EY has announced its 2018 Entrepreneur Of The Year North finalists today, with 13 businesses from the North West making the shortlist.
The shortlist highlights the vibrant diversity of the North’s entrepreneurial landscape, with companies from sectors such as retail, events, marketing, technology, education, energy and financial services represented.
The North West finalists are:
-Shamir Patel, managing director of Chemist-4-U.com, based in Skelmersdale
-Phil Foster, managing director of Love Energy Savings, based in Bolton
-Gavin Hamer, chairman of Matchstick Men, based in Wigan
-Nick Mitchell, chief executive of Ultimate Performance, based in Manchester
-Holly Moore, managing director of Make Events, based in Cheadle
– Steven Bartlett, chief executive and Dominic McGregor, chief operating officer of Social Chain, based in Manchester
-Alex Mollart, chief executive of 1st Stop Group, based in Blackpool
-Simon Potts, managing director of The Alchemist, based in Knutsford
-David Stanhope, chief executive of Voiteq and Cirrus Logistics, based in Blackpool
-Mohsin Issa and Zuber Issa, co-chief executives of EG Group, based in Blackburn
-David Bellis MBE, chairman of Innovative Technology, based in Oldham
-Scott Tolson, chief executive of Sigmatex (UK), based in Runcorn
-Dr Alan Ryder, chief executive of RSK, based in Helsby
Victoria Price, partner and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year leader in the North, said: “I’m so proud to lead this programme for EY in the North because I know it supports the incredible entrepreneurial community we have here. This year’s programme is recognizing and connecting another 20 Northern businesses, which create jobs and generate wealth, contributing to the continued growth of the North’s economy.”
The 20 finalists in the 2018 North programme will convene at an awards ceremony in Manchester in June, where an independent panel of judges will select winners in each category. Similar events will also be held in Scotland, the Midlands, and London.
Regional winners will then progress to the UK final held in London in November, to vie for the title ‘EY UK Entrepreneur Of The Year’. The UK country winner will then attend the ‘EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Forum’ in Summer 2019, which gathers the world’s most inspiring entrepreneurs from more than 60 countries.
2018 marks 20th anniversary
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in the UK, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year has recognised the contribution of thousands of entrepreneurs to the UK economy over the last two decades and has created an impressive network of innovators and business pioneers.
Some of Britain’s best known business figures are former EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, including: Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who founded the low cost airline easyJet; Dragon’s Den investor Peter Jones, who started-up Phones International Group; and Richard Reed, one of the founding partners of Innocent Drinks.
Previous winners in the North include Jennifer Atkinson of ITC Luxury Group, Fred Done of Betfred, James Lambert of R&R Icecream and Matthew Riley of Daisy Group plc.
North judging panel
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year North 2018 judging panel will be chaired by Mark Whitworth, CEO, Peel Ports Group.
Mark will be joined by:
• Tayyab Akhlaq, director, Public Desire
• Sarah Louise Fairburn, brand and sales director, L J Fairburn & Son
• Alison Fielding, venture partner, IP Group plc
• Matthew Hirst, CEO, Utiligroup
• Catherine Richards, partner, Inflexion Private Equity
• Glenn Timms, CEO, IESA
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is supported by LGT Vestra – national headline sponsor – and Merrill Corporation – EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Dataroom Provider. The programme’s UK media partner is the Financial Times.
Full list of 2018 North finalists by category:
Shamir Patel, managing director of Chemist-4-U.com, based in Skelmersdale
Chemist-4-U.com has grown to become one of the leading online pharmacies in the UK. It sells through multiple online channels, supplying large high street retailers with health and beauty products.
Phil Foster, managing director of Love Energy Savings, based in Bolton
Love Energy Savings (LES) is a business-to-business energy comparison and procurement service. Since its incorporation in 2007, LES has passed £74.4m in savings to customers and switched over 162,000 meters.
Gavin Hamer, chairman of Matchstick Men, based in Wigan
Matchstick Men is a group of companies importing and distributing domestic appliances.
Sean Ramsden, chief executive of Ramsden International, based in Grimsby
Ramsden International is the world’s leading exporter of British-branded food and drink; the only UK grocer to export to 100+ countries. The company has won three Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in International Trade.
Nick Mitchell, chief executive of Ultimate Performance, based in Manchester
Ultimate Performance has a number of personal training gyms worldwide. Its focus is on body transformations and the company is also starting up an online supplements business as well as a food preparation business.
Holly Moore, managing director of Make Events, based in Cheadle
Make Events is establishing itself as the go to events agency.
Steven Bartlett, CEO and Dominic McGregor, COO of Social Chain, based in Manchester
Co-founded by Steve Bartlett (25) and Dom McGregor (24) in 2014, while the two were still students, Manchester-based The Social Chain Group has grown from humble origins to become an award winning social first marketing agency and social media publishing house with offices in London, Berlin and New York. Its clients include Superdry, SkyBet, BooHoo, New Balance and Warner Music.
Tim Mercer, CEO of Vapour Cloud, based in Halifax
Vapour Cloud is focussed on customer service as well as cutting-edge technology across secure network connectivity, voice communications and storage. Established in 2013, Vapour’s mission was to provide agile business communications services without the ‘baggage’ and corporate restraints typically imposed by competitors. The business has grown from a three to 31- strong organisation with more than 100 clients in less than five years.
Alex Mollart, CEO of 1st Stop Group, based in Blackpool
1st Stop offers a range of different financial products and services that vary from unsecured personal loans and car finance to secured loans for homeowners.
Simon Potts, managing director of The Alchemist, based in Knutsford
Established in 2010, The Alchemist operates bars and restaurants in 13 locations across the UK: including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Chester and Oxford.
Tom Marley, CEO of The Car Buying Group, based in Wakefield
The Car Buying Group (TCBG) is the fastest growing online car purchasing website in the UK. Established in 2014, TCBG was formed by young entrepreneur Tom Marley.
Jonathan Seaton, chief executive of Twinkl Education Publishing, based in Sheffield
Twinkl is a specialist digital educational publisher, providing primary and secondary educators with one of the largest collections of high-quality digital teaching materials in the world.
David Stanhope, CEO of Voiteq and Cirrus Logistics, based in Blackpool
Voiteq is a global provider of voice-directed work solutions, with offices in the UK, France, Germany and the US. Voice technology is its core business and it has helped customers across the world reap the benefits of working hands free and eyes free.
Cirrus Logistics helps companies solve their most complex supply chain challenges – from the scheduling of vessels at a port to optimising warehousing and the multimodal distribution of products.
Mohsin Issa, co-CEO and Zuber Issa, co-CEO of EG Group, based in Blackburn
Founded in 2001, EG Group is now a leading independent forecourt operator. The company operates across eight markets (UK, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Germany and the US) and employs over 20,000 people. The business has strategic partnerships with leading retail brands such as ESSO, BP, Shell, Starbucks, Subway, KFC, Burger King, Greggs, SPAR, Louis Delhaize, Carrefour and Cactus.
David Bellis MBE, chairman of Innovative Technology, based in Oldham
Innovative Technology Ltd is a provider of cash handling solutions and has offices in Europe, Asia, Australia, North & South America and Trading Partners in more than 20 countries. In 2014 Innovative Technology was named the 13th fastest growing private company in Britain (Sunday Times Profit Track 100) and received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade.
Scott Tolson, CEO of Sigmatex (UK), based in Runcorn
Sigmatex is an independent converter of carbon fibre. With a wide range of textile technologies and proprietary manufacturing equipment, Sigmatex supplies a spectrum of advanced composite materials to the aerospace, automotive, marine, sports and leisure markets from its global locations. Sigmatex has four manufacturing facilities in: the UK; California, USA; South Carolina, USA; and Shanghai, China.
Jacqui Hall, managing director of CNG, based in Harrogate
CNG is an independent provider of natural gas for business and is one of the fastest growing, privately-owned companies in the UK. In the last few years, the company has grown considerably with turnover more than tripling as demand for CNG’s products has steadily increased.
Karen Betts, managing director of Nouveau Beauty Group, based in Pontefract
Nouveau Beauty Group is a leading training provider in the beauty industry, specialising in permanent makeup, microblading, HD Brows, eyelash extensions and lash lifting treatments. The leading authority in her field, Karen is known as the ‘professional’s professional’ – she’s a regular speaker at international conferences (USA, Russia and China to name a few), and she’s the go-to expert for British journalists and documentary-makers alike.
Dr Alan Ryder, CEO of RSK, based in Helsby
RSK provides environmental consultancy and technical services worldwide to customers in the property, energy, transport and development sectors. It has over 70 offices and 2100 staff in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Brian Palmer, chief executive of Tharsus Group, based in Blyth
Tharsus Ltd, part of Tharsus Group, is one of the UK’s fastest growing technology businesses. As a trusted product design and manufacturing partner, Tharsus’ capabilities span the entire product development life cycle from first conversations and technical exploration, through innovative design and engineering, to quality-assured manufacture and after-market support.