steliosSir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Leonard Cheshire Disability have announced the 2016 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK.

Now in its tenth year, new criteria have been added to the award. All forms of entrepreneurship / planned business activity (even start-ups) which are operated by disabled people or for the benefit of disabled people are eligible to apply.  The Charity is also keen to hear from employers who employ significant numbers of disabled people or supply products or services for disabled people.

Sir Stelios said: “I am delighted that this idea I had 10 years ago has matured to be an institution still supported by the leading charity in the UK in the field of disability. To celebrate our 10th anniversary I have decided to increase the cash prizes to £70,000 and make it more inclusive so even people with a worthy business plan can apply before they have a real business. Spread the word so we can get more applicants than ever before!”

The new criteria are:

  • A company owned by a person with a disability
  • A company owned by a person with a disability
  • A company which predominantly employs disabled people
  • A company that supplies products or services to disabled people

The award, jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, started in 2006, recognises the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges to set up their own company and excel in their chosen business field.

Last year’s Stelios Award winner, Geoff Holt said:  “Winning the 2015 Award was the highlight of my commercial career. The Award has not only accelerated our business development and created more employment, but knowing that Sir Stelios chose me as the Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year was high praise indeed and an amazing endorsement of me and my business.”

He added: “Following the Award, my business Wetwheels received nationwide publicity which has led to an increase in enquiries from new clients which is great news for all involved. I would urge anyone with a disability, whether you see yourself as an entrepreneur or not, to apply and let Stelios and his team decide.”

Past winners have been drawn from the travel agency, building and IT sectors as well as businesses specialising in disability/mobility aids and services.

Applications are now being accepted online at the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation Facebook page or with Leonard Cheshire HERE

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