London and South entrepreneurs create 32,000 jobs and turn over £2.8 billion


With a combined workforce of over 32,000 and turnover of over £2.8billion, some of the most inspiring businesses in the London and South region have been shortlisted in EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year programme 2015.


Thirty-five businesses from a range of sectors including: life sciences; hospitality and leisure; healthcare; technology and retail; made the short-list and will compete at the London & South final on 18 June.

Winners from across Scotland, the North, Midlands, London and the South region will progress to the UK finals in October, where they will vie for the title EY UK Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 and a chance to represent their country at a global awards ceremony in Monte Carlo in 2016.

The judging panel, led by JustGiving Chairman, Jonathan McKay, will make its decision based on a number of criteria, including: entrepreneurial spirit; innovation; strategic direction; financial performance; national and global impact; and the companies’ approach to social responsibility.

Dave Hales, Entrepreneur Of The Year Partner for London and South said: “Our 2015 finalists demonstrate the quality of UK business, which builds confidence and strength in the economy. The leaders of these businesses are inspiring individuals who are creating wealth and jobs through innovation, whilst acting as role models and encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.

“Entrepreneur Of The Year is more than an awards programme; it provides a forum for the brightest business brains to connect and share ideas. Year after year the programme continues to draw out companies that are challenging the norm, often operating under the radar. I look forward to celebrating their achievements with them.”

Stuart Watson, UK Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader said: “We need entrepreneurs now more than ever. They have been achieving success and defying the odds in times of change and upheaval, recognising opportunities to act quickly and decisively to gain market share and traction for their ideas and innovation.

“Now in its 17th year in the UK, EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year brings together dynamic business leaders of fast growth companies who are creating growth, confidence at pace and generating positive impact in their markets at home and abroad.”

Full list of London & South 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year finalists:

  • Gary Lewis and Carmen Lewis - A1 Pharmaceuticals – a UK based pharmaceutical wholesaler, trading globally on internationally branded pharmaceuticals and medical devices - based in London.
  • Rich Wagner - Advanced Payment Solutions - a payment solution, offering prepaid cards, consumer credit, business banking and Public Sector payment solutions - based in London.
  • Ambarish Mitra - Blippar - the leading visual browser, bringing the physical world to vibrant digital life on smartphones, tablets and wearables using image recognition and augmented reality (AR) technologies - based in London.
  • Colin Batt, Dave Floyd, Richard Wharton - Bullitt Group - international mobile phone and consumer electronics business: designs, manufactures markets and sells consumer electronic devices in partnership with global brands – based in Reading.
  • Andrew Page - CHP Consulting - provides software and consultancy services for top asset and automotive finance companies worldwide - based in London.
  • Charles Nasser – Claranet - one of Europe’s leading managed service providers, offering businesses hosting, networks and communications services - based in London.
  • Matt Isaacs – Essence - a digital marketing group encompassing a leading global digital agency and an advertising technology business - based in London.
  • Shelim Hussain - Eurofoods Group – a leading international manufacturer and distributor of frozen and fresh foods, serving the restaurant, catering and specialist supermarket sectors - based in Cardiff.
  • James Connelly – FETCH – a mobile agency, delivering positive change in the mobile world - based in London.
  • Dai Powell - HCT Group - a social enterprise, safely providing over 20 million passenger trips on their buses every year. They deliver a range of transport services – from London red buses to social services transport, from school transport to Park and Ride, from community transport to education and training - based in London.
  • Robert MacMillan - HH Global - a global marketing supply-chain outsourcing provider, evolving print and digital marketing process by reducing cost and increasing quality - based in London.
  • Ashok Lakhani - Kolak Snack Foods –a leading manufacturer of crisps and snacks - based in London.
  • Dermot Joyce – Liberata - a business process innovation company that helps companies reinvent complex services, transactions and processing – based in London.
  • June O'Sullivan - London Early Years Foundation – the UK's largest child care social enterprise with 30 community nurseries across London – based in London.
  • Vernon Hill and Craig Donaldson - Metro Bank - a retail bank, founded in 2010 - Britain's first new High Street bank in over 100 years – based in London.
  • Titus Sharpe – MVF -   a customer acquisition platform driven by propitiatory tech, big data analytics and digital marketing – based in London.
  • Stephen Pattrick - Newcross Healthcare Solutions - one of the UK’s most successful providers of temporary staffing solutions to the healthcare and homecare sectors – based in Devon.
  • Jason Bannister – Oakfurnitureland – retailer of solid hardwood quality furniture, originally web based but now with 60 showrooms nationwide - based in Swindon.
  • Justin Ash - Oasis Healthcare - the number one provider of private dentistry in the UK and Ireland, and number two for NHS, operating 330+ practices, caring for 2.1m - based in Bristol.
  • Ben Allen - Oomph Wellness - a social enterprise and the UK's largest provider of fun, inclusive and effective exercise classes for older adults  – based in Ashford, Kent.
  • Adam Mumford, Mark Owen and Jarl Servern - Owen Mumford –designs and manufactures a range of medical devices and disposables for healthcare professionals and consumers worldwide – based in Oxford.
  • Dan Wagner - Powa Technologies - a leading technology commerce company revolutionising omni-channel retail around the world through its market-leading solutions PowaWeb, PowaPOS and PowaTag solutions – based in London.
  • Mark Lancaster – SDL - the leader in global customer experience, offering a completely integrated cloud solution for content – based in Maidenhead.
  • Nathan Bowles - Smart Solutions -  – quality provider of business outsource services, from recruitment, delivery of managed labour services, flexible workforce, process consultancy to staff training – based in Newport.
  • James Staughton - St. Austell Brewery – owners of 167 pubs and hotels and licensed trade wholesalers to 3,000 customers throughout South West England – based in St. Austell, Cornwall.
  • Stephen Stott - Stott and May - an international executive search firm specialising in finance, technology, and IT and infrastructure - based in London.
  • Dr. Richard Steeves - Synergy Health - delivers a range of specialist outsourced services to healthcare providers and other customers concerned with health management – based in Swindon.
  • Mark Smith - The Car Finance Company – provides car finance facilities to consumers and small businesses – based in Portsmouth.
  • James Aitken and Tim Webster - The Exchange Lab – operates as a programmatic marketing intelligence and multi-platform media trading company for clients worldwide – based in London.
  • Dilshad Hothi and Barinder Hothi - The Knowledge Academy – provides business and IT training to individuals and businesses – based in Bracknell, Berkshire.
  • Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann - TransferWise - an international money transfer platform, using peer to peer technology to cut the hidden fees charged by banks and brokers – based in London.
  • Ross Snape - United Asphalt - produce high quality asphalt, macadam and specialist surfacing products for a wide variety of end uses – based in Theale, Berkshire.
  • Ronnie George - Volution Group - a leading supplier of ventilation products with primary markets in the UK and Northern Europe – based in Crawley, West Sussex.
  • Lloyd Amsdon and Stuart Hennell - - the UK's leading retailer of pre-owned timepieces, offering the widest choice of high-end pre-owned watches in Europe – based in Canterbury.
  • Peter Digby – Xtrac -the world’s leading supplier of motorsport transmissions supplying competing teams in every premier formula and an expanding automotive market – based in Thatcham, Berkshire.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year

EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. It has been running for 17 years in the UK. The award makes a difference through the unique way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement.

As the first and only truly global award of its kind, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognising them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in 60 countries. The Financial Times is EOY’s 2015 UK media partner.


To read more information, click here.

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. With over 400 employees in our Cambridge and Luton offices, our teams provide a range of services to a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, life sciences, consumer products and retail, technology, real estate and construction, health, and the public sector. The broad array of companies across the East allows us to bring real, relevant and key insights to our clients.