Finalists of UK Entrepreneur of the Year award announced
- Most prestigious business awards celebrates top UK entrepreneurs across sectors for driving growth and employment
- New special award in recognition for most successful regional enterprise in driving growth, in association with StartUp Britain
London, 20 September 2011: Top UK business leaders who have shown drive and innovation in starting and growing companies in challenging economic conditions, have today been named as finalists in EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year.
More than 40 of the UK’s most entrepreneurial businessmen and women are competing to win the prestigious title of the UK’s Entrepreneur Of The Year, at awards to be held in London’s Hilton Park Lane on 3 October, 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. Those in the running at the awards include those who have recently turned their companies into global performers, in the face of the current economic outlook, such as Gareth Williams, co-founder and Chief Executive of flight comparison website, Skyscanner Limited which is available in 23 languages and has a market leading position in Russia and Italy. In Scotland, Colin Robertson, Chief Executive of Alexander Dennis has turned Britain’s leading bus and coach manufacturer into the fastest growing business of its type in Western Europe; Thea Green, founder and managing director of Nails Inc, which is expanding into overseas markets including the US and South Africa; and David Suddens Chief Executive of Dr martens manufactuer, R Griggs Group, last year saw sales grow by 33% largely due to a move to own retailing and expansion in Asia. The awards will also name the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.
The successful UK winner will then compete with other 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.
Martin Cook, EY managing partner for UK Entrepreneur Of The Year, said:
“During these tough economic times, the importance of our entrepreneurs cannot be overstated. These entrepreneurs are undoubtedly the UK’s economic success story, continuing to deliver innovation, growth and jobs, and promoting British brands overseas.These businessmen and women also provide cause for optimism: they see opportunity when others only see risk, and they succeed even in the toughest of conditions.”
StartUp Britain Enterprise Support Award, sponsored by EY
New to this year is a special award recognising the locally-based support projects targeting regional growth and enterprise, but which have the capacity for scaling nationally. This StartUp Britain award, of which EY was a founding supporter, was open to start-ups or individuals that may have had a positive social and economic impact in their region, are sustainable, and have been running for less than three years.
The five finalists are Bedford-based Building Enterprising Communities, promoting enterprise in disadvantaged communities. The project has promoted self-employment, helped 275 people get a job and helped set up 15 businesses, focusing on disadvantaged groups including lone parents, older and younger workers, ethnic minorities; individuals with offender history and those who faced language or cultural barriers.
Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN) trains and supports graduates, collaborating with Aston University, University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University in a £1.75million project. This has provided entrepreneurial support to 446 graduates, supported 90 emerging businesses, creating 30 new graduate businesses in the Birmingham area.
Founded by Carl Hopkins, who appeared on Channel Four Secret Millionaire, Rotherham-based Are You Ready creates a culture of enterprise in education, working with children aged four until 19, including training teachers to deliver enterprise through the curriculum. It has seen 232 young people start a business in Rotherham with an 81 per cent survival rate for businesses.
Regenerate Pennine Lancashire focuses on ‘Enterprise Havens’ providing non-threatening premises for small businesses, and supported by Burnley Football club and Blackburn Rovers to further encourage most excluded residents. Despite focusing on areas of very low levels of natural enterprise, it has started more than 1500 new businesses and secured over 4000 local jobs.
Leicester Business Women has been designed to support female entrepreneurs seeking to set up their own businesses and is focused on the disadvantaged areas of the city. It also supports ‘softer skills’ such as confidence-building and motivation, as well as practical elements of entrepreneurship. It has helped 280 women develop ideas for business start ups.
Martin Cook continues: “Regional growth is hugely important and therefore we are proud to support the work of StartUp Britain, which supports, inspires and accelerates enterprise in the UK. Innovative programmes such as these are so powerful because they help ensure that the disadvantaged or dispossessed, and many natural entrepreneurs who have never even thought of turning their energy to business, are given real and practical training, support and focus to become the driving force of tomorrow.”
Interviews and photos of the finalists are available – for further information contact Jonathan Marciano on 0207 951 9456.
The finalists for UK Entrepreneur are:
|Adconion Media Group Ltd||Tyler Moebius||Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer|
|AFG Media Ltd||Gregor Lawson|
|Airline Services Holdings Limited||Bryan Bodek||Chief Executive|
|Alexander Dennis Limited||Colin Robertson||Chief Executive Officer|
|Antal International Limited||Tony Goodwin||Chief Executive Officer and Founder|
|AppSense Ltd||Charles Sharland||Executive Chairman|
|Argent Energy (UK) Limited||Jim Walker||Managing Director|
|Balhousie Care Group||Tony Banks||Chairman|
|Barrhead Travel Service Limited||Sharon Munro||Chief Executive|
|BioRegional Development Group||Sue Riddlestone||Executive Director and Co-Founder|
|Catlin Group Limited||Stephen Catlin||Chief Executive|
|CDS (Superstores International) Limited||Christopher Dawson||Managing Director|
|Climate Cars Limited||Nicko Williamson||Managing Director|
|Copal Partners Limited||Rishi Khosla||Chief Executive Officer|
|ECO Plastics Ltd||Jonathan Short||Chief Executive Officer|
|Ella's Kitchen Group Limited||Paul Lindley||Founder and Chief Executive Officer|
|Endava Limited||John Cotterell||Chief Executive Officer|
|Entertainment Magpie Limited||Steve Oliver|
|Chief Executive Officer|
Chief Operating Officer
|Entiér Limited||Peter Bruce||Managing Director|
|EvoEnergy Ltd||Kevin Hard||Chief Executive Officer|
|Fircroft Engineering Services Ltd||Johnathan Johnson||Chief Executive Officer|
|Globus (Shetland) Ltd||Haraldur Agustsson||Managing Director|
|Greenergy International Ltd||Andrew Owens||Chief Executive|
|Hill Holt Wood||Karen Lowthrop||Chief Executive Officer|
|Hydrasun Holdings Limited||Bob Drummond||Chief Executive Officer|
|Impact Arts Projects Limited||Susan Aktemel||Director|
|Keltbray Group (Holdings) Limited||Brendan Kerr||Chief Executive Officer|
|Lexon (UK) Ltd||Anup Sodha|
|Livity Limited||Michelle Clothier|
|Markco Media Limited||Mark Pearson||Chairman|
|Mary’s Meals||Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow||Chief Executive|
|Nails Inc. Limited||Thea Green||Founder and Managing Director|
|Node4||Andrew Gilbert||Managing Director|
|powerPerfector plc Group||Angus Robertson||Chief Executive Officer|
|R Griggs Group Ltd||David Suddens||Chief Executive|
|Rixonway Kitchens Ltd||Paul Rose||Chief Executive|
|Skyscanner Limited||Gareth Williams||Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder|
|Tekmar Energy Limited||James Ritchie||General Manager|
|The Mountain Group Limited||Mark Neale||Managing Director|
|thebigword Holdings Ltd||Larry Gould||Chief Executive Officer|
|Tullis Russell Group Limited||Chris Parr||Group Chief Executive|
|Wonga.com||Errol Damelin||Founder and Chief Executive Officer|
The judging is based on the criteria of entrepreneurial spirit, global impact, strategic direction, personal integrity and influence, innovation, financial performance, individual and corporate social responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit, strategic direction, and personal integrity and influence.
The Chairman of the judges is Richard Harpin, Chief Executive of Homeserve. The judging panel includes Sherry Coutu, Non Executive Director, Angel Investor, who serves on the advisory board of Linkedin, Seedcamp and Zoopla; Mark Fairbairn, Non Executive Director, Office of Rail Regulation, Andy Homer, Group Chief Executive of Towergate Partnership Co; Neil Hutchinson, Founder and Managing Director, Forward Internet Group; Steve Mogford, Chief Executive, United Utilities Group; Norman Murray, Non Executive Chairman, Petrofac Limited; Vanda Murray, Non Executive Director, Carillion plc, SIG plc, Manchester Airport Group; Alison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise London; Anthony Preston, Founder, Pets At Home; Phil Smith,CEO Cisco UK & Ireland; and David Whileman, UK Head of Growth Capital 3i plc.