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Business & Economy

North East Entrepreneurial Awards to honour region’s business leaders

North East entrepreneurs are to be recognised at an annual awards event.

The 2019 North East Entrepreneurial Awards, led by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, comprises five categories and will celebrate the region’s most aspirational, inspiring and successful business leaders.

The nominees for Emerging Talent – those who have built a business of outstanding potential which has been trading for six years or less – are Dan Martin (Elmtronics), Kevin Johnston (Funky Chunky Furniture) and William Johnson (TORRO Cases).

Recognising those who’ve achieved strong, sustainable growth in revenue and profit, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award will be contested by Sara Davies (Crafter’s Companion), Simon Bailes (Simon Bailes Peugeot) and Tony Cleary (Lanchester Wines).

The Scale-up Award acknowledges 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 shortlisted entrepreneurs are Dan Foskett (Connection Flooring), Lawrence Brown (Royston Diesel Power) and Toby Bridges (NBT Group).

Mentor of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award is kept a closely guarded secret until the evening.

Last year’s awards saw Lianne Walker, of Walker Filtration, recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year, while Kevin Brown, chief executive of Pacifica Group, won the Scale-Up Award.

Paul Callaghan CBE was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, following in the footsteps of previous winners Sir John Hall, Sir Peter Vardy and John Fenwick.

Jordan McCabe, who established Aztec Diamond Equestrian, won the Emerging Talent award, with Pamela Petty rounding up 2018’s winners as she was named Mentor of the Year.

This year, British Athletics legend Steve Cram CBE will host the event, which is taking place on Friday, September 20 at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, and is supported by Ward Hadaway, North East Growth Hub, IA Growth, Malhotra Group and Brewin Dolphin.

James Robson MBE, chairman of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, said: “We receive many high calibre entries for our annual awards, and it was encouraging to see that this year was no different.

“This year’s shortlist features many of the region’s most established business leaders in combination with up-and-coming entrepreneurs, who are all helping to shape the North East’s growth agenda through the creation of sustainable jobs and economic contributions.

“Our Entrepreneurial Awards form a major part of our comprehensive calendar of events and provides the ideal platform to recognise the achievements of business leaders who are making a difference in the North East.”

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.