On a star studded evening of entrepreneurs in London—including James Caan, Julie Meyer and Will King—the Growing Business Awards celebrated the best of British Business. Created by Real Business and the CBI in 1999, the Growing Business Awards are the most established recognition for UK independent and entrepreneurial businesses.
This year’s event kicked off the first Global Entrepreneurship Week, where enterprise activity is being championed across the world.
A new award for ‘Local Hero of Enterprise’ was won by Denys Shortt, founder of DCS Europe and Chairman of the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Declan Curry, presenter for BBC Business News, announced the award:
“Former England Hockey player, highly successful entrepreneur and proud son of Stratford-upon-Avon, Denys Shortt commits himself to a huge array of local community projects—from supporting the town’s football club to mentoring business owners to launching an ambitious new project to place helipads on rooftops alongside accident and emergency wings.”
The award was presented by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government who said:
“He is my local hero because of his work with the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership—when other partnerships were looking for guidance from the government he just got on with it.”
On receiving his award Denys Shortt said:
“I have realised life is not just about making money—it’s about helping others along the way. Being Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership has been one of the most challenging but satisfying things that I have ever done. LEPs are good news. I would highly recommend that business owners get involved. For the first time ever the Government is asking business leaders to help shape the future of our country.”
Matthew Rock, co-founder of Real Business, describes the winners as “beacons of light for Britain and testament to the entrepreneurial talent, innovative thinking and business acumen that we have in this country”.
The Growing Business Awards are supported by Coutts, Visa, Land Rover, Bird & Bird, Cavendish, WorldSkills UK, Grant Thornton and Cass Business School. Previous winners have included entrepreneurial champions such as Autonomy, Stylist, Moneysupermarket.com and DVD rental giant LoveFilm.