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Entrepreneurs in the East Midlands were recognised last night in a new awards ceremony

Ten awards were given out.

Award organisers Tom Young and Jenny Cross with compere Llewela Bailey (middle)
Award organisers Tom Young and Jenny Cross with compere Llewela Bailey (middle)

The winners of a brand new award ceremony were congratulated for their achievements in business last night.

Real Entrepreneurs' Awards, run by parent company Cross Productions, set out to celebrate the success of entrepreneurs across the East Midlands.

The awards ceremony was born post-pandemic after Jenny Cross, CEO of Cross Productions discover a need to shine a spotlight on those high flying entrepreneurs who are contributing to the economy in the Midlands.

It's an arm of the long-standing Real Entrepreneurs' Club, which brings together C-suite business people and entrepreneurs in one room.

Jenny Cross, CEO of Cross Productions said: “I have always benefited from being in the same room as forward thinking entrepreneurs.

"There is a culture of knowledge sharing that’s almost infectious. By sharing knowledge we all benefit, and as a result, our businesses grow and improve, and the economy feels the positive effects of that.

"I was really proud to see such an eclectic mix of personalities, industries and thought leaders and have many ideas already buzzing around my head for how we can develop the Real Entrepreneurs brand moving forwards.”

The ceremony took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel near East Midlands Airport and former ITV anchor and BBC breakfast host Llewela Bailey, who is now a university lecturer compered the evening.

Special guest restaurateur Jaimon Thomas took part in a live Q&A session, and Leicester-based Professor Peter Stokes from was key note speaker.

Winner of the most anticipated award of the night, Entrepreneurs’ Entrepreneur, Saleem Arif of ReviewSolicitors, said upon receiving the award: “This means an awful lot. It’s been a lot of hard work over the years and there’s been lots of big ups and downs along the way but to get an award like this makes it all worthwhile.”

The full list of winners:

Start Up Entrepreneur

Sponsored by Kazzoo IT

Narinder Nijjar - Fraser Stretton

Scale-up Entrepreneur

Sponsored by Patterson Commercial Law

Sophie Hainsworth - LoyalFree

Innovation in Entrepreneurship

Sponsored by Growth Partners

Lee Paxman-Clarke HEAL.Med

Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the year

Sponsored by BTT

Jake Karia - Jake & Nayns'

Entrepreneur for Good

Sponsored by Ian Guyler Business Consulting

Chris Cain - Kazzoo IT

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Sponsored by JSP Virtual

Nisha Pahuja - Charnwood Regency Guest House

Entrepreneurial Educator

Sponsored by Premier Logistics

Dawn Edwards - Challenge Consulting

Entrepreneurial Collaborator

Sponsored by Brewin Dolphin

Sophie Hainsworth - LoyalFree

International Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Morningside Pharmaceuticals

Mick Ventola - Ventola Projects

The Entrepreneurs' Entrepreneur

Sponsored by Fraser Stretton

Saleem Arif - ReviewSolicitors


Written by Kerry Smith

Kerry is editor of Cross Production's Niche Magazine in Leicester and has a degree in film and journalism. She writes about business news, local people, entertainment, and has a particular interest in theatre.


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