Eight business owners are in the running for the Entrepreneurs’ Forum Awards 2014 which celebrate the cream of North East entrepreneurial talent.
Judges in the annual awards have drawn up shortlists for the Emerging Talent and Entrepreneur of the Year accolades from a record number of nominations.
They have now begun visiting each entrepreneur finalist’s business to meet them and view their operations first hand to inform their final decisions.
The finalists for the Entrepreneur of the Year trophy are Andrew Esson, of North Shields-based Quick Hydraulics, Ian Watson, of North East care home firm Hadrian Healthcare, Dean Benson, of Stockton-headquartered Visualsoft, and Bryan Bunn, of Nortech Solutions.
The finalists for Emerging Talent are David Lynch, of Sunderland-based Lynch Healthcare, Charlotte Prenelle, of Pranella, Alice Blackie, of Pink Boutique, and Martyn Young, founder of First2Print.
Chief executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum Nicola Short said: “As well as attracting a record number of nominations this year, the quality was so high and the businesses so impressive that the judges had to put four entrepreneurs for each award through to the final.
“Once again we have two shortlists of outstanding entrepreneurs leading growing businesses that are making a positive difference to the North East economy and represent the kind of innovation and dynamism that makes our region such an exciting hotbed of entrepreneurship.”
The awards will be presented at a black tie celebration in September.