Applications are now open for the 2017 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK.

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Leonard Cheshire Disability have announced the launch of the 2017 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK.

The award is now in its eleventh year. All forms of entrepreneurship / planned business activity (even start-ups) in the UK, which are at least partly owned by disabled people, are eligible to apply.

The award is open to candidates operating in the UK only and is open to registered and not-yet-registered companies, charities and social enterprises. A disabled entrepreneur must own at least 50% of the company, the company must be at most 7 years old and the candidate must have an active online presence.

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 set up their own company and excel in their chosen business field.

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou said: “Last year we got over sixty applications from disabled entrepreneurs dedicated to starting and running successful businesses – serving all sections of the community. This time not only are we looking to get this number well up on 2016 but also we want to see some great new ideas that take the business world by storm and show that disability is certainly no barrier to a successful future.”

Last year’s Stelios Award winner, Alex Papanikolaou, from Glasgow, applied twice before winning with his Freedom One Life design of a next generation power wheelchair. He is joining this year’s panel of judges for the award.

Alex said: “We were so lucky to have been the 2016 winners with our wheelchair design. The award has directly made our prototype development plans possible and propelled us forward, so we are very grateful.”

Leonard Cheshire Disability’s CEO Neil Heslop said: “The economic impact of people with disabilities in the UK is generally poorly understood with the disability market being worth an estimated £249bn a year. Yet nearly fifty per cent of working age adults with a disability are unemployed. The candidates for this award send a strong message about the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of disabled people by challenging prejudices to achieve independence by building successful businesses.”

Past winners have been drawn from the travel agency, building and IT sectors as well as businesses specialising in disability/mobility aids and services. The winners will be presented with the award at a cocktail reception in London on November 14th 2017.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Friday 6th October 2017.

For more information, go HERE

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