A 22-year-old entrepreneur from Harrogate has won one of the country’s most prestigious business awards.
Joe Carnell, founder of Wetherby-based healthy eating chain ÜGOT UK, was named The Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2015 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards in London on Tuesday evening.
ÜGOT will open its first outlet in Harrogate early next month, and another in Newcastle at the end of the year. A third will open in York in the New Year, and Mr Carnell plans more openings in other northern cities.
He said: “I think a lot of people outside of London feel that they can’t make a success out of their passion, without coming to the capital. I hope winning an award such as this, which I’m completely blown away by, can inspire people with passions and dreams to do something with them.”
The awards judges said: “Joe Carnell exemplifies the traits of a highly successful entrepreneur. His unwavering passion for business, charisma, leadership skills, phenomenal results, forward looking approach, absolute focus on delighting the customer and endless energy shone through.
“The judges were looking for someone with the talent to take any business and make it highly successful, someone who could lead one of the UK’s most promising start-ups. Joe Carnell is that entrepreneur.”
Over 1,200 business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and journalists gathered at the Grosvenor House Hotel for the 14th annual National Business Awards, which were presented by Sky News’ Ian King and Poppy Trowbridge.
Former astronaut and second man on the moon Buzz Aldrin was headline speaker, and the Prime Minister opened proceedings.
Mr Cameron said: “I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you on behalf of the whole country, for all that you’re doing to create jobs and growth in Britain.
“Tonight we celebrate all that you’re doing, from your leadership in digital and innovation, to the Duke of York’s new award for University Entrepreneurship, these awards are rightly the Oscars of great British business.”
He added: “The awards recognise people who have the guts to strike out on their own, who have the tenacity to work hard for every deal and who have the innovation and vision that lets you grow your business and take new people on. Its people like you who are making this the most entrepreneurial and dynamic period in our country’s recent history. So thank you again for all you’re doing.”