The 2017 Amazon Growing Business Awards ceremony is almost upon us, held on 29 November at The Brewery in East London. The night will see 17 awards given away, with one of the categories being Entrepreneur of the Year.
Deciding who earns this accolade is by no means an easy task, with our shortlist filled with entrepreneurs who have altered industries and created outstanding companies, highlighting exactly why British leaders prove so inspirational.
Ahead of the night, we sought to shine a light on their success, having asked the entrepreneurs – or those submitting them – to offer 100 words on why they deserve the prize.
Lee Biggins, CV-Library
Lee Biggins is a natural born entrepreneur and anyone that meets him can see just how passionate he is about the CV-Library brand.
Having spent nearly half of his life at CV-Library, he is constantly encouraging the rest of the team to be as innovative as possible and has a passion for staying ahead of the curve.
You’ll often find him in the press, giving advice to other companies, and budding entrepreneurs, on how to build a successful brand like CV-Library. Over-all he deserves to win this accolade because of his continued successes in pushing his company to new heights.
Mark Januszewski and Craig Foster, DOMU Brands
Entrepreneurial to the core, the team thinks as well as acts differently. The founders are the driving force behind the company and the business’ key values: quality, innovation, learning and fun are embedded throughout the day-to-day running of the company.
Their appetite for growth and improvement is infectious and a defining feature across every team – from buying, marketing, operations and customer service.
The business’ mission is to provide the highest quality products at competitive prices and the best service to every customer. We continuously strive for improvement in our products and in the value we provide to our customers.
Jacyn Heavens, Epos Now
Jacyn Heavens is the founder and CEO of the UK’s fastest growing EPOS company, serving over 30,000 small and independent businesses the tools they need to thrive in difficult economic circumstances against huge corporate competition.
Through his unparalleled customer insight and commitment to his teams’ people development, Epos Now has garnered an annual revenue exceeding £10m – and is set to grow having established in the US market in 2016.
He was winner of the Queen’s Award for Innovation and the GB Retail Entrepreneur of the year, and also champions excellence and rewards success to fuel his company ambition for growth.
Michael Tomlins, Infomedia/Humley
Michael Tomlins is CEO of Infomedia, a global leader in direct carrier billing, and co-founder and NED at Humley, an AI startup.
Under Tomlins, Infomedia has grown on average by 49 per cent y-o-y for the past five years despite discounting half of the potential market on ethical grounds, it doesn’t work with dating, gambling or adult content.
He believes in leading by example, using Infomedia’s growth story to demonstrate how the mobile payments industry can deliver in a compliant and safe way. Tomlins believes Northampton offers his teams the best work/life balance, while allowing his global tech companies to be thrive.
The 2017 edition of the Amazon Growing Business Awards will see the likes of CV-Library, webexpenses, Flight Club Darts and Revolut vie for accolades, with the awards shortlist featuring an abundance of talent.
Jazz Gandhum, e-Careers
Jazz Gandhum is an innovative, energetic and inspiring entrepreneur, who boasts extensive experience in transforming startups into seven figure turnover successes across a range of industry sectors.
The main difference between Gandhum and other entrepreneurs, however, is his genuine desire to better the lives of others through the businesses he has founded, created and managed.
He has delivered accessible and affordable education to the masses through e-Careers, went on to grow a global engineering business which manufactures safety critical Teflon products for the chemical process industry, and, finally, launched a natural isotonic drinks brand called iPro Sport.
Sean Ramsden, Ramsden International
I circle the globe with phenomenal energy to gather customer insight and to inspire my sales team. My sustained contribution over 22 years has taken Ramsden International from a tiny business that didn’t generate enough to live on to £50m turnover, with a plan to grow 20 per cent by YE2018.
I have shown the persistence and resilience to devise new strategy and adapt my model as the market gets tougher.
And I share the benefits of my success: I am fortunate, so I give back through pro-bono roles and make sure staff have the best workplace in the area.
Paul Wedgwood, Splash Damage
Splash Damage is dedicated to crafting team-based multiplayer games that ignite friendships as well as the competitive spirit.
Having risen from the competitive community, listening to players and giving them first-class experiences in the worlds they love is what drives this close-knit team.
Although Splash Damage has strong growth plans and more projects to be revealed soon, Paul Wedgwood is ensuring his primary goal is fulfilled: Creating happiness for players and staff, both of which will remain core to the studio. Setting an example in the industry,Wedgwood has built a unique studio that is set to continue to grow.