Entrepreneurs' Forum Is Ready To Celebrate The Region's Business Success Stories

Issue 38

The achievements of the region's most inspirational entrepreneurs and business figures will be celebrated by the Entrepreneurs' Forum next month at the 2018 North East Entrepreneurial Awards.

Designed to showcase the outstanding success stories involving some of the region’s most talented and innovative businesspeople, with the announcement of the award shortlist anticipation is already building towards September’s glittering black-tie ceremony at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel.

The North East is home to many thriving businesses, which is why it is important that we recognise the achievements of those entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and delivering economic prosperity across the region.

The Entrepreneurial Awards are always inundated with a high calibre of entries and this year has been no exception. It is shaping up to be another successful evening and the ideal platform to celebrate this fantastic region and the impact our respected and promising entrepreneurs are having on it.

The 15th annual awards, which are held in partnership with the North East LEP, are made up of five categories, which are supported by Malhotra Group, Ward Hadaway and NBS.

Those vying for the honour of being named Entrepreneur of the Year are Stewart Grierson (UpNorth Engineering Services), Lee Hartley (Fairstone Group) and Lianne Walker (Walker Filtration).

Last year the accolade went to Newcastle-based financial services entrepreneur David Harrison, managing partner of True Potential, who admitted being “humbled” by the honour.

The nominees for Emerging Talent, recognising those who have built up a business of outstanding potential, include Jordan McCabe (Aztec Diamond Equestrian), Mike O’Brien (Opencast Software) and Eve and Simon Whitaker (Master Debonair).

Those in contention for the Scale-up Award, recognising individuals whose company has returned more than 20% profit in annualised growth, are Julie Blackie (Pink Boutique), Kevin Brown (Pacifica Group), Steven Rawlingson (Samuel Knight International) and John Savage (Flame Heating Group).

The Mentor of the Year and Lifetime Achievement categories remain a secret until the night itself, when the Entrepreneurs’ Forum Board makes its final decision.

Last year’s Lifetime Achievement was presented to respected businessman Freddy Hoult, who built up Hoults Removals into one of the country’s leading removals firms. Chosen for his positive contribution to both community and the region’s economy, he joined such previous high-profile recipients as Sir Peter Vardy, Sir John Hall, John Fenwick and Anne Preston.

As well as providing an inspirational and entertaining evening, The North East Entrepreneurial Awards also benefits worthy causes across the region. This year the Entrepreneurs’ Forum is supporting mental health charity, MIND.

Over the last five years, the event has raised more than £25,000 and it is expected that this year donations will see this total pass the £30,000 mark. The money generated has supported both regional and international projects, ranging from helping 3,200 children through Children North East to funding solar lamps for communities in Southern Tanzania with COCO.

The Entrepreneurs’ Forum is committed to helping excellent local causes and the annual awards have proven to be a very popular way for Forum members to give their support to the chosen charities.

The 2018 awards ceremony, on Friday, 28th September, will be hosted by British explorer and environmentalist Benedict Allen, who is famous for immersing himself in the cultures of indigenous peoples whilst on expedition.

No stranger to self-reliance and determination, he is the only known person to have crossed the Amazon Basin at its widest point as well as successfully completing a 1,000 mile solo navigation of the Gobi Desert.

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