11th Annual Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs

Nov 15, 2017

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Update 15.11.17 – Overall winner announced

Hannah Chamberlain, founder of MentalSnapp, has won the top prize. Her business is a video diary app that helps people manage their mental health, by recording short video diaries, rating their mood and naming their feelings.

She is planning to use the prize money – £30,000 – to develop a new version of the app, which will launch early next year.

She said:

“I am overjoyed. We’ll take this money and use it for good. Being the overall winner means we can make MentalSnapp even better – we’ve got plans for intelligent responses to the videos, tailored to what our users want, all designed to help people actively and confidently manage their mental health with private video diaries.”

easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou chose the winner:

“After careful deliberation, the judging panel has decided to go with Hannah Chamberlain. Using an app is a very modern, high tech way to deal with a very old but very topical problem. I think this app has excellent growth prospects using the freemium business model. We will be looking forward to reports about future great success.”

Click to go down to more information about the Stelios Award
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Record number of entries received

More than 70 candidates applied for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs this year – a record number.

The applications came from diverse business arenas, including fashion, retail, sport and leisure and tourism.

All five of the finalists receive £10,000.
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31.10.17 The five finalists are:

Jane Hatton of London, founder of Evenbreak (www.evenbreak.co.uk), an accessible specialist online job board where inclusive employers can attract more talented disabled talent and disabled jobseekers can find work with employers who will value their skills.

Hannah Chamberlain of London, co-founder of Mental Snapp (www.mentalsnapp.com), a video diary app to help anyone actively managing their mental health.

James Brown of Wiltshire, founder of Mobiloo (www.mobiloo.org.uk), the world’s first attended mobile toilet and changing facility for disabled people who need a hoist and changing table to use the toilet or be changed.

Dominic Lund-Conlon of Essex, founder of Review My Wheelchair (www.reviewmywheelchair.co.uk), which provides unbiased and clear reviews for wheelchair users to support their decision when purchasing a wheelchair.

Katherine Fortnum of Leicestershire, founder of Katherine Fortnum Ceramics (www.katherinefortnumceramics.com), a producer of hand built ceramic homewares and decorative sculptures.

The winner will be announced at a cocktail reception on 14 November.
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Sir Stelios and Leonard Cheshire seek disabled entrepreneurs and businesses run by disabled people

For the eleventh time, the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation is funding generous awards to support entrepreneurs with a disability.

Any UK business, even start-ups, owned at least in part by a disabled entrepreneur can apply.

Past applicants are also welcome: last year’s winner, Alex Papanikolaou, from Glasgow, had applied twice before.

Criteria for entering the awards

• the business must operate in the UK only
• companies may be registered, not-yet-registered companies, charities or social enterprises
• a disabled entrepreneur must own at least 50% of the company
• the business must be less than 7 years old
• the candidate must have an active online presence

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Sir Stelios said:

“Last year we got over sixty applications from disabled entrepreneurs dedicated to starting and running successful businesses – serving all sections of the community.

“This time not only are we looking to get this number well up on 2016 but also we want to see some great new ideas that take the business world by storm and show that disability is certainly no barrier to a successful future.”

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Reward for overcoming challenges

The award, jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, started in 2006, recognises the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges to set up their own company and excel in their chosen business field.

Five finalists will be chosen, with the ultimate winner receiving £30,000 and mentoring from Sir Stelios, while each of the others receives a prize of £10,000.

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Last year’s winner is on the judging panel

Last year’s overall Stelios Award winner, Alex Papanikolaou, who won with his innovative Freedom One Life power wheelchair, is joining this year’s panel of judges for the award. He is shown above receiving his cheque at last year’s ceremony.

Alex said:

“We were so lucky to have been the 2016 winners with our wheelchair design. The award has directly made our prototype development plans possible and propelled us forward, so we are very grateful.”

Leonard Cheshire Disability’s CEO Neil Heslop said:

“The economic impact of people with disabilities in the UK is generally poorly understood with the disability market being worth an estimated £249 billion a year. Yet nearly fifty per cent of working age adults with a disability are unemployed.

The candidates for this award send a strong message about the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of disabled people by challenging prejudices to achieve independence by building successful businesses.”

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Winning businesses have been very varied

Past winners of the Stelios Award have been drawn from the travel agency, building and IT sectors as well as businesses specialising in disability/mobility aids and services.

The winners will be presented with the award at a cocktail reception in London on November 14th 2017.

For full details on eligibility, and an application form please visit the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation Facebook page: www.facebook.com/steliosfoundation or Leonard Cheshire website.

Alternative application formats or additional support with the application are available on request. Please call: 07740 515 957 or email steliosaward@leonardcheshire.org

The closing date is midnight on Friday 6th October 2017.

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Further Resources

Leonard Cheshire Disability (it will open in a new browser window)

Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (it will open in a new browser window)

Access to Work can help cover the additional costs of employment or self-employment for someone with a disability

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