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The NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards is now open for entries for the 2018 programme. Now in its sixth year, the Awards celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain, not just the balance sheet.
Having expanded to five cities in 2017, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards will return to Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and London again in 2018. 2017 saw over 1,350 entrepreneurs enter, and 56 individual winners crowned across the five regions.
This year sees the return of the ‘Service Industries' category, with the addition of the ‘Entrepreneurs' Team' award, which will recognise the vital hard work and dedication of an entrepreneur's core team in creating and running a successful business.
Since its launch, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards has celebrated some of the UK's brightest entrepreneurs. Previous winners include: James Watt of BrewDog, Julie Deane OBE of The Cambridge Satchel Company, Shaun Pulfrey of Tangle Teezer, and Justin Basini of Clearscore.
Among the judges are James Caan CBE, Sir Tom Hunter, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, Holly Tucker MBE of Holly & Co and notonthehighstreet.com, Lord Bilimoria CBE DL of Cobra Beer, Kanya King MBE of MOBO Group, and Julie Deane OBE.
Creator of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said: "We're very excited to be open for entries for 2018. Last year was an incredible year for the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards and for entrepreneurship in Great Britain.
"Great Britain has always led the way by encouraging and maintaining a culture of entrepreneurship. It is vital to ensure that this entrepreneurial mindset is nurtured in Great Britain today, so that we continue to be one of the world's leading economies well into the future.
"We had over 1,350 applications last year and heard some phenomenal stories, so it is clear that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and these change makers deserve to be celebrated and championed."
Recalling their experience with the Awards in 2017 after winning both the ‘Family Business' and overall ‘Great British Entrepreneur of the Year' awards for their region and nationally, Sophie and Hannah Pycroft of Spectrum Collections, said: "Even if you don't win, we met so many amazing people at the networking event and final, so you're going to meet contacts who might be able to help your business, and you can support their business.
"We never thought we were going to win, especially when we saw the competition in the categories. We still are gobsmacked. It's amazing to celebrate your business because you work damn hard, so you need to shout about your success."
NatWest continues its headline sponsorship, while MINI has extended its partnership for a fifth year. 2018 will also see the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards continue to champion and support the hard work of The Prince's Trust in inspiring young lives in the UK. Other partners celebrating entrepreneurship in 2018 are Propel by Deloitte and Esme Loans.
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at NatWest, said: "After the huge success of last year's NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards we are delighted to be continuing our support again this year.
"Spectrum Collections, our 2017 overall winner, are a shining example of true hardworking entrepreneurs that optimise the very best entrepreneurial talent the U.K. has to offer. Small and medium size businesses are the beating heart of the UK economy and entrepreneurs that demonstrate a growth mind-set are pivotal to this success.
"It is essential we recognise these individuals, celebrate and role model their successes for others to emulate. We really look forward to achieving this even more in our 2018 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards."
The NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards is now open for entries at www.greatbritishentrepreneurawards.com. The deadline for entries is 3rd August 2018.