John Fenwick (left), a previous winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, collected his accolade at last year’s event
Jamie Hardesty

Shortlist revealed for 2017 North East Entrepreneurial Awards

The Entrepreneurs’ Forum, in partnership with the North East LEP, has unveiled the shortlist for the 2017 North East Entrepreneurial Awards.

The annual award show, now in its fourteenth year, celebrates the most aspirational and successful entrepreneurs in the region.

Taking place at The Boiler Shop at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday 29th September, the event will be hosted by Penny Mallory OBE, who became the world’s the first woman to compete in a World Rally Car in 1997.

Emerging Talent

The nominees for Emerging Talent, sponsored by O’Brien’s Waste Management, include Andy Stephenson (Weekend Box), Steven Rawlingson (Samuel Knight), Michaela Reaney (Gradvert) and Stephen Black and Ian McElroy (Tier One Capital).


The Scale-up Award, sponsored by NBS, is new for 2017 and recognises business owners who have led their company to achieve 20 per cent plus annualised growth in either turnover, profit or employee numbers for the past three years.

The shortlist includes Ben Ridgway and Jamie Cooke (Intelligent Services Group), Nigel Begg (Aspire Technology Solutions) and Sara Davies (Crafter’s Companion).

Entrepreneur of the Year

In 2016, the Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Ward Hadaway, was awarded to John Waterworth. This year the honour will go to one of a shortlist made up of John Hays (Hays Travel), Roger Peart (Oil NRG), David Harrison (True Potential) and Julie Drummond (Drummond Central).

Mentor of the Year, sponsored by Malhotra Group, is announced on the night and recognises the important role altruistic peer-to-peer mentoring plays in business growth.

The Lifetime Achievement award, sponsored by Corporate Traveller, is kept a closely guarded secret until the evening of the dinner. This year’s winner will join such respected names as Sir Peter Vardy, Sir John Hall and John Fenwick, who have previously been presented with the accolade.

Gillian Marshall, chief executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum said, “This year we have been inundated with entries, proving that the North East’s entrepreneurial community is thriving.

“Entrepreneurs build the businesses that people rely on for jobs and economic growth and this region contains some stand-out individuals who are driving the North East forward.

“We present these accolades not only to recognise success, but to thank the entrepreneurs who take risks and help others to build their businesses.

“By working together and sharing the benefits of our collective experience, we continue to make business a force for social good in the North East.”

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