Leicester’s Barrie Stephen named Business Person of the Year in East Midlands Entrepreneurship Awards

Barrie Stephen consolidated his status as one of Leicester’s leading business figures this weekend after winning the title of Business Person of the Year at the Nachural Entrepreneurship Awards 2019.

Celebrating the ideas, innovation and strategic thinking of business leaders, entrepreneurs, press and investors across the East Midlands, the awards – whose charity partner is Rainbows Hospice - recognised and rewarded the achievements of key individuals and organisations who are excelling in entrepreneurship.

Barrie Stephen, who launched his Barrie Stephen Hair business 23 years ago in Anstey, has since grown his start-up into a five-strong salon business including a training academy and barbershop spread across the county, in Ashby, Anstey, Narborough, and in the city centre.  He was this year named the first ever patron for Leicester’s Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, whose support enabled Barrie to launch his own business in 1996, when he transformed a butcher’s shop in Anstey into his first high-class boutique salon.

On Barrie’s win, Ninder Johal, CEO of Nachural says:

“Barrie Stephen showed wide-reaching excellence across the board and stood out as a very impressive business leader. Entrepreneurs are action-orientated visionaries, focused, demanding of themselves, with high attention to detail, and Barrie’s level of excellence, results and strength of leadership made him the perfect winner.

 “Cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit in this fast-changing world drives economic growth and a determination that has to be recognised and encouraged. Entrepreneurs in business take risks in time of economic uncertainty, provide employment, sustainability and wealth creation and are considered the backbone of the UK economy.”

Barrie Stephen is delighted at the win:

“Nurturing a business takes a lot of focus and risk, big decisions and perseverance, but it’s what brings me alive and I have loved expanding my salon company to where it is today.

“Businesses are like people, they don’t stay the same over the passing of years. They change and need to grow and adapt, just like we do. It’s been a wonderful journey recognising what needs to change and stepping out in risk and making brave decisions.

“I’ve learnt so much about having vision and always intentionally crafting a culture that other people want to be a part of. I’m so proud to receive this accolade and show others that business dreams can grow into something incredible.”

Barrie Stephen was announced Business Person of the Year on 27th September at the Maher Centre in Leicester in front of 400 guests from the business community, and received his award from category sponsor Lucy Robinson from the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.  

Over his two decades in business, Barrie Stephen, has been called on to be a judge at the Leicestershire Business Awards and has picked up numerous awards himself recognising his stellar commercial flair. These have included the ultimate local accolade of Leicester Mercury’s Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, and Niche Magazine’s Leicestershire Businessman of the Year. Finalist nominations have recently come for Leicester Mercury Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 and a nomination for the prestigious Director of the Year – Small Medium Business award at the 2019 East Midlands Institute of Directors Awards.

Whilst flying high with business acumen, Barrie and his team have also been nationally praised for their involvement in the local community, picking up awards for best local salon, and best regional salon group from industry magazines as well as team wins at HJ’s British Hairdressing Business Awards.


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