UK: Ten Businesses Announced As Finalists For The Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur Of The Year Award
Last Updated: 28 July 2014

Over 140 of Britain's leading businesses, business leaders and social enterprises have today been revealed as finalists for the 2014 National Business Awards, including ten companies that have been shortlisted for the Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year category.

The finalists for this award include -†

Piers Daniell, Fluidata
Stephen Fitzpatrick, OVO Energy
Karl Hick, Larkfleet Group
Simon La Fosse, La Fosse Associates
Gary & Carmen Lewis, A1 Pharmaceuticals Plc
Matthew Sanders, Brookfield Rose
Jonathan Short, ECO Plastics
Mark Smith, The Car Finance Company
John Treharne, The Gym Group
James Wilkinson, Car Loan 4U

Focusing on the contribution of a dynamic, creative and visionary leader, this Award recognises an outstanding entrepreneur who has achieved the highest and most sustained levels of growth and financial performance through a culture of innovation, market knowledge and talent development. Judges will focus on aspects including identifying the market opportunity, innovation of products and services, plans for sustained growth and an ethical approach to business.

Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurial Services at Smith & Williamson commented: "This year's entries were outstanding, creating real challenge for the judges in selecting the final 10. It's going to be even more difficult to pick the winner!"

This year's finalists were chosen from the hundreds of businesses that entered or were nominated across 15 award categories. They will now make live presentations to a multi-disciplinary panel of judges who will decide the overall winner for each accolade, to be announced at the National Business Awards ceremony on 11 November.

The finalists announced represent categories including The Market Gravity Innovation Award, The Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year and The Inflexion International Growth Business of the Year. The Ashridge Business School Leader of the Year finalists and The Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business winner will be announced over the coming months, with the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year finalists announced last month following a judging event in Liverpool.

Dame Helen Alexander, Chair of Judges for the National Business Awards said: "These finalists represent some of the most innovative and inspiring businesses, entrepreneurs and social enterprises the UK has to offer. In my role as Chair of Judges I'm always interested to see what the finalists are doing differently to stand out in their fields, and this year we have some fantastic examples of success. I'm looking forward to seeing them through the 'Dragon's Den' style judging events."

This year's shortlisted businesses cover activities as diverse as retail, technology, men's grooming products, telecoms, construction, advertising, entertainment, and publishing.† Of the businesses shortlisted, 24% turnover under £5m, 26% turnover between £5m and £25m, 15% over a billion and 10% are not for profit organisations. The smallest business recognised has a turnover of just £23k with the largest reaching £20 billion. With finalists collectively employing over 850,000 people, the smallest has just one full time member of staff while the largest employs around 165,000 people globally.

Alex Evans, Programme Director of the National Business Awards said: "The diversity and quality of this year's finalists have firmly established the National Business Awards as the talent scout for UK plc, with market leading household names recognised alongside the best emerging business brands. With a variety of industries represented, these recovery-leading businesses have demonstrated the return on investment in people, innovation, customer service and leadership."

Visit for a full list of all finalists and to book a table at the event on 11 November 2014.

The National Business Awards supports The Prince's Trust, a charity that offers practical and financial support to young people who need it.

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