The BQ National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year campaign brings together established entrepreneurs from across the UK with the challenge of identifying individuals who in their view are representative of a next generation entrepreneur.

Once again they will relish the challenge of nominating individuals who in their eyes have the potential to succeed in business and in turn make a positive contribution to local, regional and national economies.

The campaign will bring together entrepreneurial talent to recognise the early contributions of those individuals who are capable of carrying forward the entrepreneurial baton.

It is vital that we continue to recognise and support our next generation of emerging entrepreneurs as they will be the lifeblood of our future economy making a direct impact on job creation and the wealth of the country.

Throughout the campaign, BQ will be showcasing some of the UK’s most exciting emerging entrepreneurs, telling their story to date and in turn raising their profile to help them achieve their ambitions.

You can view the 2016 BQ Emerging Entrepreneur Dinner here:


The BQ National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year campaign is organised by BQ, a national brand recognised for celebrating and inspiring entrepreneurship to help businesses succeed and grow.

The multi-platform brand reaches an audience of thousands of entrepreneurs and senior business executives across Scotland, the North East & Cumbria, the North West, the West Midlands, Yorkshire and London & the South.

BQ is part of the BE Group, an independent national business services group with an exceptional track record in business improvement, enterprise and economic development. The Group has an extensive portfolio of services designed to help businesses to be more competitive, productive, efficient and innovative.


The campaign will aim to find emerging entrepreneurs from across the UK, bringing them together for an evening of celebration on 22nd February 2017 at the Newcastle Gateshead Hilton where they will be joined by many BQ featured entrepreneurs and guests. The 2016/17 campaign will extend across Scotland, the North East & Cumbria, the North West, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and London and the South.

The dinner will be the highlight of an initial six month campaign profiling emerging entrepreneurs across the UK in print, online and across social media. Forthcoming editions of BQ magazine will carry coverage and BQ Breakfast, the daily business update service, will also reach out to BQ’s growing digital audience with a range of features showcasing many of the emerging entrepreneurs and their businesses.

The celebratory evening will showcase the success stories of established entrepreneurs but more importantly act as a call to action to emerging next generation entrepreneurs to step up to the plate. 

The campaign will make a positive impact by profiling emerging talent as BQ continues to follow their stories during their year of recognition. This provides long term exposure and coverage whilst also creating a platform to continue to recognise and encourage the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

All those put forward will be assessed by an independent panel looking for nominated individuals to simply demonstrate their entrepreneurial qualities and capabilities with a number of emerging entrepreneurs benefitting from further profile on the evening as BQ recognises a group of outstanding individuals, with one being crowned as the BQ Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.


Event:                   BQ National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2017
Date:                    Wed 22nd Feb 2017 
Venue:                  Hilton Newcastle Gateshead
Time:                    6.30pm – 11.00pm
Dress:                   Smart casual - dress as you would as an entrepreneur


-          300 attendees
-          Audience of emerging and recognised entrepreneurs
-          12 month digital and in-print media campaign
-          Independent panel of judges


Profile - national campaign to bring together entrepreneurs
Positioning – supported by the leading entrepreneurs and businesses
Personality – a strong and independent brand identity recognised across UK
People – a showcase of entrepreneurial talent
Promotion – a programme of activity encouraging entrepreneurship across the UK
Partnerships – a host of support from leading entrepreneur organisations



BQ National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 will provide limited and exclusive sponsorship opportunities ranging from support level through to area sponsorship with each opportunity giving an extensive range of benefits. A detailed sponsorship proposal can be sent to you on request by contacting Bryan Hoare, Managing Director, on [email protected] or 07860 107636.

Booking Tickets
We would encourage attendence from entrepreneurs and other businesses and organisations associated with the entrepreneurship agenda. The dinner will take place on Wed 22nd Feb 2017 at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead and we look forward to welcoming you.

Included in the ticket price
- Arrival Drinks Reception
- Official Dinner Programme
- 3 Course Meal
- After Dinner Speaker

Single Tickets:    £100.00 + VAT
Table of 8:        £750.00 + VAT

Please note the remaining two places at your table will be reserved for an entrepreneur and nominated emerging entrepreneur.

Book your tickets now or for more information, contact Amanda Armstrong on [email protected]


All those nominated for BQ National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 will be assessed by a panel looking for nominated individuals to simply demonstrate their entrepreneurial qualities and capability.

The overall BQ Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2016, in association with Irwin Mitchell, will be revealed at the MADE entrepreneur festival in Sheffield in November 2016. The shortlisted finalists for 2016 were announced as:

Scotland: Graham Suttle, Kained Holdings

Graham had always dreamt of owning and running his own bar, or group of bars. He had a strong idea of the menus, drinks, the look and feel and the atmosphere.  With a family history and background in the Irish pub game he approached two friends to ask if they wanted in on the idea – they did, and Kained Holdings was created. 

The pub, bar and restaurant business is now responsible for a string of pubs and eateries, and has branched out into an Academy which offers development classes for the trade. Close to the heart of the business is the community spirit and feel.

North East: Ben Staerck, Furniture Clinic/Handbag Clinic

Ben Staerck operates both Furniture Clinic and Handbag Clinic out of Newcastle. Furniture Clinic manufactures a unique range of leather cleaning, repair and restoration products used in many industries, from the obvious furniture through to the more indirect, like automotive.

Ben founded the company with his father whilst he was in sixth form, and took over as managing director in 2013. Since then Furniture Clinic has opened an office in New York and another branch in Hong Kong. 

In August 2013, noticing a gap in the market, Ben created the Handbag Clinic to clean, repair and restore damaged handbags. The company opened its first store in Chelsea in 2015, with a second following that year and a third already in the planning.

Joe Carnell, UGOT UK

Joe only realised his entrepreneurial potential when working with a business called ‘the health kitchen’. His passion for healthy food led him to establish ÜGOT in a vacant shopfront in York railway station, capitalising on the UK’s ‘health food boom’. 

Now established in York, Newcastle and Harrogate railway stations, UGOT employs 40 people across its stores and has raised thousands for a range of local community projects. Joe himself is a regular speaker at business events and in schools, working to inspire a younger generation of entrepreneurs.

West Midlands: Michael Bruce, Purplebricks Group plc

Michael Bruce saw an opportunity to help estate agents embrace the internet. If they could utilise the benefits that technology had to offer, he believed it could lead to a substantial reduction in fees for consumers. Technology would be used to help make the process more convenient, transparent and cost effective for customers, moving away from the traditional fee-based models. 

Purplebricks was founded with that in mind. The aim was to make the house buying experience positive and stress free by focusing on the best interests of the customer, and not commission. You may well spot their TV adverts running nationwide.

All shortlisted entrants were chosen on the basis of entrepreneurial character, business performance, business strategy, business impact, innovation and personal values.

Bryan Hoare, MD of BQ, told us: “Every year we expect to find a standout entrepreneur, one who is clearly head and shoulders above the rest, and every year we don’t find that. Instead, we find a whole host of entrepreneurs who are first class and excellent in their field, and the decision is agonising.

"Our four winners this year were simply exceptional, though, and we know they are going to go on to be ones to watch for years to come.

“Every field needs a leader, and in these four - as well as the wider shortlist, and our ones to watch - we’re sure we are watching the entrepreneurial leaders of our future. With thanks to Bentley Leeds and Irwin Mitchell, we look forward to MADE festival in November, where we’ll crown one overall Emerging Entrepreneur of 2016.”


Nominations for BQ National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 are now closed. Those who have entered will be contacted within the next few weeks to complete full nomination details.

For queries regarding your current nomination, purchasing tickets or the limited and exclusive advertising opportunities available for 2017 contact Caroline Brown on 0191 3898502 or email [email protected]


BQ National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2017