Recognising and supporting entrepreneurs with physical challenges and mental health issues

Disability Entrepreneur AwardWe want to acknowledge the exploits of entrepreneurs and business people who have overcome a disability in the pursuit of their business goals. The ‘Disability Entrepreneur Award’ is for Essex based individuals with a disability who have a commercially sustainable business or business plan and entrants are being given the chance to win up to £2,000 in prize money, support and training

The new award was launched in May as part of the BIG Business Boost competition. The competition’s aim is to find and enable Essex’s exciting small businesses.

The deadline for this award has recently been extended until 31 August 2016.

Supporting entrepreneurs who have overcome adversity

The ‘Disability Entrepreneur Award’ recognises and rewards business owners who have overcome adversity to create a successful business.  The competition is open to any business owner or aspiring entrepreneur with physical challenges or mental health issues.

“People with disabilities can show that Essex means business by coming forward with their innovative, entrepreneurial ideas. There is plenty of advice and guidance on offer to take great business ideas to the next level.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth & Partnerships, Essex County Council

How to enter the ‘Disability Entrepreneur Award’

Disability Entrepreneur AwardThe ‘Disability Entrepreneur Award’ is free and easy to enter online. Two winners will receive a prize of £2,000 plus a free business support package. Judging for the first round will take place in September and all shortlisted businesses will receive a business support package. The two overall winners will be announced at an awards event in October 2016.

Click here to enter the Disability Entrepreneur Award. The competition is open for entries until midnight 31st August 2016.

About the BIG Business Boost competition

The Essex Innovation Programme and Essex County Council’s Employment and Skills Unit have teamed up to deliver the 'Disability Entrepreneur Award' to celebrate the diversity of entrepreneurship flourishing in Essex.

The BIG Business Boost competition aims to identify the county’s most exciting business ideas and concepts. Last year the competition attracted more than 200 entries and saw tens of thousands of pounds of business support, training and cash prizes go to small businesses in Essex. This year the competition celebrated the diversity of entrepreneurship across Essex offering four award categories…

  • The Young Entrepreneur Award – for business owners aged from 16 to 30 years of age
  • The Women in Business Award – for the county’s most innovative female-led businesses
  • The Disability Entrepreneur Award – for Essex-based individuals with a disability with a commercially sustainable business idea/plan
  • The BIG Business Boost Award - open to any Essex-based business with 15 employees or less

About the Essex Innovation Programme

The Essex Innovation Programme works with established companies and start-up businesses to help them to develop, and take to market, innovative products and services.

Find out more about the Essex Innovation Programme here.

See here for more information on the BIG Business Boost.

Danielle Putt
Danielle Putt

Innovation & Sector Development Officer

07880 092887


I work within the Enterprise Team to support, coordinate and manage the delivery of a range of activities to deliver the above, including; providing businesses with access to first class innovation support, supporting and developing the delivery of vibrant sector networks, anticipating challenges affecting businesses' competitiveness and plans for growth, and developing and delivering specific and generic solutions.