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Theo Paphitis: enterprise hero and GBA judge

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He came up trumps after being grilled by a panel of judges from the Forum for Private Business, Lloyds TSB and Companies House, among others – a role reversal for Paphitis, who’s one of the judges putting the country’s brightest young businesses through their paces in the run up to the 2009 Real Business Growing Business Awards, in association with the CBI, to be held on November 26.

Along with fellow judges John Caudwell, founder of Phones4U, Will “King of Shaves” King and Vin Murria, CEO of Advance Computer Software, Paphitis has had the tough job of picking a winner from this year’s stellar shortlist, featuring established names such as Lovefilm, which has captured 40 per cent of the UK DVD rental market; Dale Vince, CEO of green electricity supplier ecotricity; and 26 year-old entrepreneur Jamie Murray-Wells, the mastermind behind Glasses Direct.

Also in the running for a Growing Business Award are start-ups Girl Meets Dress, an online boutique where customers can hire dresses by designers including Luella, Marc Jacobs and Yves Saint Laurent; and e-stack, a spin out from the University of Cambridge that is pioneering eco-friendly heat recycling systems.

Other candidates include Cycle Hoop, an award-winning cycle parking product that is targeting exports after securing orders from local authorities across the UK; and Truancy Call, which has sent more than eight million text messages to parents of absent school children so far this year.

So who’ll win over Paphitis and Co? Click here to book your tickets for the glittering event at Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square to find out.

Related articles:Growing Business Awards: the entries are inGrowing Business Awards judging day: Young EntrepreneurGrowing Business Awards judging day: Entrepreneur of the YearMy Greatest Inspiration: Theo Paphitis

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