Student social network pioneer crowned Midlands Entrepreneur Of The Year

Josh Rathour, UNiDAYS

The CEO and founder of the world’s leading Student Affinity Network has been crowned EY Midlands Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017.

Josh Rathour, of Nottingham-based UNiDAYS, collected his prize at the awards ceremony in Birmingham last night.

UNiDAYS is the world’s leading Student Affinity Network, connecting brands and services with 142 million students in 32 countries around the world. Joining the UNiDAYS network gives students exclusive discounts from some of the best known retailers. The company is already one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK.

Rathour, who also took home the Rising Star award, was described by the judges as ‘a real entrepreneur’ and one who is ‘flying the flag for tech start-ups in the UK’. His aim is to build the company up into one of Europe’s biggest internet businesses.

Nine entrepreneurs from eight companies were honoured in separate categories, each winning an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award.

Among them – and collecting his second award in the space of week after being crowned Ambassador of the Year at the West Midlands Business Masters awards last week – was NEC Group chief executive Paul Thandi.

He collected the Building a Better Working World award in recognition of the work carried out by the NEC Group.

The other full list of winners were:

•         Rising Star and Overall Winner – Josh Rathour, UNiDAYS
•         Building a Better Working World – Paul Thandi, NEC Group
•         Disruptor – Rob Halliday-Stein, Jewellery Quarter Bullion
•         International – Dr Peter Poon MBE and Andrew Poon, Romax Technology
•         Master – Chris Morling,
•         Scale Up – Alfred Gordon, QDOS
•         Transformational Leader – Paul Cox, Reconomy
•         EY Family Business Award of Excellence – Philip Salt, Salts Healthcare

Neil Meredith, EY partner and Entrepreneur Of The Year leader in the Midlands, said: “Josh’s business is young, dynamic and inspiring. Having founded the business in 2011, he is a true entrepreneur, driven by continuous improvement and innovation. Today, his business is one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK, working with over 600 brands across 32 countries.

“Josh is an inspiration to all business leaders and has shown it is possible to build a world class business from scratch in only a few years. We are delighted to have him as our Midlands region winner.”

EY also presented a special award – Family Business Award of Excellence – to Philip Salt, of Salts Healthcare. The Birmingham business was founded in 1701 and is one of the UK’s oldest family-owned companies. It manufactures ostomy and orthotic products from its base in Aston.