The Great British Entrepreneur Awards today (Monday) announces their three-year partnership with NatWest and Entrepreneurial Spark.
With increased support from NatWest, the organisers have been able to extend the coverage of the Entrepreneur Awards across the UK and ceremonies will now be held in five cities - Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and London - compared with two in previous years.
Now in its fifth year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards has celebrated some outstanding entrepreneurs who have gone on to become household names. Previous winners include David Buttress - former CEO of Just Eat, Julie Deane - Founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company, James Watt - Founder of Brewdog and Alexander Solomou - Founder and CEO of TheLADBible Group.
Creator of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca Russell, believes that it is vital that British entrepreneurs are championed. She explained: "Entrepreneurs inject competition into markets, create jobs and spur innovation. In many cases their businesses change the ways in which we live and work. These awards are different because they celebrate the story behind these people - true entrepreneurs are as much about their story as they are about their balance sheet.”
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship for NatWest, said: "Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the UK Economy. There are more businesses in the UK than ever before and it is clear that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. NatWest is thrilled to be supporting these Awards again this year and allowing other UK cities to celebrate their entrepreneurs.”
Entrepreneurial Spark, powered by NatWest, is the world's largest free business accelerator for start-up and scale-up businesses. It now has 12 UK hubs, covering all four nations of the UK, with a London hub opening its doors in August 2017. These hubs have supported businesses that have collectively turned over £176m and secured £151m in investment. The entrepreneurs behind these businesses have, to date, created 3,152 jobs across the UK.
Now a proven model for accelerating business from start-up to scale-up, Gordon Merrylees sees the bank as having a "duty to help grow this economy and support and develop that vibrant entrepreneurial community."
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards opens for applications now and will celebrate entrepreneurship across 14 categories including Innovation, High Street, Start-Up and Creative Industries. You can enter here.