Norris Koppel of Monese named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 London & South East

05 July 2019

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u  From start-up to Fintech leader in just six years

u  Six London-based entrepreneurs honoured at awards ceremony


London, Friday 5th July 2019: Norris Koppel, Founder of Monese, was named ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 London & South East overall winner’ at an awards ceremony at Tate Britain in the capital last night.

Headquartered in London, Monese is the UK’s first 100% mobile only banking service. The company offer current accounts and money transfers to resident and non-resident customers, with an account opening process that can be completed on a user’s smartphone in under three minutes.

Founder Norris Koppel moved to the UK from Estonia in 2014, when the absence of a UK credit history or utility bills to prove his address impacted his ability to open a bank account or even rent accommodation.

His experience led to the creation of Monese Bank in 2015, which is fully inclusive, allowing those new to the country, without a credit history, or a regular fixed income to open a UK/EU IBAN current account, free from the hidden fees and restrictions that legacy banks impose.

The business has grown from an initial 56,000 customers to just under one million. In 2016, Monese won the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 award for research and innovation.

Norris also took home the Rising Star award at the London & South East Entrepreneur Of The Year winners event. The independent judging panel was especially impressed by the future potential of Monese and its global impact, particularly providing African communities with life-changing access to bank accounts.

Chris Lowe, Partner and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader for London & South East, said: “Norris is a very worthy winner of the Entrepreneur Of The Year title as he is implementing pioneering ideas and a business model that drives change within a very traditional industry.

“Monese’s position as the UK’s first mobile only banking app, demonstrates his innovative spirit. While the app’s revolutionary customer on-boarding process that accepts virtually every customer that applies - even if they are new to the country, don’t have a credit history, or regular fixed income -  presents his unrelenting vision to deliver more inclusive financial services for those across the EU and beyond in a transparent and low-cost manner. The potential of the business is vast as it inevitably expands into new markets.”

Other winners

In total, seven entrepreneurs in the London & South East region, were presented with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards. They are as follows:

Disruptor - Martin Frost, CMR Surgical, based in Cambridge - a UK based company developing the next-generation surgical robot, Versius®.

Rising Star (& overall winner) - Norris Koppel, Monese, based in London - allows customers to bank like locals across the UK and Europe with a UK and European IBAN bank account. The app is available in 12 different languages.


Tugce Bulut, Streetbees, based in London - collects real time insights worldwide, using Artificial Intelligence and geolocation technology to make market research more effective.

Scale Up - Ali Shah, TravelUp Group, based in Reading - an online travel agent that offers value for money flight and hotel deals, utilising a bespoke deal finder technology.

Societal Impact - Dr Emer MacSweeney, Re:Cognition Health, based in London - a cognitive impairment and mental health provider with clinics in the UK and the US. They diagnose and treat: ADHD, Autism, Alzheimer's disease and mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Sustained Excellence - Gurman Hundal, MiQ, based in London - a marketing intelligence company, with a platform that combines real-world, digital data and applies marketing intelligence to provide customers insights.

Transformational Leader - Alastair Stewart, etc.venues, based in London - a provider of conference, meeting, training and events spaces across the UK. The company has 15 venues, hosted 900,000 delegates in 2018 and amassed sales of £60m.

All regional winners (Scotland, North, Midlands & South West, and London & South East) will now compete for the title of ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year overall winner’ at the UK Final, held in London in November, and the chance to represent the UK at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in summer 2020.


The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year London & South East independent judging panel was chaired by Matt Isaacs, Co-Founder and Chairman of Essence. He was joined by:

·       Jack Bowman, Founder, Oxbridge Investment Capital

·       Farida Gibbs, CEO, Gibbs Hybrid

·       Irina Hemmers, Partner, Inflexion Private Equity Partners LLP

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

·       Simon Stewart, Founder and CEO, The Growth Stage