The Future50 – celebrating the can-do spirit of our entrepreneurs

Kevin Horne at the Future 50 at City College. Photo: Bill Smith

Kevin Horne at the Future 50 at City College. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2012

Calling all entrepreneurs - we want to hear from you.

Since 2009, the EDP Future50 has celebrated those businessmen and women in Norfolk willing to test their ideas and take a risk.

Entrepreneurs are seen as a key part of helping the UK economy's return to growth, and Future50 firms are playing a real part in that ambition.

Last year saw 31 new entrants join the list - businesses from all different sectors, from hi-tech, to food, and finance, and interest in the Future50 has never been greater.

The EDP Future50 celebrates those businesses with a story to tell. Usually it is about a success, but being an entreprenuer can also be about failure too, and some Future50 members have recalled tough times, too.

More and more, Future50 members are also working together, forming joint ventures or doing business with each other.

And there is also the chance to network too - to recall shared experiences and challenges which entrepreneurs face.

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Because Future50 is about the creation and recognition of an entrepreneurial community right here in Norfolk. It is about a network of support that extends beyond the pages of the EDP and and into a specially-created Linkedin Future50 group, where ideas, issues and concerns can frequently be shared and discussed, and sometimes hotly debated.

Whether its hearing about the experiences of former Apprentice Claire Young, sharing a burger, or attending specially organised events with our sponsor partners, this year's Future50 members had opportunities to come together both formally and informally.

This year's EDP Business Awards will again feature a One to Watch category with the winner drawn from the existing Future 50 family of businesses.

Working with us to support the Future50 are business support organisation NWES, chartered accountants Lovewell Blake, and East Anglian law firm Birketts.

And we are delighted to welcome our new sponsor partner Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).

Kevin Horne, NWES chief executive will chair the panel of judges, which will include representatives from Lovewell Blake, Birketts, NUA, and Archant, publishers of the EDP.

Judges will be looking for:

Companies able to demonstrate a track record of rapid growth – or the potential to achieve it.

A belief in the success of the business that outweighs a fear of failure.

An appetite for risk.

A venture that has made an impact on its marketplace or has the potential to make an impact – in this region and beyond.

A business which has helped create or has the potential to create new job opportunities both directly and indirectly.

Nigel Pickover, EDP editor, said: 'Every day we are starting to read more and more about how our economy is at last getting back on track. But that doesn't just happen, it is our successful entrepreneurs who must play a key role in our return to growth and more prosperous times.

'Our Future50 has proudly championed those willing to go for it and make their business dreams a reality. They are men and women who can inspire a whole new generation of young people just starting out in the world of work through their example, as well as creating wealth and jobs and highlighting what this great region of ours has to offer. They are those willing to go for it and that's why we are celebrating them here.'