The Stelios Awards is an event that gives grant money to disabled entrepreneurs in the UK. As well as awarding cash prizes, some winners have also become part of Sir Stelios’ easy family of brands.
This award was won in 2018 by Josh Wintersgill. When he was just 18 months old, Josh was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a progressive muscle-wasting condition, but he has not allowed disability to get in the way of his achievements.
He came up with an idea to provide wheelchair users with a safer, more dignified and comfortable means of transferring onto an aircraft seat. His invention, easyTravelseat (ableSling) is highly versatile and can be used in a variety of different circumstances including boats, cars, beaches and kayaks.
Josh is well known as a champion of disability rights and has achieved significant recognition for his achievements.
In 2019, Josh was crowned the first SouthWest Great British Entrepreneur as well as Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
easyTravelseat can be found at easytravelseat.com and you can read an interview Disability Horizons did with Josh Wintersgill in 2021.
Sir Stelios said:
“As is often the case, the simplest ideas can be the best. Josh has had an idea, which is the near-perfect solution to the indignity, discomfort and embarrassment experienced by disabled people when trying to access aircraft seats.
I’m very confident that easyTravelseat will soon become as synonymous for ease and comfort as Stannah has for stairlifts.”
Another recent idea is easyAccessibility, which joined the easy family of brands in January 2020. Through the use of Audio Descriptive Information, the goal of the business is to develop and manufacture products that enable visually impaired people and those who also benefit from audio information, to live their lives with dignity and independence.
The company provides a device called the RoomMate, which makes disabled WCs properly accessible for those with visual impairment.
The RoomMate® is an electronic, wall-mounted device, which offers blind and visually impaired visitors bespoke audio description in an accessible toilet. Each unit also comes complete with a high visibility door sign to indicate that the facility has an ADi RoomMate installed.
Some entrepreneurs even submit their ideas directly to Sir Stelios. In 2020 Frank Scolaro put forward an idea for easyParking an app allowing users to earn money by making parking spaces available to drivers while also identifying electric vehicle charging points.
How to apply for Stelios Awards 2023
Applications for 2023 are open now and close at 5pm on Friday 14th April 2023. The overall winner will receive their grand prize of £50,000 at an online Awards ceremony via Zoom on Thursday 18th May from 1pm to 2pm. Two runners up will receive prizes of £30,000 and £20,000.
Entrepreneurs will be eligible to apply if:
- They are registered disabled in the UK
- They own at least 50% of a UK registered for-profit company that has filed accounts with UK Companies House showing a turnover (Revenues) in one year of at least £5,000.
We are also donating £20,000 to Leonard Cheshire directly to help with the running of this year’s awards.
For full details on eligibility go to leonardcheshire.org/stelios.
Apply here – APPLICATION FORM Stelios Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK 2023 in partnership with Leonard Cheshire.
If you have any questions about your eligibility, email at: SteliosAward@leonardcheshire.org.
All completed application forms should be emailed to email@example.com no later than Friday 14th April 2023 at 5pm.
By The Stelios Awards Team
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