Talented entrepreneurs and business figures from across the North East are to be celebrated by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, as it unveils the shortlist for its 15th annual awards.
The 2018 North East Entrepreneurial Awards, held in partnership with the North East LEP, will recognise the region’s most aspirational, inspiring and successful entrepreneurs. The black-tie celebration will be held on Friday, 28th September at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel, and is to be hosted by Benedict Allen – one of the world’s leading explorers.
The awards, which comprise five categories, are being supported by Malhotra Group, Ward Hadaway and NBS.
Entrepreneur of the Year is being contested by Stewart Grierson (UpNorth Engineering Services), Lee Hartley (Fairstone Group) and Lianne Walker (Walker Filtration). Last year’s accolade was presented to David Harrison, Managing Partner of True Potential.
The nominees for Emerging Talent, which recognises individuals who have built a business of outstanding potential, include Jordan McCabe (Aztec Equestrian Diamond), Mike O’Brien (Opencast Software) and Eve and Simon Whitaker (Master Debonair).
In its second year, the Scale-up Award will be awarded to one of Julie Blackie (Pink Boutique), Kevin Brown (Pacifica Group), Steven Rawlingson (Samuel Knight International) or John Savage (Flame Heating Group).
The Mentor of the Year and Lifetime Achievement accolades complete the award categories and are kept a secret until the evening, as they are chosen by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum Board from the nominations received.
Freddy Hoult was awarded Lifetime Achievement at 2017’s award ceremony, joining respected individuals such as Sir Peter Vardy, Sir John Hall and John Fenwick to have claimed the honour.
The Entrepreneurs’ Forum represents more than 300 individual member companies, which have a combined turnover of more than £2.3 billion and in excess of 23,000 employees.
Gillian Marshall, chief executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, said: “The North East is home to many thriving businesses, which is why it is important to recognise the achievements of those entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and delivering economic prosperity across the region.
“Our 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.”