National final for entrepreneurs

TWO Tees Valley entrepreneurs were among those named as the best in the North-east at a prestigious awards evening in Manchester last night.

TWO Tees Valley entrepreneurs were among those named as the best in the North-east at a prestigious awards evening in Manchester last night.

Neil Stephenson, CEO of Middlesbrough IT firm Onyx Group and Dr Arnab Basu, CEO of Sedgefield’s Durham Scientific Crystals (Kromek), will go forward to a national final in October, where 53 top executives from across the UK will compete for the Ernst & Young Overall UK Entrepreneur of the Year title.

The UK winner will fly out to Monte Carlo in May 2010 to represent their country at Ernst & Young’s World Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

The judges described Neil Stephenson as a “very determined person who has clearly identified market space”, while Arnab Basu was labelled a “great leader and manager with great vision”.

Mr Stephenson has spearheaded a period of rapid growth at Onyx through a series of acquisitions, quadrupling the group’s turnover to £12m in just two years.

He recently received the Alumni Enterprise Award from the University of Sunderland for his achievements.

Meanwhile Dr Basu has made major breakthroughs at Durham Scientific Crystals - now renamed Kromek - in the bid to improve airport security. Last year the company took the Innovation award at the North-east Business Awards for its groundbreaking 3-D X-ray imaging technology.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer