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Dragon named Great British Entrepreneur of the Year for the North East

Sara Davies MBE, the founder of Crafter’s Companion, has been named the first Great British Entrepreneur of the Year for the North East region at the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The entrepreneur, who joined the panel of BBC’s Dragons’ Den for its latest series, launched Crafter’s Companion 14 years ago as a papercraft, soft craft and art retailer. In that time, Sara has grown the business to a team of nearly 200 and sells to over 40 countries around the world. 

It rounded off a successful night for Sara, who was also named Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year.

Now in its seventh year, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs, rather than the business’ balance sheet. It is the first time the Awards have held a dedicated regional final in the North East

Francesca James, founder of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “From parents running small businesses to family members exploring different crafts, Sara has taken inspiration from her childhood to build something special. She’s truly deserving of the title of the first North East Great British Entrepreneur of the Year.

“It’s the first time we’ve held a final for the North East as its own region, and it has been fantastic to see the quality of entrepreneurs in the area. I want to congratulate all of our winners in North East and wish them the very best of luck for the National Final in November. With over 3,000 entries this year across the UK, it really is a great achievement in itself to get to the regional final.”

Gordon Merrylees, managing director of entrepreneurship at NatWest, said: “NatWest is proud to support the Great British Entrepreneur Awards celebrating another year of amazing achievements for entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses from every corner of the country. Supporting entrepreneurs is a key priority for NatWest and our dedicated programme of fully funded accelerator hubs, mentoring, insight and bespoke coaching, is specifically designed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs who want to start, scale and succeed in business. Congratulations to all of the winners and to those who were shortlisted for one of these prestigious awards.”

The winners of each category will now go to the National Final of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, which takes place in London in November.

Full list of winners for the North East:

Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year
Sara Davies MBE | Crafter’s Companion

Disruptor of the Year
Isabella West | Hirestreet

Entrepreneur for Good Award
Nicola Wood | The Wonderful Wig Company

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
Gail Curry | Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC

Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year
Charlie Gibbs | Steampunk Spirits

Health & Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year
John Grumitt & Professor Mike Trenell | Changing Health

Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year
Sarat Pediredla | Hedgehog Lab

Services Industries Entrepreneur of the Year
Louise Burns | Nineteen Recruitment

Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year
Brian Palmer | Cello Electronics

Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year
David Copple | Shine Interview

Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Jonathan Grubin | SoPost

Great British Entrepreneur of the Year (North East)
Sara Davies MBE | Crafter’s Companion