The EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards, now in their 27th year globally, celebrate and commend entrepreneurial companies and offer them unrivalled networking, mentoring and recognition.
The standard of the 2013 finalists was very encouraging. Between them, they contributed more than £5bn to the UK economy in 2012, growing at an average of 12 per cent and collectively employing more than 54,000 people.
The independent panel of judges for the Entrepreneur of the Year programme – which was chaired at the UK level this year by Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of Invensys, the global technology group – said they understood the importance of supporting these vibrant businesses.
The entrants, the judges said, had demonstrated a willingness to take risks, seize opportunities and exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit that is driving the increasing flow of good news and confidence in the economy.
Within a couple of days of the judges meeting in early September, two finalists demonstrated this confidence by indicating that they were in the advanced stages of planning initial public offerings in London.
Entrepreneurs say they are excited about the future – they can see growth in the UK and abroad and there are encouraging signs that the capital markets are reopening to support their funding needs.
Entrepreneurs are at the heart of any economy, and EY is proud to recognise their accomplishments with the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
Steve Varley is chairman and managing partner, UK & Ireland at EY