Meet the three finalists of the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2015

20 October 2015

A yachtsman, a Paralympian and a rehab specialist are the incredible finalists for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2015, one of the most unique and prestigious prizes for entrepreneurs in the UK.

The three finalists are (drumroll please...):

  • Andrew Gilbert (Gilbey Films)
  • Geoff Holt MBE (Wetwheels)
  • Anna Wilkinson (More Rehab)

A huge congratulations to all of them on getting this far.

Find out more about this year's three finalists below. The winner will be revealed at a special ceremony on 4 November.

2015 finalists

Andrew Gilbert working with a cameraman to film a scene at an art galleryAndrew Gilbert — Gilbey Films

Gilbey Films, founded by Andrew, specialises in disability access films. The company makes short films for venues and attractions, hotels and hospitals to use on their websites to showcase their accessible features and facilities.

Their clients have included the Houses of Parliament, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, London Zoo, Whitechapel Gallery, DisabledGo and the five star W Hotel. The group also make disability awareness training films for organisations such as Transport for London, VisitScotland and Parliamentary Outreach, and diversity showreels for the BBC.

Geoff Holt at the wheel in his accessible boatGeoff Holt MBE — Wetwheels

Wetwheels is a community interest company (CIC) in Portsmouth which operates fully accessible boats to provide boating opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

Run by Geoff, the company offers disabled clients educational and mentoring programmes, along with sporting and recreational trips on the sea.

Geoff was the first paralysed person to sail single-handed around Great Britain.

Anna WilkinsonAnna Wilkinson — MoreRehab

More Rehab staff helping a client use an exo-skeleton to walkMore Rehab provides rehabilitation for clients with disabilities which are as a result of birth trauma, traumatic accidents and injuries as well as medical conditions.

The company offers physiotherapy, aquatic therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and assistive technology.

In the last year the group has increased its capacity for more clients by taking over a practice based in Derbyshire and opened a new purpose built rehabilitation centre in Doncaster.

Tenacity and passion pays off

The awards have been run by EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and our charity for the last nine years.

‘All three finalists have proven that tenacity, business acumen and passion can really pay off.  

‘Previous finalists and winners of this award offer proof there are many highly talented disabled entrepreneurs out there. 

‘With around 50% of disabled adults out of work it is clear that there is still a long way to go.

‘Removing the barriers disabled people face in business is essential, and I hope that the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs goes some way to highlighting their achievements.’ — Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou

The award recognises the unique achievements of disabled entrepreneurs and offers a £50,000 cash prize to the winner — the largest cash sum of its kind in the UK.

‘We’re so thrilled Geoff, Anna and Andrew are the top three for this prestigious award — getting to this point is testimony to their hard work and determination.

‘All of our finalists offer motivation to others, and we wish them all the very best of luck.’ — Tony Adamson, head of programmes, Leonard Cheshire Disability

Find out more about the Stelio Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs.

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