Now in its fifth year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards recognise the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs, rather than just their financial success.
Shortlisted businesses span 11 categories from family business of the year, to business champion of 2017, and ceremonies are to be held across five regions of the UK.
The number of businesses who entered the awards has tripled, making 2017 a bumper year with well over a thousand entries received from across the lengths and breadths of the UK.
Founder of the Royal Bank of Scotland Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said: “This year has been a record year for entries and we have been blown away by the strength and diversity of the applications.
“Our awards celebrate the story of the entrepreneurs, whether they are making millions or making an impact in their local economy or community. We are always overwhelmed by the quality of the applications, but this year, not only have we had a record number to judge, but the quality is outstanding. Our judges are really being tested.”
It has also been a record year for the number of judges the Royal Bank of Scotland Great British Entrepreneur Awards has attracted, with 108 of the UK’s most successful business men and women joining the judging panels.
This year’s judges include James Caan CBE, Hayley Parsons OBE, founder of GoCompare, Toni Mascolo, co-founder of TONI&GUY, and Jeff Lynn, co-founder of Seedrs.
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship for the Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “I want to thank all of the entrepreneurs who entered this year and congratulate those who have been shortlisted. I look forward to seeing them in the regional finals.
“It is clear that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and Royal Bank of Scotland is thrilled to be able to support these awards to celebrate success with the businesses that are the lifeblood of the Scottish economy as they start, scale and succeed.”
In previous years, the Awards have celebrated some amazing entrepreneurs, many of whom are now household names. Past winners include David Buttress – former CEO of Just Eat, Julie Deane – founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company, James Watt – founder of BrewDog and Alexander Solomou – founder and CEO of TheLADBible Group.
Thanks to support from the Royal Bank of Scotland, Redrow, Oracle, Kingston Smith and other sponsors, the Great British Entrepreneur organisers have been able to extend the coverage of the Awards across the UK this year, to include Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham, as well as Cardiff and London.