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Born out of a belief that entrepreneurs are as much about their story as they are their balance sheet…

Born out of a belief that entrepreneurs are as much about their story as they are their balance sheet…

In 2012, we launched The Great British Entrepreneur Awards. The aim was to create a platform that celebrated and championed the entrepreneurs behind some of the United Kingdom’s brilliant businesses.

We had amazing support from some of Great Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs from the start…

We had amazing support from some of Great Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs from the start…

We were incredibly fortunate to be supported by some of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs who supported our mission and joined our judging panel.

 

You can view our full judging panel here. 

Julie Deane, founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company, picked up a hat-trick of gongs at the inaugural Great British Entrepreneur Awards!

Julie Deane, founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company, picked up a hat-trick of gongs at the inaugural Great British Entrepreneur Awards!

Julie founded The Cambridge Satchel Company from her kitchen table in Cambridge, with only £600, as a means of paying school fees for her children. Being seen on the arms of celebrities and bloggers such as Taylor Swift and Liberty London Girl quickly gave the brand global recognition.

Many years later, Julie returned to GBEA to join our judging panel like many of our former winners do (but more on that later!)

We quickly realised GBEA was more than ‘just’ an awards programme…

As our alumni continued to grow, we realised that this programme was far more than ‘just’ an awards ceremony. Instead, we were at the helm of a community and thriving eco-system, providing all year round support and opportunities for winners and finalists to connect and showcase their businesses.

We expanded out of London (finally!)

We expanded out of London (finally!)

London’s great, but everything seems to happen there! So in 2017, we decided we wanted to take some GBEA magic to regions outside of the capital.

 

We extended the coverage of the awards across the UK and took the ceremonies to five cities – Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and London.

We also decided to shake up the format!

Scrapping the black tie format for our regional events, instead we took over comedy clubs and music venues for a more relaxed vibe with better opportunities for networking.

We then added three more cities to our regional tour!

We then added three more cities to our regional tour!

Entrepreneurship is very much alive and well in:

  • Newcastle
  • Bath
  • Brighton

 

We were joined by some of our amazing judges and ambassadors

Including Cath Kidston (pictured), the founders of Grenade (previous winners and now judges), the founders of Poundland, PureGym and King of Shaves to name but a few!

We had a record breaking year!

Amazing things started to happen…

Amazing things started to happen…

Emeka and Ifeyinwa were one of six businesses showcasing themselves as part of our Great British Entrepreneurs Champions Hall of Fame event. Speaking to the brother and sister, host Wynne Evans asked how much they had left to raise to complete their crowdfunding campaign. They explained that they needed a further £1,500 before the deadline on Saturday. A call came from the audience. That call was from Steven Smith, the founder of Poundland, a member of the GBEA judging panel who himself was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Steven, reminiscing how his Dad helped him get his first business off the ground, offered to donate £1,500 and complete the sibling duo’s campaign.

Starling Bank joined us on our mission to support & champion entrepreneurs

Starling Bank joined us on our mission to support & champion entrepreneurs

It’s particularly exciting for us to have such a committed partner with a real entrepreneurial success story behind it. Starling’s founder and CEO, Anne Boden MBE, is someone who saw so many problems with traditional banking and decided to do something about it, disrupting an entire industry in the process.

We developed a community magazine

This magazine brings the incredible stories of entrepreneurs together in one place, helping to shine a spotlight on some of the best entrepreneurial stories and biggest issues facing entrepreneurs in the UK today. We expanded the distribution of our magazine, Great British Entrepreneurs (available in print and digital) to 10,000 issues per quarter.

 

You can check out previous online editions here.

Our alumni started to say really lovely things about the work we are doing, like this…

Our alumni started to say really lovely things about the work we are doing, like this…

And this…

And this…

Our host Wynne Evans is very much a part of the community too

You might recognise him as his alter ego, the man with the twirly moustache who sings about insurance!

Many of our winners have gone on to become household names

Many of our winners have gone on to become household names

And we love it when we see collaborations within our alumni like this

And we love it when we see collaborations within our alumni like this

Great British Entrepreneur Award winners Hey Girls and Lucy & Yak have collaborated on a limited edition range of dungarees and trousers that celebrate the vulva with the aim of these striking pieces being to normalise conversation and stigma around vulvas, vaginas and periods.

And this…

And this…

Muscle Moose have been advertising with DrivenMedia (both GBEA alumni), promoting one of their brands – Moose Juice.

2020 has been a challenging year for many entrepreneurs

2020 has been a challenging year for many entrepreneurs

GBEA 2020: Reimagined

GBEA 2020: Reimagined

“As the founder of an awards programme that has championing, celebrating and connecting entrepreneurs as part of its DNA, I have thought long and hard about what is the right course of action to take given the current situation”.

 

You can read the full story here.

Online learning in times of disruption

Online learning in times of disruption

This is a time when as a business community we need to come together and support one another and we’re lucky enough to work with so many organisations and individuals who are passionate about supporting these communities.

 

We’ve run a number of online sessions to support entrepreneurs with expert practitioners and the founders of:

  • King of Shaves
  • Grenade
  • Little Venice Cake Company
  • Cobra Beer
  • The Covent Garden Soup Company

We like to share regular community news

We like to share regular community news

And put entrepreneurs front and centre of all of our efforts

We highlight individuals and teams doing brilliant things

We highlight individuals and teams doing brilliant things

Via our ones to watch initiatives.

Comments like this inspire us to do more to support & champion

Comments like this inspire us to do more to support & champion

And we’re getting a lot of support to continue doing what we do!

So yes, we’re an awards programme…

… but we’re quite a bit more than that too!

… but we’re quite a bit more than that too!

And it’s because of our amazing supporters, partners, judges, ambassadors and alumni that we feel that entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive and well in Great Britain!

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