The Utmost International Award for

Entrepreneur of the Year

This award celebrates the potential that exists within leaders of the island’s most promising founder led businesses.

Judges will look at how initial targets and KPIs have been exceeded, the vision for growth, innovation and the founder’s understanding of key challenges, customers and the competitive landscape. 

This award recognises those demonstrating the entrepreneurial aptitude, commercial acumen, vision, ambition and drive to build a successful enterprise. Judges will be looking for;

  • Your personal story, career insights and any notable additional information. What would people say makes you an exceptional entrepreneur?
  • Evidence of the market opportunity you identified, your model to capitalise on it, and how it differentiates you from your competitors 
  • Details about the key innovations you have introduced, or developed, that have created uniqueness and competitive advantage for your business
  • The plan you have in place to sustain your growth and ongoing financial success 

This year's finalists

Winner: Laurence Crookall

Laurence is the founder and owner of the Boredroom, the Isle of Man’s leading independent retailer for Men and Women’s contemporary fashion and streetwear which opened its doors in June 2021. The Boredroom was founded on the belief that the Isle of Man deserves better. For a long time, the Island only had a couple of national chain clothing shops that didn’t cater to personal individuality and style. Boredroom fulfils the demand from our customers by providing them with options for clothing they have only ever seen in an E-Commerce setting or when shopping at Oxford Street. The brands we supply for our customers are sourced globally and limiting the number of items per style available has really allowed the customer base to dive into their individuality. In a time when the common consensus is “The High Street is dying” the Boredroom have kicked the status quo. Exceeding the year one forecasting for turnover and being able to constantly expand the store’s brand offering to increase the individual options for our customer base. In the UK over 40% of small businesses, 127,210 have closed in the first quarter of 2022.

Clara and Andrew Isaac

In April 2021 Clara and Andrew Isaac decided to use their skills and expertise to put a modern twist on recycling collections to make them as economically and environmentally efficient as possible and ultimately improve recycling rates on the Isle of Man. Recyclecollect collects from areas that previously did not receive a kerbside collection and has released collection rounds across the island, with only a few remote areas still to achieve sufficient interest. Take up in the first 12 months has been incredible with over 700 houses now using the service, and relationships with 2 local parishes, Santon and Arbory & Rushen, established to date. The business continues to grow from strength to strength with partnerships developed between other like-minded businesses on the Isle of Man. Recycling is a fundamental principle of sustainability, and by working together we believe we can make the island an even better, more sustainable place to live. In their first 12 months, the company has collected a whopping 71.3 tonnes of recyclables. Averaging approximately 160 kg per household per annum: 86 kg of glass, 13kg of plastic, 13kg of cans and 48 kg of cardboard and paper.

Lee France

Lee France is the founder of Therapaws, a Small Animal Hydrotherapy, Rehabilitation, Conditioning and Wellbeing Super Centre operating within the Animal Care sectors and treating primarily canines. Lee said “Starting out was by no means an easy process, from starting off in a back yard barn to then finding the right location, building, getting through planning permission for a business that was essentially unknown and unique to its sector. This was all around the time that COVID was discovered. Once these things were established the internals had to be built, fitted, specialist equipment delivered and installed. I was not able to have installers/fitters come and this due to the covid restrictions so the only way forward was to learn, adapt to and overcome these obstacles on my own. Building, fitting and Installing 90% of the finished article myself. Something I am very proud of and still find quite hard to believe everyday when I stand back and look at what has been created”