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July 2024

Bristol businesses in running for awards dubbed the ‘Grammys of Entrepreneurship’

June 28, 2024

By Robert Buckland

Two Bristol firms have been shortlisted in a prestigious national awards scheme that recognises the achievements of the UK’s most dynamic and innovative businesses.

Fundraising and investment company Fundsurfer and Boardroom Advisors, the business management consultancy, will line up against firms from across the UK in the 2024 Allica Bank Great British Entrepreneur Awards, which take place in November. 

The awards, often referred to as the ‘Grammys of Entrepreneurship’, receive thousands of applications each year, underscoring the competitive nature and high standard of the competition.

Fundsurfer, which will compete in the South West Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year category in recognition of its outstanding contributions to financial services and fintech.

Since its launch 10 years ago it has helped entrepreneurs and exceptional companies connect with investors and donors online and offline.

It offers fundraising support for projects and companies alongside providing help with deal origination for investor network, which spans brokers, introducers, scouts and partners based across the globe.

Fundsurfer’s deals often involve private & direct equity, debt finance & lP capital for impact investment, renewable energy, infrastructure, real estate, tech, crypto, media & entertainment companies and investment funds, while its online fundraising products include community share offers, reward, donation and crypto crowdfunding.

It also acts as an introducer for global off-market private investments for private and institutional investors as well as operating its own impact investment arm, Trillion.

Fundsurfer co-founder Baraka Zahabian said: “We are blown away to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

“This is all down to the incredible efforts and hard work from the Fundsurfer team, partners and investors.

“We are so happy to celebrate this achievement with the whole entrepreneur community. It means a lot. It has not been an easy ride for small business owners over the past few years, we have all gone through a lot together and I hope the best days are ahead for us all.” 

Boardroom Advisors is shortlisted in the Service Industries Entrepreneur of the Year category.

Having started in Bristol, the consultancy is now a national company with 200-plus fractional c-suite executives and part-time directors.

Founder and CEO John Courtney has started seven of his own businesses and been highly ranked on the Top 100 Entrepreneur’s List collated by City AM. He was twice shortlisted for Best Mentor/Advisor and also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by techSPARK.

He has been a board director for more than 40 years, has been involved with placing of non-executive directors for 25-plus years.

He trained as a strategy consultant and ran a management consultancy for 10 years and a digital agency for another 10 years.

He said: “We are incredibly honoured to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

“This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, and we are excited to celebrate this achievement with the wider entrepreneurial community.”

Previous winners of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards include the founders of BrewDog, Zilch, Grenade and ClearScore, which have gone on to become household names.

Awards founder Francesca James described the calibre of entries this year as “truly outstanding”.

She added: “These entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy and their stories are a testament to the incredible resilience and creativity of the UK’s business community.

“We are thrilled to recognise their achievements and support their continued growth.”

The awards ceremony takes place on 18 November in London’s prestigious Grosvenor House hotel, where winners for each category in each region will be announced.