A maker of metal polishing products, a Christmas tree grower and the creator of an innovative skill-matching jobs board are among the winners of this year’s Stelios Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs.
The prestigious awards, first launched in 2007, are jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and Leonard Cheshire. This year they attracted entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors including technology, recruitment, sports and rehabilitation, wellbeing, fashion and adaptive clothing.
The Awards offer one of the largest financial prizes for disabled entrepreneurs in the UK. A top prize of £30,000, as well as two finalist prizes of £20,000 and £10,000, meant there was £60,000 in cash up for grabs for 2022.
Following a shortlist of five top candidates, this year’s winners are:
• First prize (£30,000): Joe Waggott www.metalpolishingsupplies.co.uk
• Second prize (£20,000): Clive Collins www.catsfieldchristmastreefarm.com
• Third prize (£10,000): Joseph Williams www.getaclu.io
Sir Stelios said:
I am delighted that we have found again three very worthy winners who have proven that the best way for a disabled person to earn a good living is to start their own business! Congratulations to all three winners and the 48 other applicants who should be encouraged to try again next year Since the Awards started in 2006 Sir Stelios and his foundation have donated a grand total of £1,196,000, including this year’s sum, as prize money through the Awards, giving disabled entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their talents.
There were 52 applicants for this year’s Awards, which relaunched with new criteria following a two-year postponement due to the pandemic.
Leonard Cheshire Chief Executive Ruth Owen said:
“There were really strong entries this year, with a huge amount of talent out there. It’s brilliant to see such fantastic businesses from disabled entrepreneurs, showing what we’ve known for a long time – disabled people can be really successful entrepreneurs and can offer so much in the workplace. Congratulations to all the winners and to all the candidates.”