Marg Randles and John Woodward of Busy Bees; William Chase of Chase Distillery; Mark Jones and Jeremy Taylor of Green Frog Power; and Heather Penn and John Penn of SSE Audio Group, all received awards at the London ceremony.
Ambarish Mitra, Founder & CEO of Blippar, was crowned ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK 2016 overall winner’.
Blippar harnesses image recognition, augmented reality and computer vision technology to bring the physical world to life through smart devices. Once they have downloaded the app, consumers can blipp (‘scan’) objects they are curious about and unlock content. The app has over 65 million users in 175 countries.
Marg Randles and John Woodward, founders of Staffordshire-based Busy Bees, took home the Consumer Products and Services award. Busy Bees is the UK’s leading childcare provider for children aged three months to five years. Judges were impressed by their enduring entrepreneurial spirit, continued motivation and commitment to growth, which even extended to moving to Singapore to oversee their expansion.
William Chase of Herefordshire-based Chase Distillery was awarded winner of the Food and Drink category. Judges were impressed by his sheer determination and described him as a “serial entrepreneur” after developing the hugely successful Tyrells crisps business, before selling it on and starting Chase Distillery, which produces Britain’s only single estate potato vodka.
Mark Jones and Jeremy Taylor of Coleshill-based Green Frog Power won an ‘Emerging’ entrepreneur award. Green Frog provides the National Grid and other energy networks with back up reserve power on demand. The judges were impressed by their compelling story, continuous innovation, and the scale of their ambition.
Heather Penn and John Penn of Redditch-based SSE Audio Group took home an award in the Business Products and Services category. SSE Audio Group hire, manufacture, install and distribute across a range of specialist audio and audio-visual markets.
The judges described them as “one of the most respected companies in the field, having turned their hobby into a business by matching their undoubted technical expertise with true entrepreneurial spirit.” The judges also emphasized the fact that pair continue to innovate with ground-breaking technology and breaking into new markets.
Andrew Spence, partner and Midlands Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader at EY, said: “This is a strong year for the Midlands. It serves to demonstrate that dynamic and fast growing companies – and the people behind them – are vital to the region’s national and global competitiveness, and these awards rightly recognise their success.”