The Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2016

30 August 2016

Sir Stelios with Geoff HoltSir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Leonard Cheshire Disability are proud to announce the 2016 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK.

Applications are open from 30 August 2016.

To celebrate its tenth year, new criteria have been added to the award. All forms of entrepreneurship, or planned business activity (including start-ups), which are operated by disabled people or for the benefit of disabled people, are eligible to apply.

We are also keen to hear from employers who employ a significant number of disabled people or supply products or services for disabled people.

Sir Stelios said:

‘I am delighted this idea I had 10 years ago has matured to be an institution still supported by the leading disability charity in the UK.

‘To celebrate our tenth 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 have more applicants than ever before!’

The new criteria are as follows:

  • 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.

It 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 Sir Stelios chose me as the disabled entrepreneur of the year was high praise indeed and an amazing endorsement of me and my business.

‘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, building and IT sectors, as well as businesses specialising in disability or mobility aids and services.

Applications are now being accepted online on the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation Facebook page or on the Leonard Cheshire Disability webpage.

Anyone who needs extra support in their application, full details on eligibility or an application form can email Leonard Cheshire or call 020 7112 1489 (choose option 1).

The deadline for applications is Monday 10 October 2016.

Media enquires

For media enquiries please email Selina Mills or Claire Farrell or call 020 2242 0204. Out of hours: 07903 949 388. General press office: 020 3242 0399.

To contact the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation please email Richard Shackleton or call 07905 779 799. You can also email Tracy Ghori or call 07900 606 557.

Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of services for disabled people. Our services include high-quality care and community support together with innovative projects supporting disabled people into education, employment and entrepreneurship. Worldwide, our global alliance of Cheshire partners supports disabled people into education and employment, and works in more than 50 countries. With over 7,500 staff, the charity supports over 7,000 disabled people in the UK.

The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation is a registered charity in both Monaco and the UK and backs a number of charitable initiatives supporting entrepreneurship, education and the environment in the UK, Greece and Cyprus. Its ‘Food from the Heart’ programme recently handed out its one millionth free lunchtime snack to beneficiaries in Greece and Cyprus worst hit by the financial crisis in southern Europe.