Stelios on the hunt for entrepreneurial talent

StelioseasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is calling for talented disabled entrepreneurs to apply for this year’s Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK.

The award, jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and Leonard Cheshire Disability, recognises the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges to set up their own businesses. The winner of the award, now in its seventh year, will be presented with a £50,000 cash prize – the largest cash sum of its kind – at a special ceremony in London later this year.

Last year’s winners Cyclone Technologies’ David Hawkins and Stuart Dunne beat a strong field supplying bespoke mobility and fitness equipment to paraplegic users.

To download an application form visit www.lcdisability.org/stelios or call 0845 671 7173 (option 1). Alternative formats are available on request and Leonard Cheshire Disability can also support applicants to fill in the form over the phone. The deadline is 25 October 2013.

Sir Stelios will also be hosting a networking event on 24 April for potential applicants who would like to find out more about the award.  Attending on the day will be disabled people interested in applying. This will include previous applicants and winners, Sir Stelios, LCD’s Clare Pelham and Esther McVey MP, Minister for Disabled People.

Sir Stelios says: “I am passionate about encouraging entrepreneurship, and the previous winners of this award offer proof that there are many highly talented disabled entrepreneurs out there.

“Removing the barriers disabled people face in business is essential – for far too long disability has been associated solely with benefits and welfare. I hope the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs will change that by highlighting their achievements and contribution to society.

“We want to hear from talented disabled entrepreneurs who are able to show they have got what it takes to run a successful business and meet a real need in the market.

Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability says: “We are delighted to work with Sir Stelios on an award that celebrates the remarkable achievements of disabled entrepreneurs.

“Each one of our previous winners is an example of the drive and determination that characterises entrepreneurs; and a role model for young disabled people of the range of possibilities that lie ahead of them. There are no limits to what they can achieve.

I know there are many more talented and successful disabled entrepreneurs out there – I urge them to take advantage of this unique opportunity and apply.”

  • 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. Visit www.LCDisability.org
  • The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation is committed to dynamic philanthropy: making a positive, exponential difference through funding, inspiring and advising educational, entrepreneurial and environmental initiatives. Its other UK activities include the award of scholarships to 40 students attending the London School of Economics and Cass Business School. To find out more visit; www.stelios.com

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