Bright young Essex businesses are in the running to scoop one of five top prizes up for grabs at the BIG Business Boost Awards.
The finalists highlight the diversity of entrepreneurial talent in the county with the 16 strong shortlist including wearable technology, circus entertainers, environmentally friendly toilet tissue and a green taxi service.
Judges will now choose one winner for the Young Entrepreneur, Women in Business and BIG Business Boost Award and two winners for the Disability Entrepreneur Award.
Winners will be announced at a glittering award ceremony taking place in Pontlands Park Hotel, Chelmsford, on October 13. Each will receive a cash injection and business support package to give them the best chance to grow and develop their business.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Partnerships, said: “The shortlist is extremely impressive and shows just how diverse a business portfolio we have here in the county. It ranges from high-tech business and inventions to environmentally friendly products and farming solutions.
“The awards received more than 200 entrants showing just how Essex Means Business. We now have a shortlist of 16 extremely impressive business and entrepreneurs. I am looking forward to learning who the winners are and watching their progress as their businesses grow here in Essex.”
The finalists are:
Essex BIG Business Boost Award
- Jane Malyon, Uttlesford - The English Cream Tea Company – an afternoon tea delivery service
- Chris Forbes, Billericay – The Cheeky Panda – Producers of environmentally friendly bamboo toilet paper
- Francis McGinty, Maldon - Working for Wellbeing Ltd – A network of HR specialists
- Anna Blumfield, Braintree - Deersbrook Farm - H S Hawes & Son - 100% grass fed native beef for sustainable farming
Women in Business Award
- Laura Mudie, Southend - Little Rosa – Pram pegs to hold a muslin sun shade in place on a pram or buggy.
- Genevieve Smart, Uttlesford - Genevieve Sweeney Limited - Knitwear business using East Anglian Yarns and wools.
- Dr Diana Entwistle, Chelmsford - Little Stars Circus – Fitness programme for children using aerial circus skills.
- Ana Matran-Fernandez, Colchester – EyeWink – Wearable technology which allows people to control a smartphone by winking.
The Young Entrepreneur Award
- Justin Ott, Uttlesford – Spark – Electric car management service which helps electrically powered taxis to optimise passenger distance.
- Leigh Savin, Colchester - Rebellious Judgement - Circus acts event hire and skills development.
- Paul Wilkinson, Chelmsford - Studio 808 - A sound recording studio that benefits troubled young people.
- George Hosegood, Maldon - Turvec Solutions – Innovative space saving cycle racks.
The Disability Entrepreneur Award
- Chelsey Reynolds, Braintree - Travel Able App – A smartphone app that helps disabled people improve their travel experiences.
- Ella Vine, Thurrock - Ella Vine Ltd – inventor and manufacturer of magnetic suspender belts.
- Zoe Cain-Tyler, Chelmsford - Culvercroft Equestrian - On-line horse rider training and shared rider experiences.
- Kaiya Latham, Braintree - KL Aerial Fitness Studio - Educational dance circus and aerial arts studio.