By Claire West, Fresh Business Thinking
The winners of the first ever Great British Entrepreneur Awards — in association with Bizcrowd - were announced last month at the Grand Connaught Rooms. The Awards have been recognised as the new benchmark for entrepreneurial success in the UK. Tuesday(19th November) night’s event reflected their appeal with attendance from a who’s who in UK business, politics and entrepreneurship.
This year’s winners of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards include:
• Anthony Pile who won the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his company Blue Skies, a producer of fresh-cut fruit and juices. Blue Skies was set up fifteen years ago, after Anthony’s previous employer rejected his idea to sell products cut and packed in the country of origin. Blue Skies operate in many countries and are the largest private sector employer in Ghana. Blue Skies strive to support the social & economic development of the countries where the fruit is grown and pay 4.5 times the minimum wage.
• Sandra Sassow, Founder of SEaB Energy who won the Eco Entrepreneur of the Year Award for her micro power plants manufacturer. Sandra and her husband, Nick, set up SEaB Energy to meet an increasing demand for self-sustainable energy solutions. They convert organic waste to energy. The company were selected by a NASA backed sustainability initiative, ‘LAUNCH: Beyond Waste,’ as a provider of a global game-changing technology to address climate change.
• Julie Deane of The Cambridge Satchel Company who was voted The Great British Entrepreneur 2013 and also won both the Export Entrepreneur and Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Julie set up the company just five years ago to raise funds to remove her daughter from a situation where she was being bullied. Beginning as a two man band at the kitchen table, the Cambridge Satchel Company now produces around 900 bags a day and ships to over 100 countries.
Simon Burton, Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “This has been a wonderful first year for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. True entrepreneurs are as much about their story as they are about their balance sheet. The Great British Entrepreneur Awards celebrate the truly inspiring entrepreneurs who are the agents of positive change in our country. Huge congratulations to them all.”
Nine year old entrepreneur Henry Patterson, who was shortlisted for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year, narrowly missed out to Dominic Joseph and Adam Ludwin of Captify. Henry was given a special mention as “One to Watch” for his online sweet shop Not Before Tea.
Headline Sponsor Bizcrowd, powered by NatWest and RBS, awarded the Bizcrowd Special Merit Award to James Caan for Entrepreneurs Champion and Neil Barnfather for Serial Entrepreneur of the Year. Neil has successfully managed more than fifteen new start-ups, across multiple industry sectors, since his late teens and as a blind man is particularly passionate about inspiring others with disabilities to succeed.
Ewan MacLeod, Head of Bizcrowd, said: "We are delighted to be supporting the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2013. The awards celebrate some of the very best in business talent — showcasing the truly inspiring and diverse businesses we have to offer in the UK. As an online business community with over 26,000 members, I hope that we can continue to support businesses in making connections and achieving their business ambitions."
In addition to the headline sponsor Bizcrowd, a free to use business to business community website, the awards are sponsored by:
• Exact: A leading global supplier of financial and business software
• XLN: Suppliers of business phone lines, business broadband, mobile, card processing services, energy and insurance to UK SMEs
• AXA Business Insurance: Business Insurance specialists for micro, small and medium-sized businesses
• Dell: Global technology and service providers who help small and medium businesses draw greater value from IT to grow and better serve their customers
• Kaspersky Lab: The World’s largest privately held vendor of endpoint protection solutions.
For more information on the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and a full list of winners visit: www.greatbritishentrepreneurawards.com
Bizcrowd is a free to use online community for UK businesses that is designed to help businesses get results by connecting them directly to other businesses that need their products or services.