2013 runners up

Three outstanding disabled entrepreneurs were shortlisted for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2013. Giles Long, Terence Nelson and eventual winner James King saw off tough competition to make it to the final three.

Giles Long - Lexicon Decoder Ltd

Giles LongLexicon Decoder produces LEXI, a graphics system which was used by Channel 4 in their coverage of the Paralympic Games. The ‘traffic light’ system explains concisely and accurately the different disability and impairment types within a Paralympic sporting classification, so audiences can understand why athletes are competing together.

Always a keen swimmer, Giles thought his dream of becoming a world-famous champion had been shattered when he was diagnosed with bone cancer in his arm at the age of 13. Despite the apparent end of his able-bodied swimming career, Giles carried on swimming, reaching his career peak when he won gold in the S8 100m Butterfly in a new World Record time at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics. In total, he has won three gold, two silver and two bronze medals in Paralympic competitions.

Giles says: ‘I realised that few people understood what the Paralympics were and how the classifications worked. Its complexity was a real turn off for them and that was disheartening for me. I realised that there could be a graphical solution to this confusion. That was then I had the idea for LEXI, which first hit UK and Australian TV screens during the coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.’

Terence Nelson - TNAR Limited (Terry Nelson's Aqua Running)

Terry NelsonTerry has developed a specialist buoyancy suit which allows people of all ages and abilities to exercise intensively in deep water with no risk of injury.

The journey to a growing, healthy business has been a tough journey for Terry, who has had two kidney transplants, has a hearing impairment and has had his right leg amputated.

Terry is a former Liverpool FC footballer and Paratrooper. Following a kidney transplant, he ran the London Marathon and represented Great Britain at the World Transplant Games in 1993, where he won Gold in the 5000m running event. Sadly, after the World Championships, his transplant failed so he spent 12 years on dialysis and six days a week in hospital, until having a second transplant in 2006. During this time he began to use a wheelchair. As a form of therapy, he began running in a swimming pool and that was where his idea to develop a buoyancy suit was first born.

In 2011, Terry had to have his right leg amputated as a result of complications following an operation to remove a cancerous para-thyroid gland. Ten days later he was running in the pool in the bodysuit he had developed. The suit is used by top football clubs including Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and the England national side.

Terry says: ‘I use my experiences of injury and illness to develop my business and to enhance people’s lives in a positive and healthy way. Winning this award would be very helpful at this crucial time in our development and would help to cover the costs of opening a new factory unit, sourcing materials, employing a new workforce and expanding our licensing opportunities around the world.’