SEVEN North East entrepreneurs were picked out as the best in the region at a prestigious awards evening in Manchester last night.
They will go forward to a national final in October, where 53 top executives from across the UK will compete for the title Ernst & Young Overall UK Entrepreneur of the Year.
The UK winner will go out to Monte Carlo in May 2010 to represent their country at Ernst & Young’s World Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
The seven regional winners in the North and Midlands category were:
Steve Nelson and Richard Vertigan, finance director and MD, of 4 Projects Limited, of Sunderland, a software developer and distributor;
Dr Arnab Basu, CEO of Durham Scientific Crystals (Kromek), based in Sedgefield, manufacturer of medical and precision instruments;
Graeme Lowdon, CEO of Nomad Digital, based in Newcastle, a mobile network solutions provider for the global transportation industry;
Greg Phillips, MD of North East Bakery, of Newcastle, a bakery chain;
Neil Stephenson, CEO of Onyx Group, Middlesbrough, a managed IT services to businesses;
Ian Edge, MD of Quantum Specials, based in Burnopfield – pharmaceutical specials manufacturer.
The judges described Arnab Basu as a “great leader and manager, with great vision”.
Greg Phillips was described as “a young entrepreneur who epitomises what entrepreneurs are about – great work ethic and enthusiasm”.
The judges described Ian Edge as “a great thinker and leader who makes things happen”, and Neil Stephenson is said by the judges to be a “very determined person who has clearly identified market space”.
While Graeme Lowdon has a “clear leadership style and ability to raise cash”.
Steve Nelson and Richard Vertigan have focused on “global expansion opportunities in a market which is going to explode in the next five years” and have a “good business model and are very customer focused” say the judges.
Mark Hatton, Newcastle senior partner at Ernst & Young said: “The North East won seven out of the 14 regional awards, demonstrating the quality of the talent we have in the region.
“Entrepreneurs achieve great things and are real drivers of the global economy. Their vision, leadership, determination and sheer hard work are an inspiration to us all. In turbulent times where some businesses see hurdles, entrepreneurs identify and act on opportunities that the market presents.”
The North and Midlands independent judging panel 2009 included Sir Michael Darrington, non-executive director of Greggs.