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NewsAwardsEY announces 2019 Entrepreneur Of The Year North finalists

EY announces 2019 Entrepreneur Of The Year North finalists

EY has announced its 2019 Entrepreneur Of The Year North finalists, with 14 businesses from the North West making the shortlist.

The shortlist highlights the vibrant diversity of the North’s entrepreneurial landscape, with companies from sectors such as retail, technology, healthcare, energy and financial services represented.

The North West finalists are:

Richard Hayes and Nicholas Sherratt of Mojo, a digital mortgage broker based in Macclesfield

Anthony Morrow of OpenMoney, an online financial adviser based in Manchester

Imran Hakim of Hakim Group, an opticians business based in Darwen

Roy McGillivray of Swift Dental, a full-service dental laboratory headquarted in Bolton

-Chris Meehan of Sentric Music Group, an independent music publisher based in Liverpool

-Stephen Turner of Edam, a credit hire organisation based in Manchester

-Steven Jackson OBE DL of Recycling Lives, a nationwide recycling and waste management businesses based in Preston

-Faisal Lalani and Jamil Mawji of National Care Group, a care and support services provider based in Accrington

-Elan and Shailendra Raja of SCAN, an IT hardware supplier based in Bolton

-Sid Sadique of NRG Fleet Services, a commercial fleet services business based in Skelmsdale

-Michael Asher and Anthea Morris of Better 2 know, a sexual health testing business based in Morcambe

-Jonathan Lill of bbf, a manufacturer of own brand cake and chilled desserts based in Blackburn

-Andrew Preston of GRI, a recruitment outsourcing business based in Knutsford

-Gavin Snell of Ellis Whittam, a legal and regulatory services provider based in Chester

Victoria Price, partner and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year leader in the North, said: “I could not be more proud to lead this programme for EY in the North – it supports the incredible entrepreneurial community we have here and helps to put the spotlight on some truly unique businesses and inspiring entrepreneurial leaders. This year’s programme recognises and connects another 24 Northern businesses from across the North West, Yorkshire and the North East, all of which create jobs and contribute to the continued growth of the North’s economy.”

The 24 finalists in the 2019 North programme will convene at an awards ceremony in Manchester in June, where an independent panel of judges will select winners across a number of different categories. Similar events will also be held in Scotland, the Midlands and South West, and London.

Regional winners will then progress to the UK final held in London in November, to vie for the coveted title ‘EY UK Entrepreneur Of The Year’. The UK country winner will then represent the UK at the ‘EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Forum’ in summer 2020, which gathers the world’s most inspiring entrepreneurs from more than 60 countries.

Last year’s North winner, Blackburn-based forecourt retail operator EG Group, went on to become the overall winner at the national Entrepreneur Of The Year awards and will be representing the UK at the global awards, being held this June.

Some of Britain’s best-known business figures are former EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, including: Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who founded the low-cost airline easyJet; Dragon’s Den investor Peter Jones, who started-up Phones International Group; and Richard Reed, one of the founding partners of Innocent Drinks.

Previous winners in the North include Jennifer Atkinson of ITC Luxury Group, Fred Done of Betfred, James Lambert of R&R Icecream and Matthew Riley of Daisy Group plc.

North judging panel

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year North 2019 judging panel will be chaired by Steve Smith, Director, Daisy Group Holdings.

Steve will be joined by:

  • Jonathan Bell, Head of North West, LDC
  • Lucy Armstrong, CEO, The Alchemists Northern Limited
  • Jacqui Hall, MD, CNG Ltd
  • Clare Roberts, CEO, Kids Planet Day Nurseries
  • Jonathan Seaton, Founder and CEO, Twinkl Educational Publishing


Full list of 2018 North finalists by category:

Jonathan Lill, bbf, a Blackburn-based manufacturer of own brand cake and chilled desserts.

Michael Asher and Anthea Morris, Better 2 know, based in Morcambe. Better 2 know is the world’s largest private provider of sexual health testing services.

Stephen Turner, Edam, a Manchester-based credit hire organisation.

Gavin Snell, Ellis Whittam, a Chester-based legal and regulatory services provider.

Anthony Morrow, OpenMoney, a Manchester-based online financial adviser.

Lee Hartley, Fairstone, a Newcastle-headquartered full-service financial advisory and wealth management house which is technology-led.

Dr Sam Chapman, The Floow, based in Sheffield. The Floow, is a leading telematics provider delivering solutions to insurers, OEMs and fleet operators globally.

Andrew Preston, GRI, a Knutsford-based independent recruitment outsourcing expert.

Imran Hakim, Hakim Group, which is based in Darwen and represents a rapidly growing portfolio of over 100 independent optician practices across the UK.

Neil May, iPortalis, based in Harrogate. iPortalis helps enterprises and channel partners to quantify usage, save costs, operate efficiently, and improve multi-vendor cloud service utilisation through a single self-service portal.

Brenda McLeish, Learning Curve Group, one of the UK’s largest training providers, based in Durham.

Richard Hayes and Nicholas Sherratt, Mojo, a digital mortgage broker based in Macclesfield.

Faisal Lalani and Jamil Mawji, National Care Group (NCG), an Accrington-based provider of care and support services to vulnerable adults throughout the UK.

David Brennan, Nexus Vehicle Rental, based in Leeds. Nexus is a technology driven business which specialises in supplying temporary vehicles to businesses.

Fokhrul Islam, Northern Gas and Power, a Gateshead-based business-to-business energy consultancy offering energy contract brokering, consultancy and energy monitoring technology in the UK, US, France, Malta and Singapore.

Sid Sadique, NRG Fleet Services, a commercial fleet services business based in Skelmsdale.

Stuart Paver, Pavers, a York-based show retailer which employs more than 1,700 people in the UK alone.

Sean Ramsden, Ramsden International, based in Grimsby. Ramsden International is the world’s leading exporter of British-branded food and drink; the only UK grocer to export to 100+ countries.

Ravi and Sunny Sharma, PetBrands, based in Birstall. PetBrands is a vertical integrated pet business involving design, manufacture and distribution of innovative pet treats and accessories.

Chris Meehan, Sentric Music Group, a Liverpool-based, independent music publisher. It boasts an international creative and administrative infrastructure, and represents more than a million musical works across modern hits and timeless classics.

Elan and Shailendra Raja, SCAN, a Bolton-based innovator of performance IT hardware, supplying prosumer and enterprise markets via a multi-channel sales model.

John Dobson, SmartSearch, an anti-money laundering client verification business based in Ilkley. The SmartSearch platform allows regulated businesses to verify individuals and businesses in the UK and internationally.

Roy McGillivray, Swift Dental, a full service Dental Laboratory specialising in the manufacture of dental restorations, which is headquarted in Bolton.

Steven Jackson OBE DL, Recyclinglives, Preston-based Recycling Lives is a unique organisation combining nationwide recycling and waste management businesses, a social enterprise delivering food redistribution and offender rehabilitation programmes and a charity managing a homeless residential programme.


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