Entrepreneur Awards supported by Octopus, Springboard

Our Entrepreneur Awards are celebrating the fantastic entrepreneurs across the UK who have thrived during the pandemic and made the most of lockdown; by starting or growing their business, innovating to survive the challenges, or supporting their staff and local community.  

Our 5 winners were chosen by a panel of politicians and entrepreneurs, including Shadow Employment Minister Seema Malhotra MP, Katherine Fletcher MP and Andy Carter MP, Karen Taylor, Founder of Parent Cloud, and Octopus Founder Chris Hulatt.  

By giving these inspiring role models a platform we hope to encourage others who want to start a business, showing them the possibilities are endless. Congratulations!   

More about our winners

Green Acres Farm Rural Enterprises CIC 

Winner name: Heather Wilson 

Working with schools to provide an alternative style of education for young people, encouraging an enterprising outlook. 

The business was set up to offer educational opportunities for young people not in full-time schooling, including running the ‘Friday Café’ for the elderly & socially isolated.  

During the pandemic, volunteers delivered meals to a local retirement home, and later people shielding across nearby rural areas.  

Looking forward, the team plans to raise money and partner with other local businesses to continue growing their Rural Craft centre.  

Flare Bright 

Winner name: Chris Daniels/Kelvin Hamilton/ Conrad Rider 

A rapidly growing aerospace company pushing the boundaries of AI technology to develop autonomous drones.

By winning new investment and contracts, Flare Bright managed to double their head count, including an apprentice from a nearby college. They also expanded to a larger centre for research and innovation despite lockdown restrictions. 

They are looking to capitalise on their recent InnovateUK Future Flight grants to continue growing, including taking on another apprentice.  

Cooper King Distillery

Winner name: Dr Abbie Neilson and Christopher Jaume 

An independent distillery producing England’s first carbon-negative gin. Their self-built distillery is powered by 100% green energy.

When the pandemic hit, their sales plummeted, losing 75% revenue. The company were quick to switch production from alcohol to hand sanitiser in just 5 days, supplying a national retailer and donating to the local community and frontline workers. 

The team also set up at-home tasting experiences hosted by the founders, which proved to be a great success. Looking forward, they are looking to continue their work to tackle climate change. 

Choice Rolls

Winner name: Darryl Woolerson 

Catering business that was founded during the pandemic by a 17 year old and helped to provide free school meals to vulnerable families.

Darryl quickly shifted his sandwich shop to a takeaway model, then delivering pre-orders to workplaces, which helped to maintain and grow his customer base. 

The business supported vulnerable families by working with local businesses and the community to provide free meals during school holidays – winning plaudits from Marcus Rashford.  

Darryl is planning to open an outdoor dining area and grow the delivery service by recruiting a full-time driver.  

Prestige Furniture Art 

Winner name: Shane Jones and Dean Jones 

Handmade furniture business that uses locally sourced materials and recycled materials to ensure a low carbon footprint.

During the lockdown, Prestige Furniture took on members of their community who had lost their jobs through the pandemic, as delivery drivers. As the business grew, the company took on more local people, including finding a role in their warehouse for a local teenager during school closures.  

They also provided free furniture to a local pub and recreation ground to enable them to reopen with social distancing measures in place.  

Building a nation of entrepreneurs to fight for economic recovery