Having worked tirelessly to inspire young people to pursue entrepreneurial career paths and tackling youth unemployment in the UK over the past nine years, 27-year-old entrepreneur Rajeeb Dey tops the list of people and British businesses being honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion.
The success of 152 businesses has been recognised this year: 116 exporting companies have won ‘Awards for International Trade’; 27 for ‘Innovation’, and nine for ‘Sustainable Development’ benefitting the environment, society and the economy.
The Award is in recognition of Dey’s ongoing work in supporting students, graduates and young entrepreneurs through initiatives such as his graduate recruitment platform Enternships.com, establishing Student Voice – working to empower school students as well as being a Co-Founder of StartUp Britain the national campaign for entrepreneurship which was launched by the Prime Minister in March 2011. He was also recognised for his various voluntary roles such as Trustee of UnLtd – the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs and the Phoenix Education Trust.
Talking about the award, Dey said: “It is an absolute honour to receive such a prestigious award. At a time of unprecedented levels of youth unemployment its essential we all play our part in supporting young people in seeing entrepreneurship as a viable and rewarding career path. Through Enternships we have been able to connect students to entrepreneurial internships in thousands of businesses, many of whom have gone on to launch their own ventures
To be acknowledged by Her Majesty for my work in this arena is testament to the fact that young people in the UK are more than able to make a difference to the future of the British economy. We’re in the midst of a movement that sees young people not just taking a job but making a job, and I am proud to count myself a part of that.
Seven other individuals, nominated by their peers for their efforts to encourage UK entrepreneurship, also won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. Their nominations showed that as well as being full-time entrepreneurs, they voluntarily pass their skills and experience on to others, get involved in education and inspire students, and work to provide help and support to develop peoples business skills. These eight business people, alongside the successful businesses, can now look forward to a Royal Reception at Buckingham Palace.
Business and Energy Minister, Michael Fallon said: “The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are one of the most internationally-recognised and sought after awards that a UK business can achieve. They give companies prestige, an edge overseas and a well deserved boost.
“The Queen’s Awards highlight our strong entrepreneurial streak and the excellent businesses we have up and down the country who are growing, creating jobs, making a valuable contribution to the economy and helping us to compete in the global race. I applaud each and every one of the winners.”
The standard of entries this year was high, with 25 per cent of entrants winning an Award. 14 of the winning companies have 10 employees or fewer; 133 have fewer than 250 employees.
Winning businesses come from a range of sectors including; building and construction, food and drink, and many more. They also range from enterprising small businesses, with just two employees, to household names such as Regatta and Tyrrells Potato Crisps.
Brit ‘IT’ bag brand The Cambridge Satchel Company scooped the award for its outstanding achievement in international trade which follows a hugely successful year for the company which saw it win a WGSN award in the Footwear & Accessories Design Team category, a Drapers award for Fashion & Retail Personnel Smaller Etailer of the Year and Ruban d’Honneur status in the European Business Awards.
Founder Julie Deane said: “The Cambridge Satchel Company will celebrate its fifth birthday this year and what a year we are having! The opening of our first shop in Seven Dials, Covent Garden, moving to a new factory, international awards and now this – we couldn’t be happier or feel more proud.”