Sweet success for Cambridge entrepreneurs at national business awards


Two of Cambridge’s leading entrepreneurs have scooped a national accolade at the UK final of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.

Competing against 40 of the country’s top talent, Peter Harris and Angus Thirlwell of Hotel Chocolat received the UK Entrepreneur Of Year Award in the ‘Business to Consumer’ category.

The co-founders of a multimillion pound retail phenomenon, which is founded on a commitment to authentic chocolate with no artificial additives of hydrogenated fats, were commended by an independent judging panel of leading entrepreneurs for their ‘innovation’, ‘passion’ and ‘thoughtful leadership.’

Peter Harris and Angus Thirlwell have developed Hotel Chocolat in to a chain of 22 retail outlets and a highly successful Chocolate Tasting Club with over 100,000 members.

The Cambridge duo were named the overall and ‘business to consumer’ category winners of the South Region Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards at a ceremony held in June this year, paving the way to the national finals at The Grosvenor House Hotel.

Julian Jenkins, Ernst & Young’s senior partner in Cambridge said: “The success achieved by Peter and Angus is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and flair alive in the region, and highlights the drive and determination of companies in Cambridge to succeed in today’s competitive global market place.

“Through their hard work, passion, and first class leadership skills, they have built an incredibly successful business and are thoroughly deserving of the Entrepreneur Of The Year title.”

Concluding, Mr Jenkins added: “This year’s winners are truly exceptional, and they have raised the bar even higher for future entrants to the programme.”

The overall UK Entrepreneur Of The Year Award was presented to Lord Phillip Harris, the chairman of Carpetright Plc He will now go through to the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Monte Carlo, to compete with the national award recipients from across the globe.

Ernst & Young has been defining the world’s best business leaders through the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) awards programme for more than 20 years. The programme was founded by Ernst & Young in the US in 1986 and the programme now take place in over 40 countries across the globe, providing entrants with access to an unparalleled business network.

UK National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2007 Tim Richards, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Vue Entertainment Holdings Ltd competed with the world’s best business leaders for the title of Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year, at the sixth annual awards ceremony in Monte Carlo this month. The title was won by Guy Laliberté, founder of Canada’s Cirque du Soleil.

UK Entrepreneur Of The Year operates in four regions (Scotland, the North Region, the South-Region and London) and regional award winners progress to a national final. EOY 2007 is co-sponsored by the London Stock Exchange.

The awards are endorsed by the Department of Trade and Industry, the British Chamber of Commerce, the Design Council, the Institute of Directors, the Young Presidents' Organisation and the Community Action Network.

The EOY 2007 south region judges panel is chaired by Derek Harris, chief executive of Aston Science Park.

For further information visit www.eoy.co.uk


For further information, please contact Ernst & Young media relations, Adam Holden or Rosanna Lander, on: 0121 535 2128/ 2398 or 07917 000018/ 07952 351 018


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.