Josh Rathour, CEO and founder of Nottingham-based UNiDAYS, was named EY Midlands Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 overall winner at an awards dinner in Birmingham last night.
UNiDAYS is the world’s leading Student Affinity Network, connecting brands and services with 142 million students in 32 countries around the world. Joining the UNiDAYS network gives students exclusive discounts from some of the best known retailers. The company is already one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK.
Rathour also took home the Rising Star award, and was described by the judges as ‘a real entrepreneur’ who is ‘flying the flag for tech start-ups in the UK’, with ambitions to build one of Europe’s biggest internet businesses.
Nine entrepreneurs from eight companies were honoured on the night, each winning an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award in each of the following categories:
- Rising Star and Overall Winner – Josh Rathour, UNiDAYS
- Building a Better Working World – Paul Thandi, NEC Group
- Disruptor – Rob Halliday-Stein, Jewellery Quarter Bullion
- International – Dr Peter Poon MBE and Andrew Poon, Romax Technology
- Master – Chris Morling, money.co.uk
- Scale Up – Alfred Gordon, QDOS
- Transformational Leader – Paul Cox, Reconomy
- EY Family Business Award of Excellence – Philip Salt, Salts Healthcare
Neil Meredith, EY partner and Entrepreneur Of The Year leader in the Midlands, said: “Josh’s business is young, dynamic and inspiring. Having founded the business in 2011, he is a true entrepreneur, driven by continuous improvement and innovation. Today, his business is one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK, working with over 600 brands across 32 countries.
“Josh is an inspiration to all business leaders and has shown it is possible to build a world class business from scratch in only a few years. We are delighted to have him as our Midlands region winner.”
Special Award – EY Family Business Award of Excellence
Hosts EY presented a special award – Family Business Award of Excellence – to Philip Salt of Salts Healthcare. The business was founded in 1701 and is one of the UK’s oldest family-owned companies. It manufactures ostomy and orthotic products, and is based in Aston, Birmingham.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK 2017 is sponsored by LGT Vestra and Merrill Corporation, with the Financial Times as media partner.
Full list of Midlands Winners
|Josh Rathour||UNiDAYS||Rising Star and Overall Winner||A real entrepreneur who is ‘flying to flag for tech start-ups in the UK, with ambitions to build one of Europe’s biggest internet businesses – the Google of the UK. Josh is very humble in his success and strives to deliver continuous growth, with UNiDAYS already one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK.|
|Paul Thandi||NEC Group||Building a better working world||A powerful influence who has transformed NEC Group and is well-respected in the industry. His continuous drive for success in the Group and wider local economy reflects his entrepreneurial spirit of setting high standards and delivering strong financial performance.|
|Rob Halliday-Stein||Jewellery Quarter Bullion||Disruptor||An entrepreneur/business that has disrupted a very old and traditional market, having built the No 1 and No 2 players in the industry. Rob is ambitious, driven and passionate about CSR with charitable/community enhancement initiatives, including backing young offenders to start their own businesses.|
|Dr Peter Poon MBE and
|Romax Technology||International||Story is truly inspiring, having developed the business in difficult market conditions and using innovation to drive the business forward. They are now at the leading edge in technology, with successful international expansion and plans to double in five years.|
|Chris Morling||Money.co.uk||Master||A true entrepreneur with great vision and values who established the business without having to take out loans or give away equity. His ambition is to become one of the top household names and he has a great story of what he has built so far. Involvement in CSR initiatives such as ‘Learn to Earn’ programme.|
|Alfred Gordon||QDOS||Scale Up||A serial entrepreneur, with drive and ambition to succeed and true entrepreneurial flare. He has the ability to identify gaps in the market and inspires others to grow and develop. His business has grown rapidly, with over £28 million sales and 16 staff members.|
|Paul Cox||Reconomy||Transformational Leader||Large player in the UK, having overcome the recession by taking the lows and demonstrating real resilience and taking risks. Strong financial performance with three acquisitions and international vision to expand overseas.|
|Philip Salt||Salts Healthcare||Family Business||Founded in 1701, Salts is one of the UK’s oldest family-owned companies.|