Martin Vander Weyer Martin Vander Weyer

Innovators driving economic renewal

The Spectator’s Economic Innovator of the Year Awards 2023 in partnership with Investec are open for business. We’re looking forward to hearing from entrepreneur-led high-growth businesses across the UK and we’re especially pleased to welcome back our partner Investec – an international banking, wealth and investment group with an extensive UK regional network and a deep commitment to supporting entrepreneurship.

These prestigious awards, now in their sixth year, are well recognised in entrepreneur and investment communities in every region of the UK and it has been a joy to see the number and breadth of entries grow year by year. Last year, many finalists were at the cutting edge of digital science, big data, medical diagnostics or green tech; others had found brilliantly innovative ways to make everyday products. Our judges’ journey around Britain took them into the worlds of child-safety software, advanced robotics for waste recycling, energy saving for IT centres, tofu meals, vegan chocolate bars – and even portable devices for washing muddy dogs.

It’s this dazzling variety that makes our Economic Innovator Awards so exciting to be involved in. In some years, fintech has been a big theme. During the Covid pandemic, bioscience came to the fore, as did ventures designed to relieve pressure on the NHS. Looking ahead, there’s sure to be a renewed focus on clean energy and smart ways to achieve low-carbon targets.

But all our potential winners have important characteristics in common: they are passionate about perfecting their products or services, determined to make a positive contribution to society, financially resilient and with the ambition to scale up nationally
and internationally. In a time of high inflation and uncertain prospects, they’re also optimists by nature, looking ahead to the economic renewal in which dynamic businesses like theirs will
play a central role.

As usual, we’ll be judging entries in six regions: London and South East; Midlands; North East; Scotland and Northern Ireland; South West; and West and North West. Within each of those regions this year we’ll be picking finalists in two categories that recognise the wide range of entrants by size: ‘Breakthrough’ entrants whose total revenues for the preceding financial year were less than £3 million, and ‘Scale-up’ entrants with annual revenues of £3 million or more.

We’ll pick one overall Economic Innovator of the Year from our regional finalists and we’ll also make a special award for the venture that’s outstanding in its approach to sustainability issues. Winners will be named at a gala event on Thursday 9 November, and will benefit from the extensive media coverage these awards generate. The overall winner will enjoy an advertising campaign across The Spectator’s print and digital platforms to the value of £20,000.

If you’re an entrepreneur-led, for-profit company whose product or service is changing its marketplace, challenging the status quo and pleasing its customers, nominate yourself today via our online entry form. If you’re a customer, investor, friend or admirer of a venture that fits this description, please encourage it to enter. The Spectator and Investec look forward to meeting the class of 2023 – and celebrating your future success.

Apply now at

Submission closing date is Friday 16 June 2023. Terms and conditions apply


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