FOUR North East business leaders were honoured for their entrepreneurship at a prestigious awards ceremony in Manchester last night.
Wayne Edy of Crook-based inov-8; Andrew Hodgson of Soil Machine Dynamics, based in Wallsend; Margaret Elliott of Sunderland Home Care Associates (2020); and Bill Scott of Middlesbrough-based Wilton Group all received prizes at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
The top honour of the evening, however, went to Fred Done, founder and chief executive, of Betfred, the world’s biggest independent bookmaker. More than 55 finalists from across the North East, Yorkshire and the North West went head to head at the prestigious ceremony at The Lowry Hotel.
Speaking at the event, Ernst & Young’s North East Entrepreneur of the Year leader, Simon Whiteside, said: “Every year, we are impressed with the scale of entrepreneurship within this region – 2012 has been no exception. The programme gets bigger and better each year. The remarkable entrepreneurs in this room have combined revenues of £6bn. They will drive growth and lead our economic recovery.”
Edy, who has developed inov-8 into a world-leading cutting-edge footwear brand took the top prize in the consumer products and services category; Hodgson, who has turned SMD from a business making a £30m loss into a profitable £100m turnover company won the private-equity backed title.
Elliott was praised for her “passion, perseverance and continued enthusiasm” as she took the honours in the social enterprise category and Scott was praised for his bravery and willingness to plough his own cash into Wilton Group as he won the business products and services award.
All the Northern winners will represent the region at the UK finals in October.