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The Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards were born to recognise and celebrate those who have truly excelled in the face of adversity.

By shining a light on entrepreneurs who set up breakthrough businesses, saw dramatic growth, or even pivoted their business to adapt in the ever changing face of our economy, we are here to share their stories enabling others to learn and, of course, grow.

It’s through the Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards that we identify best practice, promote enterprise, and encourage entrepreneurship across the board.



Get your nominations in by
Friday, November 1, 2023

Open to the public, you can self-nominate or submit a nomination for someone you believe to be entrepreneurial in any of our 10 award categories.




Entrepreneur for Good

Here we were looking for a social enterprise or a business in which social enterprise plays a role in their business culture. The winner is someone who pledged to create social change and has generated awareness or funds for social causes in the past 24 months. Our judges have selected an entrepreneur who has shown active engagement in breeding positive social change, and who has clear ethics and morals and has evidence to back them up.


Entrepreneurial Collaborator

For this category, our judges were looking to evidence that this entrepreneur helps others to achieve, and connects them to resources, organisations and individuals who can support them, and who looks out for others in order to help them achieve success.


Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year

The Start-up category recognises a business that has been running for less than three years and has already accomplished a great deal. Looking at the challenges faced when starting up the venture through to how they have handled their latest business deal, the judges wanted to hear about it all. They asked our finalists to demonstrate the successes already achieved in those three short years so far.


Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year

For our food and drink category, the winner had to be someone who had extensive culinary knowledge as well as astute business acumen. Our winner selected by the judges should have created a unique product, service, outlet or establishment. Their venture will be proven popular with the public. And their work will encapsulate all the hard work, creativity and resilience associated with the industry.


Entrepreneurial Educator

The winner of the Entrepreneurial Educator award is someone who shares knowledge and advice with others as they recognise this as an essential factor in developing a thriving economy. This award recognises the impact one person or organisation has made on the learning and development of the next generation of entrepreneurs. We wanted to see evidence that showed that there was an active presence in the education scene.


International Entrepreneur of the Year

The International Entrepreneur award winner will have described in their supporting evidence, any schemes, projects or partnerships that have been taken or developed overseas. They may have created jobs for international applicants here in the UK, have set up offices outside of the UK, or built relationships with organisations in other countries that will help to drive the UK economy.


Scale-up Entrepreneur of the Year

A vital contributor to the economy, the scale-up business is one that has considerable room to grow. The entrepreneur running it already has a proven record of physical or digital expansion, increased revenue, and accomplished business plans. And, they’re actively taking on new strategies for further expansion.


Innovation in Entrepreneurship

We were looking for that entrepreneur who has created a ground-breaking product or service. Someone who can exhibit the ways in which they have been thinking outside the box or someone who has developed a unique style in their approach to shake things up in a conventional marketplace. The winner must have achieved profitable, consistent growth. We wanted the winner to demonstrate the scalability of their business, their impact within a competitive sector, and how innovation continues to be a key strategy in their business plan.


Entrepreneurial Spirit

This award will be presented to the entrepreneur whose passion shines through in everything they do from the daily tasks through to the most exciting business deals. When this entrepreneur talks about their passion, they captivate others, inspire and encourage them. They see things from a different viewpoint to many others and are always questioning how things can be done better. They’re optimistic and are calculated and considered in their approach. This entrepreneur will have a proven reputation in their field with dependable testimonials and character references.


The Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur

This title is being awarded tonight to the entrepreneur who has been through it all. Their journey started with a vision and they’ve been through many trials and tribulations to get to the position they’re in today. They have as many stories about their failures as they do ideas, plans, and efforts to succeed. They may or may not consider themselves to be successful just yet, but they’re on to something and their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. They will exemplify the criteria associated with the Entrepreneur for Good, Entrepreneurial Spirit, and Entrepreneurial Collaborator awarding categories.


Join us for the Real Entrepreneurs’ Awards 2024 ceremony on

Thursday, April 25, 2024
at Nottingham University Business School

Book Tickets

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