Belfast Telegraph

Have a go, urges young business award winner

By Clare Weir

A major winner at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in March has urged Northern Ireland entrepreneurs to get applying for next year’s event.

Greg Wilson is founder and managing director of internet insurance search engine Seopa Ltd and picked up the accolade for young businessperson of the year at the ceremony in March.

Mr Wilson said that both he and the company have been going from strength to strength since he picked up the award.

“I applied for the awards on the recommendation of someone who had been working with the company, I just decided to go for it,” he said.

“I never expected to win but the benefits have been enormous. We got a lot of good publicity, it provided us with a lot more business opportunities and when our marketing team were contacting people, quite often individuals and businesses had heard of us by reading articles in the press.

“On a personal level it was nice to get a bit of recognition after all those sacrificed all those weekends and evenings trying to get the business off the ground.

“Since the awards in March we have added a lot of brands to the search systems including Axa, Admiral and Diamond.

“I think it was a great and helpful category, it’s a nice way to get recognised on a personal level and a great boost for business by opening us up and exposing us to opportunities we maybe wouldn’t have had before and getting the company name out there.

“It was definitely a win-win situation for us.”

A total of 11 awards are up for grabs including the new non-entry category of Businessperson of the Year and the overall title of Outstanding Business of the Year.

Winners will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony in the Ramada Hotel in Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast on Thursday, April 7, next year.

Chaired by economist John Simpson, the judging panel for the 2011 awards will include Brian Ambrose, chief executive of George Best Belfast City Airport, Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of Invest Northern Ireland, Professor Rodney McAdam, head of department of marketing, entrepreneurship and strategy at University of Ulster, Ann McGregor, chief executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, Brenda Morgan, Ireland sales manager for bmi, Paul Rooney, chair of Business in the Community and partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Joanne Stuart, chair of the Institute of Directors (IoD).

For a full list of the rationale, criteria. rules and conditions, go to

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Belfast Telegraph