The founders of the ‘world’s most Instagrammable make-up brushes’ have been crowned 2017 ‘Great British Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards National Winners’ Evening, which took place at Coutts headquarters in London tonight (25th January).
Welsh sisters Hannah & Sophie Pycroft, of Spectrum Collections, also picked up the ‘Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year’ award, replicating their regional success for Wales and the South West.
They join the likes Julie Deane OBE, founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company, James Watt, founder of BrewDog, and Shaun Pulfrey, founder of Tangle Teezer, who have previously been named Great British Entrepreneur of the Year.
The National Winners’ Evening brought to an end the 2017 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, crowning national winners across 12 categories following regional finals in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and London in November.
Picking up the award, Hannah and Sophie said: “This NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards has been one surprise after another. It’s been amazing. Every finalist should be so proud of themselves. It’s been incredible. We’re just so thankful that we get to do this together. We’re so proud to be representing Wales, and now to win the overall ‘Great British Entrepreneur of the Year’ award is a complete shock and a high-five to ourselves.”
Asked what advice they would give to other entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, the sisters said: “We still learn every single day. Every day is a new challenge. But what success boils down to is how hard you work. We don’t think that anyone is limited by anything. Success is only limited by how hard an individual is willing to work and wants to achieve their goals.”
Having started in a dimly-lit garage in Barry in South Wales almost four years ago, Hananh & Sophie achieved tremendous success in 2017. Their brushes are now stocked in 252 Boots stores across the UK, they launched a collaboration with Paramount Pictures, and teamed up with Britain’s Next Top Model.
Founder of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said: “Hannah and Sophie’s story exhibits everything that encompasses entrepreneurial spirit – hard work, dedication, creativity, ambition and a few knock backs along the way.
“They have entered a heavily populated market and disrupted it with their unique style, and brand of flair and passion to great effect.”
Gordon Merrylees, head of entrepreneurship at NatWest, said: “We are incredibly proud to support these important awards. It has been so inspiring to see the number and calibre of entries this year, which proves that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well across the whole of the UK.
“I want to extend my huge congratulations to all the winners of this year’s categories and hope that their businesses continue to grow and thrive in the future. We look forward to continuing our support with entrepreneurs to help make their growth and scale possible”
The NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards recognises the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs, rather than just their financial success.
Full list of winners
#GoDo Entrepreneur of the Year
Tisski is an expert CRM & ERP provider which cares about delivery and customer service. Tisski is one of the UK’s leading Microsoft Partners and cloud solutions providers.
Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year
S3 Advertising is an award-winning Welsh agency with a bold, worldwide vision. Working alongside the likes of the NHS, UEFA and Castle Bingo; their mission is to disrupt your potential audience, and get them to pay attention to you.
Entrepreneur for Good
Penny Appeal was set up to provide poverty relief across Asia, the Middle East and Africa by offering water solutions, organising mass feedings, supporting orphan care and providing emergency food and medical aid.
Entrepreneurs’ Champion of the Year
Jodie Cook & Ben Cook
Clever Tykes is a series of storybooks for children aged 6-9, which introduce important life skills and characteristics through positive entrepreneurial role models.
Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year
Hannah & Sophie Pycroft
Spectrum Collections offers a bold range of cruelty-free makeup brushes, tools and accessories for professionals and all makeup loves alike.
High Street Entrepreneur of the Year
London Grace is a unique, award-winning nail bar offering coffee, nails and cocktails in London.
Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year
Dr Graeme Malcolm
M Squared is a leading developer of photonics and quantum technology. M Squared serves scientists, cutting-edge corporations and top universities.
Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year
ClearScore is one of the leading fintech businesses in the UK. ClearScore aims to change the way people manage their finances, starting with their credit score and report.
Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year
Appointedd is an award-winning supplier of online booking and scheduling solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, allowing them to take bookings seamlessly from any platform, on any device, in any timezone.
Start Up Entrepreneur of the Year
Melanie Goldsmith & Emile Bernard
Smith & Sinclair
Smith & Sinclair produce the only edible alcoholic cocktails in the world. Each one is made by hand in London using only high-quality spirits, and locally produced fresh fruit and spices.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Maciek Kacprzyk & Karina Sudenyte
Wonky Drinks makes juice from ‘wonky’ produce that otherwise would be discarded. They take unloved fruit and veg, and turn it into juices that taste just as good as anything else, whilst tackling food waste and reducing packaging waste.
Great British Entrepreneur of the Year
Hannah & Sophie Pycroft