EY has revealed its EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK finalists, with seven of the region’s business leaders appearing on the shortlist of 30 entrepreneurs nationally.
Amongst the Midlands finalists vying for the UK accolade is an entrepreneur and director of an award-winning technology company, the CEO and Founder of an ath-leisure brand, which is now the second fastest growing company in the UK and the Managing Director of a drug discovery contract research organization.
The Midlands’ finalists comprise of Byron Dixon, Director of Leicester-based Micro-Fresh, an award-winning technology company, which makes anti-bacterial products. Lucy Woods, CEO of Birmingham headquartered Accident Exchange Limited, a credit hire and credit repair company, Sam Cinkir, Managing Director of Birmingham-based Este Medical Group, a leading skin and hair specialist and Ben Francis, Founder and Steve Hewitt CEO, of Gymshark Ltd, a global fitness apparel brand, one of the fastest-growing UK companies, and having recently secured unicorn status, which operates out of GSHQ at Blythe Valley Park.
There are also two finalists from Nottingham, Steve Hill, Managing Director of Light Source Design Ltd, one of the UK’s leading telecommunications network delivery partners and Simon Hirst of Sygnature Discovery, a drug discovery contract research organisation, that undertakes research for pharma and biotech companies around the world.
Overall, this year’s finalists highlight the vibrant diversity of the UK entrepreneurial landscape, with companies from sectors including technology, consumer, leisure and healthcare, represented across the country.
Marked against six criteria by independent regional judging panels, the shortlist celebrates business leaders who showcase real entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering ambition in solving tomorrow’s challenges.
Simon O’Neill, Office Managing Partner at EY in the Midlands, said: “It’s a challenging time to be an entrepreneur. Whilst COVID-19 has made it incredibly difficult for business owners to undertake business as usual activities, it has offered an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs to show their agility and spirit of innovation, exploring new markets and expanding their businesses in ways that they may not have imagined 12 months ago.
“It’s incredibly satisfying to see the breadth of sectors represented in this year’s competition, which reflects the drive and determination of our Midlands entrepreneurs and their focus on achieving their local, national and global growth ambitions. I wish them all the very best of luck at the UK finals.”
The Midlands finalists were judged by a panel of fellow entrepreneurs from the region, which included several previous Entrepreneur Of The Year winners. They were Dawn Berris, CEO of Eden Futures, Debbie Bestwick, CEO of Team17, Gary Fletcher, a Non-Executive Director, Chairman and Investor in Aquavista, Mark Advani, Partner at Livingbridge, Nicholas Georgevic, Chairman and CEO of Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care and serial entrepreneur Sharonjit Clare.
The UK finalists will progress to the UK judging and final, vying for the title ‘EY UK Entrepreneur Of The Year’. The overall winner will then represent the UK at the ‘EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year’ in summer 2021.