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Winners of The Real Entrepreneurs' Awards 2023 revealed

They held the first Pitching Platform competition too.

Winners of the Real Entrepreneurs' Awards 2023
Winners of the Real Entrepreneurs' Awards 2023

East Midlands enterprise The Real Entrepreneurs' Club held its annual awards ceremony at Nottingham Trent University Business School on May 4. Ten winners were thrilled to accept their awards on stage at the stunning venue where BBC Radio Leicester presenter Jo Hayward compered the event. Event organisers Cross Productions brought over 180 high-flying business owners from across the East Midlands together at the highly professional and slick event, giving the winners the perfect forum for their brands to be seen and heard outside of their home cities. The Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards had the support of its headline sponsor Fraser Stretton Property Group, which was founded by husband-and-wife duo Narinder Nijjar and Jaz Kaur who are considered allies to fellow entrepreneurs.


The firm also sponsored and presented the most esteemed award of the night, the Entrepreneurs’ Entrepreneur award.

Narinder Nijjar from Fraser Stretton Property Group at The Real Entrepreneurs' Awards 2023
Narinder Nijjar from Fraser Stretton Property Group

Jaz Kaur and Narinder Nijjar from Fraser Stretton Property Group said: “As allies to fellow entrepreneurs and budding business owners, loved hearing the applicants’ pitches and are looking forward to being able to support and encourage them in the future.”


Jenny Cross, CEO of Cross Productions, said: “The Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards was a huge success. The winners were exceptionally impressive, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.


"This event wouldn’t have been possible without our passionate headline sponsor Fraser Stretton Property Group and without the help of entrepreneurs in the East Midlands who have helped promote it and came together last night to support others, which will in turn help local economies to grow. I’m incredibly proud and we’re already planning next year’s ceremony.” The panel of judges consisted of successful East Midlands-based entrepreneurs Glynis Wright MBE of GW Growth Consultancy; Patterson Commercial Law Managing Director Rik Pancholi; Premier Logistics Client Relationship Manager Macauley Christopher; University of Derby Enterprise Development Manager Angela Tooley; and Lewis Stringer Senior Manager at UK Network - East and South-East Midlands (Midlands Engine Investment Fund).

Judges: Rik Pancholi, Glynis Wright MBE, Macauley Christopher, Angela Tooley, and Lewis Stringer, pose for a photo at the Real Entrepreneurs' Awards 2023
Rik Pancholi, Glynis Wright MBE, Macauley Christopher, Angela Tooley, and Lewis Stringer

A highlight of the awards was the novel Pitching Platform, sponsored by Pattersons Commercial Law. Three start-ups pitched to the room for a chance to win £10k worth of legal and marketing advice and investment from Pattersons Commerical Law and Cross Productions.


They also won a non-executive business board consisting of Rik Pancholi of Pattersons Commercial Law; Jenny Cross of Cross Productions; Paul Bevan of Breeze Corporate Finance; and Ian Cooper of Brewin Dolphin.


In addition, they’ll gain access to a senior venture capital investor Mercia Group and Foresight Group.


The Pitching Platform winner was Kate Allan of ExpHand Prosthetics, who also won the Entrepreneurs’ Entrepreneur Award.

Rik Pancholi and Pitching Platform winner Kate Allan at the Real Entrepreneurs' Awards 2023
Rik Pancholi and Pitching Platform winner Kate Allan

Rik Pancholi of Pattersons Commercial Law, sponsor of the pitching platform, said: “We set up the Pitching Platform to highlight businesses that are in the very early stage of their journey.


"These are often the businesses that need support the most but may face challenges with securing the best advice or access to funding.


"I believe all three businesses will go very far and I’m very much looking forward to working with Kate Allen and ExpHand Prosthetics as they continue on their incredible journey.”

The Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards 2023 winners are:

Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by University of Leicester

Natalie Bamford – Colleague Box


Entrepreneurial Collaborator

Sponsored by Breeze Corporate Finance Ltd

Amanda Daly – The Insight Centre


Entrepreneur for Good

Sponsored by TML Solicitors

Stacey Wragg – Embark CSR


Entrepreneurial Spirit

Sponsored by Take Me

Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan – The Zinthiya Trust


International Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Utilities Made Simple

Gurdev Mattu – Fashion UK


Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by BTT

Greta McDonald – Sweet Lounge


Innovation in Entrepreneurship

Sponsored by Midlands Engine Investment Fund

Lee Paxman-Clarke – HEAL.med


Entrepreneurial Educator

Sponsored by Premier Logistics

Nav Ahmed – Arden University


Scale-up Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Brewin Dolphin

Leanne Bonner-Cooke MBE


The Entrepreneur's Entrepreneur

Sponsored by Fraser Stretton Property Group

Kate Allan – ExpHand Prosethtics

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