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Midlands entrepreneurs make the shortlist

Founders, innovators and entrepreneurs from across the Midlands have been recognised as the best in the business as the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2021 finalists are announced.

Despite a year of disruption, 118 Midlands-based business leaders have been shortlisted out of an incredible 4,800 entrants nationally - the most the awards has ever had.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards, in partnership with Starling Bank, acknowledges and champions the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and businesses across the UK.

Over the last decade, it has celebrated some household names including Julie Deane OBE of Cambridge Satchel Co, Alan and Juliet Barratt of Grenade, and Shaun Pulfrey of Tangle Teezer. Its most recent headline-grabbing success story is its previous winner Steven Bartlett, who in May was announced as the youngest ever Dragon on BBC’s Dragons Den.

The Regional Finals take place later this year, as the organisers monitor Government restrictions on events in each area.

Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said the quality of this year’s entrants exemplified the strength of entrepreneurship in the region.

“The Midlands has produced some incredible finalists over the years, and this year is no exception. It really is one of the UK’s most promising regions, and the fact that so many exceptional people have applied during such a tough year, is a testament to the resolve and talent that exists across area.

“As well as the recognition, our finalists and eventual winners will join our fantastic alumni community that supports each other all year round. From networking and thought leadership, right the way through to mentoring and guidance - being a part of our ecosystem of entrepreneurs can be incredibly rewarding.

“Creating the shortlist out of so many wonderful applications was incredibly tough, so I don’t envy the judges who will now decide the regional winners. Everyone who has been shortlisted should be incredibly proud and we’re thrilled to be able to showcase their achievements.”

Anne Boden MBE, founder of Starling Bank, headline partner of the Awards, said: "In the unique circumstances we’ve seen over the past year, many entrepreneurs from every corner of the country have found ways to grow and to prosper. This year's finalists are the ones who have shown the agility and imagination to adapt and we wish every one of them the best of luck."

To attend or watch the finals or learn more about the awards, visit greatbritishentrepreneurawards.com 

Pictured: Host Wynne Evans and GBEA founder Francesca James