Article date: Tue, 01 May 2012 10:33:11 GMT
The CEO of web hosting and cloud specialist UKFast, Lawrence Jones, has been shortlisted in one of the country's most hotly-contested business awards.
Jones has been recognised as one of the country's leading entrepreneurs in the regional heats of this year's Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
The awards aim to recognise people who build and lead successful, growing businesses and previous winners have included Hilary Devey, of the BBC's Dragons' Den.
Jones, who has led the growth of his Manchester-based hosting business from a two-man band in 1999 to a £16million turnover company with 150 employees today, will compete with other figureheads from across the north at the awards ceremony in June.
He said: "The last year has been incredibly exciting at UKFast - we've opened our first wholly-owned data centre and made significant progress on building a number of other facilities. We've also launched a recruitment drive to add 100 people to the team this year and I have taken advice from Sir Richard Branson to step into a more strategic role as CEO, while our communications director moves into the position of MD.
"It's nice to have that hard work recognised by reaching the finals of the Ernst & Young awards. It is an achievement for the whole team and it is well deserved."
The winner will go on to vie for the national title of Ernst & Young UK Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 and the chance to represent their country at a global awards ceremony in Monte Carlo next year.
The judging panel, led by N Brown Group chief executive Alan White, will choose a winner based on criteria including innovation, strategy, financial performance and social responsibility.
Elaine O'Donnell, north west entrepreneur of the year leader at Ernst & Young, said: "The finalists represent the current crop of business superstars who, despite a challenging economic environment, are propelling growth and innovation.
"With total determination, self-belief and commitment to succeed, the entrepreneurs have managed to spot opportunities which are helping to transform companies, entire sectors, and quite often society as a whole."
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