EY has announced its 2019 Entrepreneur Of The Year North finalists, with 10 businesses from Yorkshire and the North East making the shortlist.
The shortlist highlights the vibrant diversity of the North’s entrepreneurial landscape, with companies from sectors such as retail, technology, healthcare, energy and financial services represented.
The Yorkshire and North East finalists are:
-Fokhrul Islam of Northern Gas and Power, a business-to-business energy consultancy based in Gateshead
-Neil May of iPortalis, a cloud service provider based in Harrogate
-Dr Sam Chapman of The Floow, a telematics provider based in Sheffield
-Ravi and Sunny Sharma of PetBrands, a manufacturer and distributor of innovative pet treats and accessories based in Birstall
-John Dobson of SmartSearch, an anti-money laundering client verification business based in Ilkley
-Lee Hartley of Fairstone, a financial advisory and wealth management house based in Newcastle
-Stuart Paver of Pavers, a show retailer which employs more than 1,700 people in the UK alone and is based in York
-Sean Ramsden of Ramsden International, an exporter of British-branded food and drink based in Grimsby
-David Brennan of Nexus Vehicle Rental, a technology driven business which specialises in supplying temporary vehicles based in Leeds
-Brenda McLeish of Learning Curve Group, one of the UK’s largest training providers based in Durham.
Victoria Price, partner and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year leader in the North, said: “I could not be more proud to lead this programme for EY in the North – it supports the incredible entrepreneurial community we have here and helps to put the spotlight on some truly unique businesses and inspiring entrepreneurial leaders.
“This year’s programme recognises and connects another 24 Northern businesses, from across Yorkshire, the North East and the North West, all of which create jobs and contribute to the continued growth of the North’s economy.”
The 24 finalists in the 2019 North programme will convene at an awards ceremony in Manchester in June, where an independent panel of judges will select winners across a number of different categories. Similar events will also be held in Scotland, the Midlands and South West, and London.
Regional winners will then progress to the UK final held in London in November, to vie for the coveted title ‘EY UK Entrepreneur Of The Year’. The UK country winner will then represent the UK at the ‘EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Forum’ in summer 2020, which gathers the world’s most inspiring entrepreneurs from more than 60 countries.
Last year’s North winner, Blackburn-based forecourt retail operator EG Group, went on to become overall winner at the national Entrepreneur Of The Year awards and will be representing the UK at the global awards, being held this June.
Some of Britain’s best-known business figures are former EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, including: Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who founded the low cost airline easyJet; Dragon’s Den investor Peter Jones, who started-up Phones International Group; and Richard Reed, one of the founding partners of Innocent Drinks.
Previous winners in the North include Jennifer Atkinson of ITC Luxury Group, Fred Done of Betfred, James Lambert of R&R Icecream and Matthew Riley of Daisy Group plc.