Gateshead based business founder Charlotte Windebank named Entrepreneurial Spirit winner for the North East at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
In partnership with Starling Bank, the ceremony was held at Grosvenor House in London on 22 November and saw 159 entrepreneurs across the UK recognised for their entrepreneurial stories and achievements over the last year.
FIRST is an accredited learning and development agency empowering job seekers, founders and students to develop confidence, leadership and progression skills for work, starting a business or accessing higher/further education. Working alongside education, local authorities, business and community organisations, we respond to high unemployment and low business startup rates by connecting, celebrating and developing engaging learning experiences for individuals to explore ideas and opportunities within employment, entrepreneurship and professional development.
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards launched in 2012 to celebrate the best of British enterprise, inviting founders from across the UK to apply with their entrepreneurial success stories.
This year, after having to hold the awards virtually in 2020, the organisers brought together all eight of their regional shortlists for the first time, with a guest list of 1,200 entrepreneurs, judges, mentors, investors and partners invited to the London celebration.
Over the last decade, the Awards has celebrated some household names including Julie Deane OBE of Cambridge Satchel Co, Alan and Juliet Barratt of Grenade and Shaun Pulfrey of Tangle Teezer. Its most recent headline-grabbing success story is its previous winner, and speaker at this year's event, Steven Bartlett, who in May was announced as the youngest ever Dragon on BBC’s Dragons Den.
The awards were judged by a panel of industry experts and leaders of influential UK businesses, including some of the prize winners from previous years.
Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, spoke highly of the entrepreneurial talent coming out of this year’s cohort: “It was fantastic to hear so many inspiring business stories after a difficult few years, and even better to have been able to invite all of our finalists to the in-person ceremony and celebrate together.
“With more than 1,200 attending, the evening was a real snapshot of the UK economy. The winners were thoroughly deserving, overcoming some stiff competition from their fellow finalists, and we look forward to welcoming them into our alumni community and seeing what they do next. It’s always exciting to watch our previous winners go on to achieve amazing things and I don’t expect any less from this year’s award recipients, who we will support all the way.”
Charlotte, who was delighted to represent the North East and receive the award said "the last 2 years have been so tough for business owners and it meant so much to me to be recognised and celebrated. I met some incredible people that night that I know will stay business pals for a life time. Thanks to the organisers for getting it spot on!"
Anne Boden MBE, founder of Starling Bank, headline partner of the Awards, said: “It is fantastic to see these worthy individuals being celebrated through these awards. We wish all the shortlisted businesses the best of luck with their future endeavours during these changing times.”