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Leading Lights for Enterprise Receive Prestigious Royal Award

Eleven people nationwide honoured in Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion 2009

Eleven people nationwide are honoured today (21 April 2009) with The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion (QAEP) the UK's most prestigious Award for individuals helping to unlock Britain's entrepreneurial talent.

The eleven QAEP recipients include entrepreneurs, trainers, university professors, heads of enterprise promotion bodies and local enterprise promotion volunteers.  Collectively, they have helped to inspire and support thousands of budding entrepreneurs throughout the UK, especially young people and those from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds.

Professor Allan Gibb, OBE, Former Director, Small Business Centre, Durham University is the recipient of the highest honour in this year's Queen's Awards for Enterprise Promotion a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding efforts to inspire and support business start-ups.

Professor Gibb has made a profound contribution to enterprise education and enterprise support in the UK for more than 30 years. He has acquired a national reputation for his innovative and practical approaches to eductional and business development programmes for new and existing entrepreneurs, educators and policy makers.  The National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship say he has had a greater impact on the way we think and deliver enterprise learning opportunities to others than any other UK individual.

The other ten QAEP recipients are:

Miss Karen Arnold Chief Executive of The Enterprise and Skills Company Limited, who has made a major contribution to enterprise promotion for the 14 to 19 age group in the South West through her not-for-profit organisation.

Mr Charles Cracknell Youth Enterprise and Employment Manager at Hull City Council, who has gone well beyond the scope of his paid role to help young people set up businesses in Hull.

Mrs Jackie Frost Enterprise Projects Manager at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, who has dedicated her working life to supporting and enabling young people to set up their own businesses in Rotherham.

Mr David Irwin a Consultant in enterprise and economic development, who was the first Chief Executive of the UK Government's Small Business Service and has a long history of enterprise promotion.

Mrs Beverley Pold Business Development/Policy Manager at Chwarae Teg/Fair Play in Cardiff, who has been promoting enterprise in Wales since 1984, and has done a considerable amount of work to promote entrepreneurship by women, including lone parents and those in disadvantaged areas.

Professor John Thompson Roger M Bale Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Huddersfield, who has developed some ground-breaking schemes and written several books taking enterprise teaching forward.

Mr Jamie Murray Wells Founder and Executive Chairman of Glasses Direct, a successful young entrepreneur who started his own company at 21 (2004), which is now the world's largest online retailer of prescription glasses.  He has won multiple awards for his enterprise, acts as a role model for potential young entrepreneurs and undertakes a wide range of voluntary enterprise promotion activities.

Mrs Angela Wright Chief Executive of Solent Skill Quest Limited, who has been promoting enterprise in the Southampton city region since 1995. She introduced to Hampshire schools the notion of involving business volunteers as mentors for under-achieving young people. Through her small not-for-profit organisation she has helped employers underline their corporate social responsibilities by supporting local schools.

Mrs Charlotte Young Chair of the Board of Trustees for The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), who is helping to supporting grass-roots entrepreneurs committed to solving problems in their communities. The SSE has been particularly effective in working with ethnic and other communities from disadvantaged backgrounds.

An Honorary Queen's Award For Enterprise Promotion has also been given to Northern Ireland businessman and entrepreneur, Mr Gerry Ford who has played an outstanding role in promoting the growth of business enterprise and entrepreneurial skills and attitudes in others, particularly young people, people with disabilities and those in deprived areas of Northern Ireland.


The UK's Special Representative for International and Investment, HRH Duke of York,  said:

"My congratulations to all this year's recipients of The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion for their exceptional achievement in gaining this prestigious Award.  Each one of them has played an outstanding role in supporting new generations of entrepreneurs, from all walks of life." 

The eleven QAEP recipients will now be invited to Buckingham Palace in July to be presented with their Award personally by Her Majesty The Queen. 

The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion is one of four categories in the annual Queen's Awards for Enterprise, and the only category honouring individual achievement.  The other three categories are for outstanding business success in International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development.  This year, a record 194 Business Awards have been won by companies ranging in size from two to 20,000 employees.