THE North East’s premier entrepreneurs who have made a lasting contribution to business, and those with the most promise to succeed in the future, are to be recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony.
Judges are currently sifting through nominations made for the annual Entrepreneurs’ Forum awards, which recognise the Entrepreneur of the Year and the Emerging Talent of the Year.
A third award, which last year was won by John Squires of Benfield Motor Group, recognises Lifetime Achievement.
A shortlist of three candidates will be put forward for each award which will be presented at a new event for the Forum – a dedicated celebration evening and dinner hosted by Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European medallist Steve Cram and held at the Newcastle Gateshead Hilton Hotel on September 20.
The Emerging Talent award, won last year by Brett Jacobson, of Mediaworks, is sponsored this year by RIBA Enterprises.
Richard Waterhouse, Chief Executive of RIBA Enterprises said: “RIBA Enterprises is delighted to support these important awards. We know from experience of our own business sector that the North East is home to many innovative and entrepreneurial organisations and people that make a significant contribution to the local economy.
“In such a tough economic climate, it is important to recognise success and, in particular, celebrate the region’s next generation of entrepreneurs.”
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is being sponsored by The Lakes Distillery Co, Cumbria’s first legal whisky distillery located next to Bassenthwaite lake, in the Lake District.
The Pen Shop, Europe’s biggest writing instrument specialist, is sponsoring the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The evening, which is expected to attract the great and the good of the North East’s entrepreneurial community, will also see the formal presentation to the winners of If We Can You Can 2013, the Forum’s annual challenge to find the next generation of entrepreneurs.
The awards are being sponsored by Gentoo to raise awareness of the charity it supports, the Nuru Fund, which aims to make use of a free resource to help rural communities in East Africa – the sun.
Forced to use deadly kerosene lamps to study or work after dark because 85 per cent of the population has no access to electricity, more children in the region die every year from inhaling kerosene fumes than from malaria.
The Fund offers small, customised loans that allow rural households to purchase solar powered lamps, with the added capability to charge mobile phones, to improve education, health, income and encourage a more planet smart way of living among vulnerable communities.
The evening will be a fundraiser for the Nuru Fund with a silent auction and other activities, continuing a tradition of altruism and commitment to support worthy causes by Forum members.
For more information on the Nuru Fund, visit www.nurufund.com; to book places at the awards dinner visit, www.entrepreneursforum.net or call 0191 500 7780.