The 2018 Great British Entrepreneur Awards programme kicked off in style yesterday (Tuesday) as judges, sponsors and partners came together to celebrate some of its most esteemed alumni.

Hosted by Coutts, the evening showcased the products and services of winning entrepreneurs from previous years including; Smith & Sinclair, Mums Bake Cakes, On the Tools, Nom Noms World Food, AMPLYFI, Wonky Drinks, Victoria Green and M Squared.

In highlighting these entrepreneurs and their businesses, judges and partners saw first-hand how the Awards have helped to bring people together and make valuable purposeful connections.

Lee Wilcox, founder of On The Tools and winner of the Creative and overall awards at the Birmingham ceremony in 2017, explained how he secured investment after sharing a video of his success on the night. That investment, he said, will enable substantial growth for the business in 2018.

And Paula Wilkinson, founder of Mums Bake Cakes, who won the Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2016, told attendees of how she met one of the judges, Ian Merricks of The Accelerator Academy, at the event. It led to a place on their mentoring programme, which Paula explained “has proved invaluable in taking the business forward with confidence”.

Francesca James, co-founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved as a programme in general, but without a doubt, last year was the year that we really started to become what we’ve always wanted to be; an incredibly powerful eco-system of entrepreneurs and mentors who are passionate about supporting the entrepreneurship agenda.”

Now in its sixth year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain. The Awards have celebrated some outstanding entrepreneurs who have gone on to become household names.

If you think you have what it takes to be the 2018 Great British Entrepreneur of the Year, you can enter here.

Or, if you know someone who should apply, you can nominate them here.