Finalists named for Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur Award 2008


Five outstanding entrepreneurs from across the UK have been short listed for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2008.

This major award is run by Leonard Cheshire Disability and sponsored by easyGroup Chairman Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

The winner chosen by the judges will win the £50,000 prize at the British Chamber of Commerce Awards at London's Natural History Museum on November 27.

The finalists are:

Stephen Collins, 49, a wheelchair user who runs Lazarus Mobility in Huddersfield.

Jane Hatton, 48, has a mobility impairment and is the director of Public Sector Providers a training and consultancy business in Kingswinford, West Midlands.


Jayne Mason, 45, has a visual impairment and runs the Fancy Dance Shop in York and Harrogate.


Debbie Reynolds, 34, has a hearing impairment and is the founder of School of Sign Language in Blackburn.


Andrew Thompson, 44, has a hearing impairment and is the director of Sign Now in Grangemouth, Scotland.


To view a video profile about the finalists... click HERE


Sir Stelios said: "I am passionate about encouraging the enterprising spirit and working with Leonard Cheshire Disability to set up this award plays a big part in this.

"I would like to congratulate everyone for reaching the shortlist of this year's award, it is not an easy task to be nominated because there was stiff competition.

"With around 50 per cent of disabled adults out of work, removing barriers disabled people face in business is essential. Self employment is a more viable option for many disabled people as it offers flexibility and helps bypass much of the prejudice that sadly still exists.

"I have been impressed by all the short listed entrepreneurs and will look forward to awarding the prize to the winner and seeing how they use it to grow their business."

Leonard Cheshire Disability leads the way with business and enterprise initiatives like Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs, Ready to Start and Enabled 4 Enterprise which empower more disabled entrepreneurs to run a successful business. _ 


Media enquiries

Please call Pete Lewis at Leonard Cheshire Disability press office on 020 7802 8265 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text57234 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Notes to Editors

Leonard Cheshire Disability supports over 21,000 disabled people in the UK and work in 52 countries. We campaign for change and provide innovative services that give disabled people the opportunity to live life their way.

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou

At 41 years of age Stelios, who prefers to be called by his first name, is best known for creating easyJet PLC when he was 28. He is often credited as the pioneer who changed the European aviation scene for the benefit of millions of consumers. easyJet PLC was partially floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2000 but Stelios remains the largest single shareholder. A serial entrepreneur, Stelios has established more than 17 ventures, the first of which was Stelmar Shipping at the age of 25. In November 2006 Stelios received a knighthood from the Queen for services to entrepreneurship.

The Judges

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou

Amar Latif, Founder of Traveleyes (last year's winner)


Neville Reyner, President of the British Chambers of Commerce


Stefano Pessina, Deputy Chairman of Boots plc


Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor of the Economist


Sir Julian Horn-Smith Non Executive Director at Lloyds TSB


Assaf Admoni, Leonard Cheshire Disability Fundraising Director