Sean Taylor, co-founder and commercial director of North Wales-based Zip World, was named ‘Rising Star’ at the EY Midlands and South West Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 awards ceremony in Birmingham last night.
Zip World is an adventure tourist attraction in North Wales, famous for the fastest zip line in the world which attracted some 40,000 people within its first year of opening. The company is unique in that, unlike any other company, it is able to provide the design, construction, inspection, maintenance and operation of zip lines and associated adventure activities. Zip World’s customers of all ages experience adventure in stunning locations in safe environments.
Taylor took home the Rising Star award and was commended by the judges for ‘his desire to see his region flourish and passion for providing employment’. The judges were particularly impressed by his ‘commitment and passion’.
Seven entrepreneurs from six companies were honoured on the night, each winning an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award as follows:
- Disruptor and Overall Midlands and South West Winner – Alan and Juliet Barratt, Grenade®
- Rising Star – Sean Taylor, Zip World
- Scale Up – Terry Monkton, Simworx
- Societal Impact – Doug Wright DL, Wright Restaurants
- Sustained Excellence – Ian Lonergan, Charter Court Financial Services
- Transformational Leader – Richard Taffinder, Hills Numberplates
Andrew Perkins, EY Managing Partner, South West and Wales, said:
“A huge congratulations to Sean who thoroughly deserves the Rising Star award. Under his leadership, Zip World has grown into a dynamic, innovative and inspiring business. Businesses such as these create jobs, generate wealth and contribute to the continued economic growth of Wales.”
Midlands and South West judging panel
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 Midlands and South West judging panel was co-chaired by Nicholas Georgevic, Chairman and CEO of Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care; and Tracy Lewis, Non-Executive Director at Staffline Group Plc.
Nicholas and Tracy were joined by:
- Rosie Ginday, MBE, Founder of Miss Macaroon
- Wendy Merricks, CEO of Jumar Solutions
- Gurinder Sunner, Investor at BGF
- Michael Ward, CEO of Gateley Plc
EY Entrepreneur of the Year Midlands and South West 2019 winners
Disruptor and Overall winners
Alan and Juliet Barratt, Grenade®, based in Solihull, were described by the judges as ‘serial entrepreneurs who spotted a gap in the sports nutrition market’.
Sean Taylor, Zip World, based in Bethesda, North Wales, was commended by the judges for ‘his desire to see his region flourish and passion for providing employment’.
Terry Monkton, Simworx, based in Kingswinford, was described by the judges as ‘a very humble individual’ with Simworx described as ‘a truly international business being headquarters from the Midlands, which the region can be extremely proud of’.
Douglas Wright DL, Wright Restaurants, based in Sutton Coldfield, impressed the judges with his work with Ronald McDonald House which supports families of children being treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Ian Lonergan, Charter Court Financial Services, based in Wolverhampton, impressed the judges by showing ‘immense vision and determination to identify and start an emerging market in the aftermath of the global financial crisis’.
Richard Taffinder, Hills Numberplates, based in Birmingham, impressed the judges with his success in refocusing the business through ‘targeted acquisitions and start-ups taking Hills Numberplates into new sectors and international markets’.