After another truly challenging year for entrepreneurs, we are delighted to reveal the finalists for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in 2021 with our partners Starling Bank.

Nearly 900 entrepreneurs from more than 650 businesses have been shortlisted across the eight regions after a record-breaking year in which we received nearly 5,000 entries.

Now in our ninth year, we’ve celebrated some incredible entrepreneurs over the years, including the likes of Julie Deane OBE of Cambridge Satchel Co, Alan and Juliet Barratt of Grenade, Shaun Pulfrey of Tangle Teezer, and Steven Barlett, who was recently named as the youngest ever Dragon to appear on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den.

The founder(s) of one of these 650 shortlisted businesses will be named this year’s Great British Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Regional Finals take place during September, with the winners going on to the National Final in November. Is it our full intention to hold the Regional Finals as live in-person events. With ongoing uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 restrictions, we will be closely monitoring updates from the Westminster, Scottish and Welsh governments in the coming weeks and will make further announcements as soon as possible.

Our founder, Francesca James, said the quality of this year’s entrants exemplified the strength of entrepreneurship across the UK: “We have seen some incredible finalists over the years, and this year is no exception. It really is one of the strongest shortlists we’ve ever had, and the fact that so many exceptional people have applied during such a tough year is a testament to the resolve and entrepreneurial talent that exists across the UK.

“As well as the recognition, our finalists and eventual winners will join our fantastic alumni community that supports each other all year round. From networking and thought leadership, right the way through to mentoring and guidance – being a part of our ecosystem of entrepreneurs can be incredibly rewarding. 

“Creating the shortlist out of so many wonderful applications was incredibly tough, so I don’t envy the judges who will now decide the regional winners. Everyone who has been shortlisted should be incredibly proud and we’re thrilled to be able to showcase their achievements.”

Anne Boden MBE, founder of Starling Bank, headline partner for the Awards, said: “The events of the past year have touched everyone, be it through the health of friends and family, the isolation of restrictions or the wider impact on our livelihoods. However, businesses are made of people, and it’s the incredible fortitude, determination and innovation of people like those shortlisted, that has helped our regions survive, and in some cases thrive.

“At Starling, we’re proud to be working with the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and help champion the individuals who will lead the charge and shape our future economy as the nation looks to build back better and stronger.” 

You can view the each regional shortlist here:

View regional shortlists