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2017 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK open for entries

2017 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK open for entries

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Leonard Cheshire Disability have announced that the 2017 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK is now open for entries.

The Stelios Award is open to registered and not-yet-registered companies, charities and social enterprises operating in the UK. To be eligible, a disabled entrepreneur must own at least 50% of the company, the company must be at most seven years old, and the candidate must have an active online presence.

The award is jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and Leonard Cheshire Disability. Now in its eleventh year, it recognises the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs who have set up their own company and excel in their chosen business field.

Sir Stelios said:

“Last year we got over sixty applications from disabled entrepreneurs dedicated to starting and running successful businesses – serving all sections of the community.

“This time not only are we looking to get this number well up on 2016 but also we want to see some great new ideas that take the business world by storm and show that disability is certainly no barrier to a successful future.”

Last year’s Stelios Award winner, Alex Papanikolaou, from Glasgow, applied twice before winning with his Freedom One Life design of a next generation power wheelchair. He is joining this year’s panel of judges for the award.

Papanikolaou said:

“We were so lucky to have been the 2016 winners with our wheelchair design. The award has directly made our prototype development plans possible and propelled us forward, so we are very grateful.”

Past winners have been drawn from the travel agency, building and IT sectors as well as businesses specialising in disability/mobility aids and services. The winners will be presented with the award at a cocktail reception in London on 14th November.

The deadline for entries is 6th October, and full details are available from the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation Facebook page, or Leonard Cheshire.


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Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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  • And the winner is Hannah Chamberlain, founder of MentalSnapp (, a video diary app that helps people proactively manage their mental health. On the app users can record short video diaries, rate their mood and name their feelings.

    Hannah plans to develop a new version of MentalSnapp with the prize money, which will launch in January 2018. She said:

    “I am overjoyed. We’ll take this money and use it for good. Being the overall winner means we can make MentalSnapp even better – we’ve got plans for intelligent responses to the videos, tailored to what our users want, all designed to help people actively and confidently manage their mental health with private video diaries.”

    The 11th annual award received a record number of 72 applications.

    easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou chose Hannah as the overall winner, and said:

    “After careful deliberation, the judging panel has decided to go with Hannah Chamberlain. Using an app is a very modern, high tech way to deal with a very old but very topical problem. I think this app has excellent growth prospects using the freemium business model. We will be looking forward to reports about future great success.

    “For far too long mental health issues, which are a form of disability, have been virtually ignored and swept under the carpet. I hope this award will go some small way to helping.”

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