Five East of England entrepreneurs announced as EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2021 regional finalists


EY has announced the regional finalists for its Entrepreneur of the Year UK programme, including five entrepreneurs from East of England-based businesses.

The finalists have been selected from a range of different sectors, including: technology; consumer; and health sciences, highlighting the strength of entrepreneurship and industry across the East of England.

The programme celebrates ‘unstoppable entrepreneurs’ from across the country. The finalists represent some of the most inspiring business leaders in the region and the UK, who are making a positive impact on the economy. In the face of the continued challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, they have displayed remarkable resilience and innovative spirit.

The East of England finalists are:

  • Jacyn Heavens, CEO of Epos Now, Norwich - a financial services and payments company enabling both retail and hospitality businesses in over 40,000 location, in more than 77 countries, to create exceptional customer experiences and leverage technology;
  • Guy Braverman and Allen Hanouka, Joint CEO and Co-Founder, and Joint CEO of GAMA Healthcare, Hemel Hempstead - specialising in manufacturing and distributing innovative infection prevention products. The company developed the world’s first universal disinfectant wipe under the Clinell brand and has become the largest supplier of wet wipes to hospitals in both the UK and Australia. It exports products to over 70 countries worldwide;
  • Tim Guilliams, Co-Founder and CEO of Healx Limited, Cambridge – an AI-powered, patient-inspired technology company, who are accelerating the discovery and development of treatments for rare diseases.
  • Rob Bridgman, Founder and CEO of Snug, Enfield - Snug is the UK’s first sofa-in-a-box company. Unlike traditional flat pack and home assembly furniture, Snug’s products are made to last, with comfort and ‘Snugness’ being central to the brand's ethos. Snug sofas have been specifically designed to arrive deconstructed in a box, to get into the toughest of spaces;

Stuart Wilkinson, Office Managing Partner at EY in the East of England, said: “It’s great to see the diversity of entrepreneurial talent, from the region’s businesses, being showcased in EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year programme. The East of England is known for its innovation, across a variety of sectors. This year’s finalists are great examples of how entrepreneurs are utilising technology to grow their business and explore new markets. 

“The programme recognises individuals who have been through the ups and downs of owning and building a successful company. It is the contributions of these individuals and their businesses that are making a huge impact on the local, regional and in many cases national economy – creating jobs, building confidence and inspiring others.”

Lynn Rattigan, EY’s Chief Operating Office for the UK & Ireland and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK Partner Sponsor, said: “This year’s finalists are truly inspirational. At a time when many businesses have had to rapidly respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic, these entrepreneurs have shown they can innovate and adapt while also creating long term value for their clients and broader stakeholders. I’m delighted to welcome this year’s regional finalists to our entrepreneurial community and look forward to seeing their continued success.”

Stuart added: “We know that entrepreneurs will be at the heart of the UK’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery, delivering the innovation and growth we need. The regional finalists are proof of how entrepreneurs have been unstoppable in the face of adversity over the past year, continuing to display incredible ambition to make a difference and solve some of our biggest challenges. Never before has it been so important to recognise and celebrate their achievements.”

David Durlacher, CEO, Julius Baer International Limited, the Entrepreneur Of The Year UK, Headline Sponsor said: “Meeting the applicants  for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK programme over the last few weeks has been truly inspiring – the strength of entrepreneurism across the UK is simply outstanding, particularly given the difficulties faced over the last 18 months from the pandemic. A huge congratulations to those who have made it through to be finalists – no easy feat amongst such tough competition.”

Four regional judging panels will convene virtually in June to select the regional winners. These entrepreneurs will then progress to represent their region at UK judging in October and the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK overall winner will be announced in November. The overall UK winner will then go on to represent the UK at the ‘EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year’ in 2022, which recognises inspiring entrepreneurs from more than 60 countries.

The full list of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 regional finalists by region is available here.


EY Entrepreneur Of The Year’s headline sponsor is leading Swiss wealth management group Julius Baer.


EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. With over 400 employees in our Cambridge and Luton offices, our teams provide a range of services to a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, life sciences, consumer products and retail, technology, real estate and construction, health, and the public sector. The broad array of companies across the East allows us to bring real, relevant and key insights to our clients.