The search begins for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2000


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 1 May 2000




(2000), "The search begins for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2000", Facilities, Vol. 18 No. 5/6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

The search begins for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2000

Keywords Entrepreneurs, Women, Awards

Top women from the world of business gathered in London recently to celebrate the launch of Entrepreneur of the Year 2000, a major international award programme, founded and produced by Ernst & Young, and co-sponsored in the UK by The Citibank Private Bank, Vodafone and The Times.

Minister of State for Small Business and E-Commerce, Patricia Hewitt; founder of the Leith's group of catering companies, Prue Leith; former president of Coca-Cola GB and Ireland, now non-executive director for Vodafone, Penny Hughes; creator of S&A Foods, Perween Warsi; dp Connect founder, Toni Cocozza and Likisma owner, Lisa Burke (both Entrepreneur of the Year 1999 award recipients), Jill Sinclair, managing director, ZTT Records and Annette D'Abreo, Ceuta Healthcare, all lent their support to the national launch. Although women now account for 40 per cent of start-up businesses in the UK, only 12 per cent of entrants for last year's Entrepreneur of the Year awards were women.

"Our launch event is intended to highlight the role women play in a successful enterprise economy," said David Wilkinson, Ernst & Young National Head of Entrepreneurial Services. "People are very influenced by role models and we want to do what we can to encourage them - male and female - to be even more adventurous in their business lives."

Patricia Hewitt, Minister of State for Small Business and E-commerce, said: "My department is delighted to endorse the Entrepreneur of the Year programme for a second year. One of my aims is to develop a pro-enterprise culture - but it can be hard to see tangible progress towards such a goal. Programmes such as Entrepreneur of the Year are central to the development of a culture in which entrepreneurs are valued for their vital contribution to the economy. I am sure that the 2000 programme will be even more successful than last year's and will help to encourage budding entrepreneurs right across the country."

In the 1999 awards, women came through strongly, despite the limited number of entries. There were five female regional award recipients, who demonstrated the diversity of women's business interests: Diane Bedford, co-founder of Paragon Publishing; Annette D'Abreo, one of the creators of Ceuta Healthcare; Lindsay Levin, chief executive White's car dealerships; Toni Cocozza and Lisa Burke.

At national level, the overall Entrepreneur of the Year 1999 was Mark Dixon, who built up Regus business centres from a standing start ten years ago to a multi-million pound organisation today. Other award recipients included Michael Gooley, Trailfinders; Mark Williams, Strategic Systems Solutions; Allan McLuckie, Fullarton Computer Industries; John Ritblat, British Land Company; Tom Bloxham and Jonathan Falkingham, Urban Splash; Roger Keenan, Eyretel; Steve Smith, Poundland; Paris Moayedi, Jarvis, and Hermann Hauser, Amadeus Capital Partners.

The Entrepreneur of the Year awards are endorsed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC); the Design Council and the Institute of Directors (IoD).

Eligible for the awards are owner-managers of private companies that are at least two years old, or founders of quoted companies, provided that they are still active in senior management.

In 1999, award categories included Business Services, Consumer Products & Services, Industrial Products, Retail and Technology & Communication. A number of additional awards were also presented, including Young Entrepreneur, Emerging Entrepreneur, Master Entrepreneur and Supporter of Entrepreneurship.

Award recipients in five regions - Scotland, the North, Central, South, and London - go forward to the national final in London in October 2000. In May 2001, the first international Entrepreneur of the Year awards will be presented at a three-day summit to be held in Monte Carlo.

The Entrepreneur of the Year programme was created in 1986 by Ernst & Young in the USA, where it is now established as the pre-eminent awards scheme of its type. In 2000 the awards will take place in 20 countries across five continents.

All recipients of Entrepreneur of the Year Awards are invited to join the exclusive global Entrepreneur of the Year Institute which provides the opportunity to meet and network with fellow entrepreneurs from around the UK and throughout the world.

David Wilkinson said: "The benefits of winning an Entrepreneur of the Year award go far beyond a trophy to display in the reception area. This programme has international recognition and UK award recipients automatically become lifetime members of the Entrepreneur of the Year Institute, a worldwide network of highly successful business people, all of whom have received one of these awards."

The Entrepreneur of the Year Institute organises an annual conference, which is held in Palm Springs, in November. The conference provides an opportunity to study entrepreneurial qualities at close quarters and its output includes lessons in best practice which are of industry-wide interest. In addition, there are opportunities to network at exclusive events, benchmark business activities against those of fellow entrepreneurs and form lobbying groups to foster and encourage the entrepreneurial economy.

Although it is tough to win an Entrepreneur of the Year award, it is easy to enter. Nominations were accepted until 31 March 2000.

For more information: Sue Meeson or Karen McGregor, Ernst & Young. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7 951 3931 or 0171 951 0378; Fax: +44 (0) 20 7 931 3481; E-mail:

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