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Midlands finalists announced for Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2021

Founders, innovators and entrepreneurs from across the Midlands have been recognised as the best in the business as the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2021 finalists are announced.

Despite a year of disruption, 118 Midlands-based business leaders have been shortlisted out of an incredible 4,800 entrants nationally – the most the awards has ever had.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards, in partnership with Starling Bank, acknowledges and champions the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and businesses across the UK.

Over the last decade, it has celebrated some household names including Julie Deane OBE of Cambridge Satchel Co, Alan and Juliet Barratt of Grenade and Shaun Pulfrey of Tangle Teezer. Its most recent headline-grabbing success story is its previous winner Steven Bartlett, who in May was announced as the youngest ever Dragon on BBC’s Dragons Den.

The Regional Finals take place later this year, as the organisers monitor government restrictions on events in each area.

Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said the quality of this year’s entrants exemplified the strength of entrepreneurship in the region: “The Midlands has produced some incredible finalists over the years, and this year is no exception. It really is one of the UK’s most promising regions, and the fact that so many exceptional people have applied during such a tough year, is a testament to the resolve and talent that exists across area.

“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 of the Awards, said: “In the unique circumstances we’ve seen over the past year, many entrepreneurs from every corner of the country have found ways to grow and to prosper. This year’s finalists are the ones who have shown the agility and imagination to adapt and we wish every one of them the best of luck.” 

To attend or watch the finals or learn more about the awards, you can go to 

The Midlands 2021 Finalists are:

Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year 

  • Janet Gray – Feed My Creative CIC
  • Ola Goldsmiths – Naked Weave
  • Becci & Markus Pamely-Bast – River Knits 
  • Jessica Messenger – Scent Coven
  • Helen Routledge – Totem Learning
  • Nikki Capewell – Tresstle

Disruptor of the Year

  • Sophie Hainsworth & Jason Nesbitt – LoyalFree
  • Oyinkansola Adebayo – Niyo Enterprise
  • Russell Watkins – Sempai
  • Ross Carlin – The Good Food Group
  • Mark Smith – TruInvest
  • Amy Simmons – WeComplete

Entrepreneur for Good Award

  • Gavin Mullaley & Dean Starr – Cornerstone Partnerships
  • Lee Clark – Give Penny
  • Pamela Aculey – Just Like Me Books
  • Jo-Anne Shellum – Noah’s Star
  • CJ Webley – The Black Pounds Project CIC
  • Damien Reynolds – Wolfpack Project

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award in partnership with Glen Scotia

  • Omran Habbai – Birmingham Enterprise Academy
  • Bradley Gough – Groubook Limited
  • James Graham – ODOS Properties LTD & Montrose Conveyancing LTD
  • Dionne Barrett & Chantel Hall-Reid – Sister2Sister CIC
  • Bhavesh Patel – Storyteller
  • Lorri Delahunty – VEGAN Happy Clothing

Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Victoria Sylvester – Acacia Training 
  • Suzy & Paul Sanders – Alchemy Virtual Assistance
  • Rachel Barsby-Robinson, Kerry Goodacre & Stacey Dean – Bilingual Day Nursery & Pre-School
  • Elisabeth Clare & Charles Clare – Cell Regeneration Family
  • Ben & Michael Dyer – The Inspirational Learning Group
  • Paul Curtis – The Zeus Group

Fashion & Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Sherine Walrond – IVY WILD
  • Oyinkansola Adebayo – Niyo Hair and Beauty
  • Yen Wei Goo – Paguro Upcycle
  • Sian Harris – SD PMU
  • Caitlin Samuel-Camps – Shimmer Cosmetics
  • Fazane Fox – The Production Lab

Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Gareth Booth & Tom Walker – Holy Moly Dips
  • Nitisha Patel – Nitisha Patel Foods Consultancy
  • Jacob Watts, Max Poynton & Matthew Bond – Project D
  • Rayeesa Asghar-Sandys – Rayeesh’a Indian Kitchen
  • Greta McDonald – Sweet Lounge
  • Luke Pearson – Wnder Chocolate

Health & Wellbeing Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Maxine Laceby- Absolute Collagen
  • Rebecca Mander – GuruYou
  • Hugo Hodgson & George Blurton – Long Shot Drinks
  • Julian Hall & Bregje Fisk – My Internal World
  • Cathryn Zielinski – Simply Seedz
  • Stephanie Henson – techtimeout

Made in the UK Award in partnership with Make It British

  • Faye Atkinson-Rowse – Bespoke Digs
  • Ismay Mummery – Boy Wonder Ltd
  • Rose Ovensehi – Flora + Curl
  • Paul Jones – Goodstart
  • Sian Reekie – Hettie
  • Samantha Brooke – Waring Brooke

Pivot Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Hana Glover – Beads & Co
  • Stephen Goddard & Philip Brooks-Stephenson – Kuku Connect
  • Ewan Jones & George Dyer – Protective Sportswear Ltd
  • Jo Ferreday – Sheer Edge
  • Hannah Mather – The Vanity Rooms and Cocktail Bar in a Jar
  • Oliver Rowe – VenuIQ

Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year in partnership with Salesforce

  • James Byrne – AccountancyManager
  • Lee Wilcox – Electric House
  • Rob Stone – Instaloft
  • Daniel Walton – OLPRO
  • Jacob Watts, Max Poynton & Matthew Bond – Project D
  • Stephen Timmis & Aludia Binos – Sempar Accountancy and Tax

Services Industries Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Ed Hollands – DrivenMedia
  • Karen Green – Food Mentor
  • Jonathan Hemus – Insignia Crisis Management
  • Kamran Saleem – MotorservUK
  • Rebecca Dean – Unico3
  • Maria Peggs – Visper

Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Shailendra Singh – Cellomatics Bioscience
  • Luke Tobin – Digital Ethos
  • Scott Parsons – Forysth Barnes
  • Depaq Singh – ProDesign
  • Chris Tipping – The DM Lab
  • Syd Femtino – UK Virtual

Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Rachel Hayward, Dean Jackson, Lee Marples, Grant Thompson & Gaz Jones – Derby Swap Shop
  • Steve Doyle – EVera Recruitment
  • Jolene Pole – Facelet
  • Clare Ransom – Lazy Flora
  • Matthew O’Crowley & Mark Collins – Tanki
  • Byron Walker – Top Wrapz

Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year in partnership with Funding Options

  • David Hanney & Nick Smith – Alpkit
  • Dawn Foxall – Foxology
  • Madeleine Willis – GoodToBee
  • Mike Beck – TUS Ltd
  • Matthew Porter – VASO
  • Eliana Vanekova – ZeroSmart

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Ben Amanna – Boxraw
  • Zak Lloyd – DelivrMe
  • Aimee Deegan – Duality Studio
  • Megan Gamble – Hashtag Me
  • Ravi Ranjan – Voilo
  • Shaun Sookoo – Winny’s Kitchen

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