EY has revealed its EY Entrepreneur Of The Year North finalists, with 12 entrepreneurs from nine businesses across Yorkshire making the shortlist.
The programme celebrates ‘unstoppable entrepreneurs’ from across the country. This year’s finalists represent some of Yorkshire’s most inspiring business leaders, who are making a positive impact on the economy.
In the face of the continued challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the finalists have also displayed remarkable resilience and innovative spirit. They have been selected from a range of different sectors including: consumer; professional services; technology; and manufacturing, highlighting the strength of entrepreneurship across the region.
The Yorkshire finalists are:
· Luke Smith and James Smith, Managing Directors of A-Safe HQ Ltd, a global manufacturer and distributor of workplace safety equipment including strength safety products, based in Elland.
· William Vaughan, Founder and CEO of Bluefin Trading, an innovative e-commerce business responsible for three key brands; Bluefin Fitness, Bluefin SUP and Bluefin Active, based in Hebden Bridge.
· Adam Carnell, Managing Director and James Kinsella, Director of Bluetree Group, an online printing business and the first UK manufacturer of Type IIR Surgical face masks, Based in Rotherham.
· Justin Whitston, CEO and Founder of Fleetondemand, an international Mobility as a Service and business vehicle hire company, based in Shipley.
· James Hill, Founder and Managing Director of Hairburst, a haircare brand selling vitamins, shampoos, growth and volume serums, based in Leeds.
· Jordan Brompton, Co-Founder and CMO and Lee Sutton CEO of myenergi, a designer and manufacturer of renewable energy products, which has new headquarters based in Grimsby.
· Karen Betts, CEO of Nouveau HD Beauty Group, which encompasses professional beauty brands; HD Brows, Nouveau Lashes, K.B Pro, Karen Betts Professional and Nouveau Skin Therapy, providing beauty treatments and products, based in South Elmsall.
· Gary Gallen, CEO of rradar, a specialist litigation and commercial law firm that uses legal expertise and ground-breaking digital tools to proactively manage, educate and advise clients, based in Hull.
· Paul McClenaghan, CEO of Victoria Plum, an online bathroom retailer, based in Doncaster.
Ben Wildsmith, EY Strategy and Transactions Partner and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year partner sponsor in the North, said: “This year’s group of North finalists are exceptional. After what has been an extremely challenging year, I am so impressed by the levels of resilience, determination and belief that we have seen from all of the finalists across Yorkshire.
“This year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme recognises and champions the achievements of some of the most tenacious entrepreneurs from across the North. I am delighted to welcome each finalist into our entrepreneurial community and look forward to seeing their continued success.”
Victoria Price, UK EY Private Tax Leader and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK Partner Lead, said: “We know that entrepreneurs will be at the heart of the UK’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery, delivering the innovation and growth we need.
“The regional finalists are proof that many entrepreneurs have been unstoppable in the face of adversity over the past year continuing to display their incredible ambition to make a difference and solve some of business and society’s biggest challenges. Never before has it been so important to recognise and celebrate their achievements.”
Four regional judging panels will convene virtually in June to select the regional winners. These entrepreneurs will then progress to represent their region at UK judging in October and the announcement of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK overall winner in November.
The overall UK winner will then go on to represent the UK at the ‘EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year’ in 2022, which recognises inspiring entrepreneurs from more than 60 countries.