Seven entrepreneurs from across the Midlands have been shortlisted in the finals of a national award scheme.
The septet has been named among the 30 finalists of the 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year awards run by financial services firm EY.
The awards have been celebrating entrepreneurship for 20 years and this year’s UK shortlist features people from a diverse range of sectors including automotive, technology, health, life sciences, consumer products and telecommunications.
The Midlands finalists are:
– Sam Cinkir, managing director of skin and hair specialist Este Medical in Birmingham
– Byron Dixon, director of Micro-Fresh, a tech company which makes antibacterial products in Leicester
– Ben Francis and Steve Hewitt, founder and chief executive respectively of fitness clothing and equipment brand Gymshark in Solihull
– Steve Hill, managing director of Light Source Design which is telecommunications network delivery partner in Nottingham
– Simon Hirst, chief executive of Sygnature Discovery which undertakes research for pharma and biotech companies around the world in Nottingham
– Lucy Woods, chief executive of credit hire and credit repair company Accident Exchange in Birmingham
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Simon O’Neill, office managing partner at EY in the Midlands, said: “It’s a challenging time to be an entrepreneur.
“While covid-19 has made it incredibly difficult for business owners to undertake business-as-usual activities, it has offered an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs to show their agility and spirit of innovation, exploring new markets and expanding their businesses in ways that they may not have imagined 12 months ago.
“It’s incredibly satisfying to see the breadth of sectors represented in this year’s competition which reflects the drive and determination of our Midlands entrepreneurs and their focus on achieving their local, national and global growth ambitions.
“I wish them all the very best of luck at the UK finals.”
The 30 UK finalists will now undergo further judging before one is crowned EY UK Entrepreneur of the Year and will then represent the country at the global event next summer which attracts entrepreneurs from more than 60 countries.