Entrepreneurs from across Wales and the south west of England came together in Cardiff last night (Thursday) to celebrate their success at the penultimate regional gala final of the Great British & Northern Irish Entrepreneur Awards.
Now in its sixth year, the Great British & Northern Irish Entrepreneur Awards celebrates the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs in the UK.
The duo of Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn, founders of Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, took the night’s top prize, being named Great British Entrepreneur of the Year for the region.
The pair launched their restaurant in Barry in South Wales in 2016 after finding inspiration during a trip through the ‘Deep South’ of the US where they met Aaron Franklin, a chef revered for his cooking of brisket. Just two years on, Hang Fire is regularly fully booked months in advance and recently won Best Restaurant at the OFM Awards, described as the BAFTAs of the food industry.
Francesca James, co-founder of the Awards, said: “To have only launched in 2016, and already be one of Wales’ most popular restaurants, is a huge testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and dedication Sam and Shauna have shown.
“Their passion for what they do is easy for everyone to see, and it’s clear that passion has been a real driving force behind the business’ growth.”
Winners were crowned across 12 categories in total including Family Business, Entrepreneurs’ Champion and Entrepreneurial Spirit.
Francesca added: “2018 has been a record year for the Great British & Northern Irish Entrepreneur Awards in the number of entries we received. But the quality of applications has been above and beyond what we’ve seen in previous years.
“Just getting to the gala final as a finalist is a huge achievement given the competition on show, so to walk away with a trophy in your hand deserves huge congratulations.”
Darren Pirie, Head of Entrepreneur Development, NatWest, said: “We are incredibly proud to support these important awards again in 2018. The number and calibre of entries this year proves that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Wales and the South West.
“I want to extend my huge congratulations to all the winners, and hope that their businesses continue to grow in the future.”
Full list of winners:
Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year | Grant Mansfield, Plimsoll Productions
Entrepreneur for Good Award | Stephanie Wheen, Gympanzees
Entrepreneurial Spirit Award | Peter Kelly & Kieron Yeoman, Imployable
Entrepreneurs’ Champion of the Year | Jamie McGowan, Welsh ICE
Entrepreneurs’ Team of the Year | Lee Powell & Faith Olding, Apollo Teaching Services
Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year | Dom & Ali Beaven, Prezola
Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year | Leila Francis Coleman & Tom Whelan, AquaPhysical
Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year | Alex Lovén, Net World Sports
Service Industries Entrepreneur of the Year | Mick Lindsay, Mocean
Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year | Daniel Manley & Heleen Lamm, Big Blue Adventures
Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year | Ieuan Rosser, Freight Logistic Solutions
Young Entrepreneur of the Year | Chris Rundle, GK Signs & Screenprint
Great British Entrepreneur of the Year | Shauna Guinn & Samantha Evans, Hang Fire Southern Kitchen