Three businesspeople from across the region are celebrating winning at the 2020 Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
Winners from across the region include a Cheltenham businessman who pivoted from making videos to making it easier for people to buy personal protective equipment such as face masks; the founder and medical director of an aesthetic beauty treatment clinic in Hampton-in-Arden near Solihull and a Herefordshire start-up helping local producers by launching a delivery service through a single online local shopping platform.
Now in its eighth year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in partnership with Starling Bank celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs in the UK, rather than the business’ balance sheet.
The founder of EasyBreathing, Oliver Bruce was named Pivot Entrepreneur of the Year for the south west at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
The Pivot Entrepreneur of the Year category was added in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown measures. It celebrates those who have adapted their business to ensure they survive, and even thrive after, the crisis.
Also founder of PinPoint Media, Oliver created EasyBreathing, which supplies businesses and consumers with large and small quantities of PPE, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Midlands Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year was won by Hamish Light of Local e Sourced.
Local e Sourced was due to be launched later in the year. However, due to the extreme measures put in place the founders brought the date forward, to offer a lifeline to businesses in Herefordshire. The business offers a delivery service through a single online local shopping platform, allowing the customer to more easily buy Herefordshire products. It also aims to bring the supplier-based business community together and enhance product sales.
Midlands Health & Wellbeing Entrepreneur of the Year went to Lorraine Hill of Hampton Clinic, a centre of excellence in aesthetics based in Hampton-in-Arden near Solihull. Dr Hill, a respected GP, has more than two decades of experience as a medical doctor. Her areas of expertise cover advanced use of dermal fillers, ultrasound therapy and advanced anti-wrinkle techniques.
With Covid-19 restrictions preventing the regional finals taking place at a live event, The award were held in a virtual award ceremony joined by finalists across every region.
In a video message to finalists, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Entrepreneurs have shown they stay strong, even during a global pandemic. Coronavirus hasn’t stifled enterprise.
“Entrepreneurs are creating new businesses and adapting to the crisis, as seen in this year’s entries. And that’s what we need to happen if we want our economy to bounce back. We need all of you to keep inventing, keep taking risks, keep creating new businesses.
“It’s my job as Chancellor to celebrate, champion and support you.
“Congratulations to all the winners. Thank you to all of you for everything you’ve done.”
Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “The winners all have a wonderful entrepreneurial story.
Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, said: “We’re entrepreneurs and we have spirit. We fight back and we’re very good at dealing with adversity. Our winners are an example to us all, of entrepreneurs that are creative, innovative, and changing the world.
“I’m so excited that Starling, a business I founded in 2014 and now the Best British Bank, is sponsoring such an important Awards. And as one entrepreneur to another, congratulations to getting where you are this evening and best of luck for the future.”
The winners of each category will now go to the National Final of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, with a date to be announced due to restrictions on large events.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak: “Entrepreneurs have shown they stay strong, even during a global pandemic. Coronavirus hasn’t stifled enterprise."