We’re pleased to announce the regional finalists for The Spectator's Economic Disruptor of the Year Awards 2019, sponsored by Julius Baer. We were delighted to receive some 50 per cent more entries this year — including many more from the regions outside London and the South. Business sectors represented range from fintech to funerals, and from ‘big data’ to dating. The full set of entries illuminates how entrepreneurs are addressing today’s pressing social and environmental issues, whether that be food waste and sustainable packaging, or the decline of town centres and the shortage of affordable housing, or the need for greater efficiencies in the NHS.
When we launched the Economic Disruptor awards last year, we were blown away by the enthusiasm of the entrepreneurs we met — and we learned that perfecting the product is often just as important as achieving financial success. What’s evident from this year’s crop is that positive social impact is also an essential ingredient in the formula. It’s a pleasure and an education for us to meet so many dedicated and talented business-builders. We now have the fascinating task, with the help of expert guest judges, of reducing the shortlist below to five regional winners and one overall national winner. We’ll announce those names at our awards ceremony on 13 November; meanwhile, do find out more about the shortlisted companies from their individual websites.