dogged determination are just some of the cocktail of ingredients that makes a great entrepreneur. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer – the combination of these elements is always unique.”

What will you be looking for in this year's finalists?
“I’ll be looking for many of these elements, in combination. But most of all, I want to understand ‘why’. Why does this person do what they do? Why does their business exist? A strong purpose goes a long way to enabling great entrepreneurs to keep going when others might not. It is the root of long-term success.”

Twitter: @andylothian


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Amanda McMillan

Amanda McMillan, OBE

Chief Executive Officer, AGS Airports Ltd

Amanda is Chief Executive Officer of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton (AGS) Airports Limited and is also Managing Director of Glasgow Airport. In 2013, she received an OBE in recognition of her services to business and tourism. Her success as Managing Director was further recognised in 2016 when Glasgow Airport picked up three major industry accolades.

AGS Airports Limited operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and support over 8,200 jobs.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK category winner 2008


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Dr Deborah O'Neil

Dr Deborah O'Neil

Founder and CEO, NovaBiotics Ltd

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 UK category winner
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 Scotland judge

As a trained immunologist, Deborah founded NovaBiotics in 2004 and has worked to grow the business into a leading global clinical-stage biotechnology company. In 2014 Deborah was announced as an Entrepreneur Of The Year UK award winner in recognition of her contribution to health and science. She is an innovator in the world of biomedical science and was also named one of 2015’s 15 women leaders in European Biotechnology.

What makes a successful entrepreneur?
“Every successful entrepreneur is unique, but common to all are drive, passion, tenacity and an innate ability to create and grow great businesses that ‘stand out’ almost as much as the entrepreneur.”

What will you be looking for in this year's finalists?
“What I’m looking for is their story and I’m interested in how and why each of the finalists have trod where others would fear to in order to achieve their success.”

Twitter: @debsoneil


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Mike Sibson

Mike Sibson

Investor, BGF

Mike joined BGF in January 2012, where he leads its Aberdeen office with responsibility for originating and delivering investments in the north of Scotland. BGF has over £100m invested in north Scotland, and Mike works with the investee companies’ management teams to help maximise their potential. He is also a director on the boards of five BGF investments, Spex, Rovop, Petrotechnics, Inoapps, and Frontrow Energy Technology Group. He started his career as a drilling engineer with Shell, working mostly in exploration in Angola and Congo, then joined 3i, and, after spells in Birmingham and Cambridge, moved to Aberdeen in 2004, where he invested in both oil service and exploration and production companies.

What makes a successful entrepreneur?
“A successful entrepreneur is by definition a strong and non-conformist character, with a passion for the business, a drive to make it work, and inspirational leadership to get the best from the company’s people. He/she is usually outward-looking and the company’s best salesperson, is not be diverted by risk, has absolute clarity of what the business is trying to achieve, and sets an unrelenting pace.”

What will you be looking for in this year's finalists?
“As Peter F Drucker said, ‘Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision’. I have a huge amount of respect for people who have taken risks to set up a business. I really look forward to hearing about the courageous decisions the finalists made, and the vision and tenacity required to scale it up.”

Twitter: @msibbo


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Theresa Shearer

Theresa Shearer

CEO, ENABLE Scotland

Theresa was appointed as the first female CEO of ENABLE Scotland in 2015, having previously run a successful consultancy business that helped other charities in the sector with strategic development and leadership. She is a motivating leader who empowers staff to create an equal society for people with a learning disability in all that they do. As CEO, she is responsible for the development and delivery of ENABLE Scotland’s organisational strategy, and through this continues to ensure it is in a strong and sustainable position to continue its work in communities across Scotland in a challenging economic climate.

Theresa recognises and values the social care workforce’s vital role, and is committed to achieving the best pay and conditions for social care staff not just within ENABLE Scotland, but across the wider sector. In line with this, she has led vital influencing work at a Government and sector level to achieve the payment of the Scottish Living Wage for all social care staff across all hours worked.

What makes a successful entrepreneur?
“Bravery, pace, clarity of purpose, unwavering focus and the ability to lead others to share and deliver their vision. Beyond that, I believe that a strong focus on ethical leadership and striving to have a positive impact on the lives of your employees and wider society is what lifts success into excellence.”

What will you be looking for in this year's finalists?
“A dynamic individual who has successfully implemented their innovative vision into reality. I will be looking for the ability to demonstrate leadership with an aptitude for focusing on the core purpose of their business, and leading others to see the purpose of their role and the impact that it has.”

Twitter: @Theresa_ENABLE


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Dame Sue Bruce

Dame Sue Bruce, DBE

Portfolio Non Executive Director, SSE PLC

Sue held a variety of roles in local government in a career which spanned 40 years. She was Chief Executive at both East Dunbartonshire Council and Aberdeen City Council before taking up the role of Chief Executive at the City of Edinburgh Council.

What makes a successful entrepreneur?
“I believe a successful entrepreneur is someone who can develop new ideas and turn them into reality, a successful and sustainable business proposition. This takes strong business acumen, ability to plan and focus on their goal, manage finances and exercise their risk appetite. They must be willing to look into the unknown, and have the capacity to deal with what they are faced with. A successful entrepreneur will be unafraid of hard work and commitment. They will be a strong communicator and creative thinker. Notwithstanding these proactive qualities, the ability to listen and receive constructive comment or criticism will be a balancing quality.”

What will you be looking for in this year's finalists?
“I will be looking for energy, resilience, innovation and agile thinking - someone who is passionate and motivated to succeed and who can inspire others. I would expect to see knowledge of the relevant market and wider context. I will be looking for confidence and risk taking, but also humility and integrity.”

Twitter: @SSE


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