By Claire West

Last night the Great British Entrepreneur Awards held their nominees’ VIP Evening, a celebration of the first stage of judging, at Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters in London.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards aims to celebrate the entrepreneurs driving the economy, particularly the stories behind their success, not the balance sheets.

Simon Burton, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: "The entries for this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards have quite literally taken our collective breaths away.

"They are inspiring, exhilarating, heart-warming and humbling. British Entrepreneurship is alive, well and kicking the established order."

As Scotland headed to the polls to vote on independence, Nick James, co-founder of the awards said that ‘tonight stood in the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland and thinking about the Great British Entrepreneur Awards it dawned on me that if the vote went the ‘yes’ way tonight in Scotland we all might have to consider our positions…" .

"Interestingly - we have over 200 people in the room tonight and in many cases that is considered a decent enough number to make a survey statistically valid," asking for a show of hands, Nick asked whether isolation would be a blow to Scottish entrepreneurs and 80% of the room believed that it would be.

It's a viewpoint supported by John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, the employers’ federation who, once the votes had been counted and a 'No' result confirmed said that “this result will be greeted by a collective sigh of relief across the business community".

The awards have received so many entries this year of a fantastic quality that the organisers have had to introduce an extra stage of judging, adding that they believe that "all entrepreneurs deserve recognition for their achievements, which is why we have this initial event to celebrate Entrepreneurship in Britain as a whole".

The task for the judges this year will be incredibly hard. Entrepreneurship is alive, thriving and blossoming in the UK.

This year's Great Entrepreneur Awards takes place on 19 November at Old Billingsgate, London, during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

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