Applications are now open for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK which gives disabled entrepreneurs in the UK the chance to win a top prize of £30,000 for their business.
Jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and disability charity Leonard Cheshire since 2006, the award recognises the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs who have set up their own company and excel in their chosen business field. The award itself is presented by easyJet founder and philanthropist Sir Stelios Haji-loannou.
All forms of entrepreneurship and planned business activity in the UK are eligible to apply. This includes start-ups, social enterprise or up and running businesses, which are at least 50% owned by disabled people. Applications are open from 2 July and close 1 October. The winner will receive their grand prize at an awards ceremony on 14 November. Four runners up will also receive prizes of £10,000 each.
The award is open to applicants with a disability operating in the UK. The Equality Act 2010 definition of disability is used which also includes long-term mental and physical health conditions. As well as being open to registered companies, the award is also open to not-yet-registered companies, charities and social enterprises.
In order to be eligible to apply, an entrepreneur with a disability must own at least 50% of the company and the company must be at least seven years old. The applicant must have an active online presence.
This year four new international judges with experience in a range of industries have been announced to join the panel; Hannah Chamberlain, last year’s Stelios Award winner and founder of Mental Snapp, an app to help actively manage mental health using private video diaries; Dr. Caroline Casey, an award winning social entrepreneur, international speaker and leading authority on diversity and inclusion; Stas Strach, an international entrepreneur and business leader who has over 25 years experience spent in the consumer electronics industry; and Hardeep Rai, the founder and Managing Director of Kaleidoscope Investments: an organisation that invests, supports and empowers disabled people to become successful entrepreneurs