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Martin Vander Weyer

Innovators brighten the future

Innovators brighten the future
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We’re delighted to announce that The Spectator Economic Innovator of the Year Awards 2022 are open for entries. It’s a pleasure to welcome our new sponsor: Investec, the internationally connected banking, wealth and investment group. With its extensive UK regional network, Investec is known for the support it offers entrepreneurs across its range of high-quality services. Its willingness to change the status quo in pursuit of a better, more sustainable tomorrow will enhance our Awards and we’re delighted to have Investec on board.

But are we discouraged, you might wonder, to be launching at a time when world events are so turbulent and economic prospects suddenly so uncertain? Emphatically not — and for two very good reasons.

Firstly, as we observed from the record number of Awards entries in pandemic hit 2020 and 2021, the entrepreneurs behind the kind of innovative, high-growth businesses we see as potential winners tend by nature to be optimists who take a long view, looking beyond current disruptions. And secondly, because entrepreneurs in every sector will have a huge role to play in the post-Covid, post-conflict and post-carbon reshaping of our economies and our way of life.

This year we’re expecting to meet ventures from all over the UK that are hastening the transition to net zero; boosting UK energy security and food production; making healthcare delivery more efficient and accessible; revitalising city centres; helping to hold down the rising cost of living for consumers; and innovating in many other fields besides.

Entrants may be at the cutting edge of bioscience and digital technology, or simply finding better ways to make familiar products. Last year’s finalists ranged from developers of artificial intelligence applications in medical diagnostics to makers of natural soap and honey.

Now in their fifth year, The Spectator’s prestigious Awards are recognised and saluted in entrepreneur and investment communities throughout the UK. Potential winners are passionate about their products, determined to make a positive contribution to society, financially resilient and capable of scaling up nationally and internationally. We’re looking for six regional winners — with high-profile judging panels in each region to help us choose — and one overall winner. We’ll also make a special award for a venture that’s outstanding in its approach to sustainability issues.

Winners will be announced in November and will benefit from the extensive media coverage that these awards generate. The overall winner will receive an advertising campaign for their company, across print and digital platforms in The Spectator, to the value of £20,000.

If you’re an entrepreneur-led company whose product or service is radically changing its marketplace, please nominate yourself via our simple online entry form. If you’re an investor, customer, friend or admirer of a company that fits the description, please encourage it to enter. We can’t wait to celebrate the impact UK entrepreneurs are making in 2022.

To find the online entry form for The Spectator Economic Innovator of the Year Awards 2022, go to spectator.co.uk/innovator today. The closing date for entries is Monday 4 July. We’re excited to hear from you!