Are you the future of British business?

Last Thursday, I was one of the privileged few who boarded a private jet at London’s Biggin Hill airport, bound for the French village of Jarnac and the Courvoisier chateau. And all in the name of entrepreneurialism.

Stop laughing… seriously, it was.

Courvoisier, purveyor of fine cognac, is once again running The Future 500 to find the next 500 stars of British business. To promote the campaign (and show us lowly media types the pleasures of life as a successful entrepreneur), the company organised a press trip to its HQ deep in the heart of Cognac country.

Also on the press trip was Jamie Murray Wells, who is one of the four judges of this year’s competition. (The other judges are Ed Bartlett, Real Business columnist Seb Bishop and Reed Paget.)

We were also lucky enough to have Vincent McKevitt, the owner of salad-bar chain Tossed, along for the ride. McKevitt was named ‘one to watch’ from the food category last year.

It was a pretty intense couple of days. The cognac tasting session, for instance, was particularly gruelling.

But I digress. While members of The Future 500 are able to stay at the chateau free of charge (dramatically increasing their chances, one suspects, of developing a severe cognac addition), one of the aims of the event is to create an exclusive online community for movers and shakers in the business world.

To enter, you have to be over 18 years old, running your own business for at least a year and employing at least two staff.

McKevitt is an enthusiastic supporter of the scheme. The Boss for Tossed says it’s helped him raise his personal profile as well as that of his business, which now operates from three locations in London.

You can find out more about The Future 500 here

Finally, a big thank you to the guys and gals (or should that be hommes et femmes?) at Courvoisier for their very kind hospitality.

Take note, entrepreneurs: any company that serves up two desserts at dinner is a quality organisation.

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