Sunday, August 18, 2019

Four Aberdeen Finalists in The Great British Entrepreneur Awards

Marischal Square
Marischal Square

Four Aberdeen-based Entrepreneurs have been shortlisted over three categories at the 2019 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards. 

Sarah Downs and Yekemi Otaru, Co-Founders of Doqaru Ltd are shortlisted for the ‘Start-up Entrepreneur of The Year’ Award. Michael Ballantyne, Founder of Storywood Tequila is shortlisted for ‘Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year’ and Kate Stott, Founder of BeautyBooker Ltd is shortlisted for ‘Health & Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year’.

Yekemi Otaru said: “Doqaru has been in business for less than a year, so it’s an honour to be selected among such inspiring businesses.  We can’t wait to meet the other finalists in Glasgow.”

The awards, which were founded in 2013, acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and businesses in the United Kingdom.   It celebrates the incredible stories that have taken entrepreneurs to where they are today, regardless of size or turnover.

Michael Ballantyne said: “To be added in a line-up of other amazing entrepreneurs for the dedication and successful growth we have achieved with our businesses is a huge achievement. As a start-up company I know the challenges that we all face on a day to day basis, however, getting that recognition by some of the best names in business is very humbling.”

The 2019 programme sees the Awards held in eight regions – Midlands, Wales, the South West, the North East, the North West, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and London & the South East.  There were 75 Scottish firms shortlisted across 11 categories. The Aberdeen Entrepreneurs will attend a ceremony in Glasgow on the 1st October for the Scotland regional final, sponsored by RBS.  Winners from each region are then invited to the Nationals in London on the 21st November.

Francesca James, Founder of the awards said: “This year both the number of applications we received (3,400 nationally) and the quality was exceptional. The Great British Entrepreneur Awards focuses on celebrating the story of incredible entrepreneurs; along the way building a supportive eco system and community of change-makers. We’re very proud of the calibre of entrepreneurial talent that this years’ shortlist shines a light on and all finalists should be very very proud of their achievements already”.

The award finalists are chosen by a high-profile judging panel, including names such as BBC Dragons Den investors, James Caan CBE and Jenny Campbell, as well as the “The Queen of Print” Cath Kidston MBE.  The Awards have celebrated some outstanding entrepreneurs who have gone on to become household names. Previous winners from Aberdeen include James Watt, Co-Founder of BrewDog.

Kate Stott said: “To be recognised alongside such talented individuals in business is an absolute honour, I’m thrilled with how much progress BeautyBooker has made since launch in March this year. I look forward to attending the finals in Glasgow”. 

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