A quartet of West Midlands businesspeople have been recognised at a prestigious annual award ceremony which celebrates entrepreneurship.

The four winners at last night's EY Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year will now compete at the national finals in October after being chosen from a list of 23 finalists.

Willie Paterson, group managing director of Wolverhampton contract hire firm Asset Alliance, was named emerging entrepreneur of the year, while the construction entrepreneur prize went to Nigel Curry.

He is chief executive of Rhead Group, the Coventry-based international professional services consultancy works on the lifecycle of infrastructure, construction and asset management programmes.

Coventry-based husband and wife team Alan & Juliet Barratt, who founded fat-fighting business Grenade, won the international entrepreneur category. The couple sold a stake in March which valued the business at £35 million.

Making up the West Midlands-based winners were Guy Mucklow and Jamie Turner who took home the technology and innovation category.

Their company Postcode Anywhere provides cloud-based address management services, processing over £4 million transactions daily for some of the largest organisations around the world.

Lincoln-based Wayne Martin, who launched telecommunications company GCI in 2000, was named overall Midlands entrepreneur of the year after winning the business and consumer services category.

The judges described Wayne as hugely impressive and very entrepreneurial as a person with energy, drive and a good work ethic.

The other winners were Karl Hick, chief executive of Lincolnshire housebuilder Larkfleet in the master entrepreneur category; social enterprise winner was Stuart Bell, founder of Nottingham-based Right Track Social Enterprise; and Mark Kerridge, who was the manufacturing and engineering winner for his Leicester-based packaging company Benson Box.

Adrian Roberts, partner sponsor for EY Entrepreneur of the Year in the Midlands, said: "Congratulations to our eight winners who have all been recognised for growing their businesses and making a significant contribution to the economy.

"EY is passionate about recognising successful entrepreneurs in the Midlands and it's crucial that we continue to acknowledge these outstanding individuals.

"Entrepreneurs lay the foundations for job and wealth creation and drive the increased flow of good news in the region."

Last night's ceremony was held at restuarant Opus, in Birmingham, and hosted by BBC business report Steph McGovern.

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