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Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK

This unique and prestigious award is sponsored by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the renowned entrepreneur best known for founding easyJet. The winner receives £50,000 to expand their business.

The creation of the award was motivated by Stelios’s goal of not only supporting disabled entrepreneurs, but also raising awareness of the skills and inventiveness of those with disabilities.

2014 winner

This year's winner was 31-year-old Leeds-based entrepreneur Ben Wolfenden.

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou with Ben Wolfenden, holding the cheque for £50,000Visibilis offers digital marketing expertise to help businesses improve their online visibility. Founder and client services director Ben has cystic fibrosis and insulin-dependent diabetes, and undergoes a gruelling regime of medication and physiotherapy every day.

Growing up, he was given a life expectancy of 30. Refusing to accept this, he is now 31 and looking to expand his business further. The Stelios Award will provide funding to develop a new business plan, hire new staff and buy medical equipment to allow Ben to work more comfortably.

Find out more about the 2014 award ceremony.

2014 finalists

Anna Wilkinson — More Rehab

Anna WilkinsonSheffield-based More Rehab offers rehabilitation services for people with long term disabilities.

Managing director Anna Wilkinson has 70% hearing loss but overcomes the challenges this creates through teaching deaf awareness to colleagues and people who use their services.

Norma Baillie — PrioritEyes

Norma BaillieSince 2011, PrioritEyes has delivered one-to-one support to blind and partially sighted people to maximise their safety, confidence and independence.

Operations manager Norma lost her sight at the age of nine and, finding the available services she received inappropriate to her age and circumstances, decided to use her experiences to make things better for others. She eventually trained as a rehabilitation officer for people with visual impairments.

Watch the video below to find out more about Ben, Anna and Norma: