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Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2010: the shortlist

The three nominees for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK, in association with Leonard Cheshire Disability, have been announced.

Stelios and Leonard Cheshire Disability launched the award to seek out and recognize exceptional entrepreneurial drive and business ability in the UK. The winner of the award will be announced at the Growing Business Awards on November 25.

The three nominees are:

Vanessa Heywood, Tiny Mites Music
Tiny Mites Music provides music and movement classes for babies, toddlers and pre-school children. Using unique songs and characters, Tiny Mites Music operates in over 80 daycare nurseries, and has a national reach by providing content or Butlins and Pontins holiday parks. Tiny Mites Music also sells merchandise and CDs, and future expansion – through a franchise model and theatre tours – is planned.

Andy Kent, Andy’s Kars
Andy’s Kars is a family-run garage that provides servicing and repairsm including servicing, to manufacturers’ specification. Some 80 per cent of Andy’s Kars employees are disabled or severely disadvantaged, and the workshop has been adapted to allow those with physical disabilities to gain on-the-floor experience repairing cars, including Motability vehicles. Andy Kent has also recently established Andy’s Ark, a charity to support disadvantaged youth interested in the motor trade. Andy’s Kars plans to expand by opening another site in the future.

Rob Smith, Active Hands
Active Hands manufactures gripping aids designed to enable people with a wide range of disabilities to firmly hold everyday items and partake in sports and other gripping-intensive activities. These unique aids are made in the UK and bring independence and freedom to thousands of people. They are expanding rapidly and plan to move to factory production at the end of 2010.

Commenting on the award, Stelios says: “I’m passionate about encouraging entrepreneurship and helping remove the barriers that disabled people face in business. My commitment to supporting the talent and tenacity of these exceptional and inspiring disabled entrepreneurs is what this award is all about.”

The Stelios award, worth £50,000, helps disabled entrepreneurs grow their business to the next level.

“Winning the award made a huge difference to Traveleyes, helping to finance our transition onto a fully international customer base,” says past winner Amar Latif, who won in 2007.

Find out who the winner of the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK is on November 25 at the Growing Business Awards. To find out more information or to buy a ticket, visit the Growing Business Awards website.


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