Stelios Award for Disabled People in the UK

This unique and prestigious award is sponsored by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the renowned entrepreneur best known for founding easyJet.

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.

The Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK 2017 is scheduled to launch this summer and more details about dates and eligibility will follow shortly. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions please email Foteini Georganta or call 07740 515 957.

2016 award

Announced on 10 November 2016, and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the award, the total cash prizes were bigger than ever!

A total of £70,000 was won:

  • top prize of £30,000 to the overall winner
  • four prizes of £10,000 to four other finalists

The award was open to all forms of entrepreneurship (including pre-revenue start-ups).

We invited applications from entrepreneurs who started their companies in the UK in the last 7 years (2009 or later).

However, all forms of entrepreneurial activities even without a registered company would have qualified. People planning to start a business activity (even with just business plans at the pre-revenue stage) were welcome to apply. 

The applicants had to be registered as disabled and own at least half of the business.

Past winners and applicants were welcome to reapply.

2016 winner: Alex Papanikolaou

Alex's business provides training — including access audits and equality and inclusiveness consultations. Alex has also developed the Freedom One Wheelchair. Alex won £30,000 to invest in his business.

2016 finalists


Andrew Graham — Pop-Up Gym

Pop-Up Gym provides rehabilitation and fitness for people by bringing the gym to them. The company provides a fun and pleasant environment for clients to exercise without feeling self-conscious.

Matt Wadsworth

Matt created an app which reads menus for blind and visually impaired people. It is already used around the UK by chains such as Carluccio’s, Côte, Nando’s and Pret á Manger.

Scott Smith — Invictus Active

Invictus Active provides products to help disabled people keep active on a daily basis. Their products include accessible bikes and the ‘Invictus Active Trainer’ which helps wheelchair users to improve fitness, balance and technique.

Dave Kelly — Daisy UK

Daisy UK runs sports courses for schools, colleges and after school clubs, among other organisations. It also offers pan-disability sports clubs.

Find out more details about the finalists in the official 2016 press release.

There is also a group on Facebook to discuss everything to do with this year's award.

Past winners

Meet past winners of the award.