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I was somewhat shocked to have received an email informing me that I had been shortlisted for Entrepreneur of the Year back in July this year.

The Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming Awards celebrate the finest in Dorset. With thirteen categories ranging from tea to independent retailers with all finalists being nominated by their readers. Once nominations closed, their judges sifted through the hundreds of votes, deliberating long and hard to select three finalists in each category, except for my category which had four finalists.

The Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Awards took place on Thursday 26 September at The Italian Villa and is in partnership with Dorset Food and Drink whose greatest passion is the food and drink produced in this county,and the farms that produce it. The awards are designed to showcase the great and the good in Dorset, and reward the hardworking people behind them, including suppliers and producers, small farming businesses, chefs, restaurants, pubs and hoteliers.

Dorset Growth Hub were the sponsors of my category and I’d been informed that they would be meeting with me to discuss my future business plans, growth, development and success of the business.

Having heard stories of Dorset Growth hub helping successful businesses across all industries including the renowned food and drink sector was obviously something that I was really excited about.

Nick Gregory,Senior Investment Manager heads up the Dorset Growth Hub and it was Nick that visited me. He informed me of the importance at DGH that food and drink businesses are given every opportunity to improve their competitiveness as well as find success and increase growth.
Nick gave me an insight into how DGH is funded and also provided me with free business advise and support to assist me achieve my business goals.

Their team operate across the county, delivering workshops and training sessions in a variety of venues covering various different subjects. These vary from digital marketing to funding applications and everything in-between. They visit business premises for one-to-one meetings, and facility ongoing mentoring programmes.

Dorset Growth Hub also provides grant funding to help your business take a step forward. From £1000 start-up grants to £4000 digital capability and capital investment grants, we are here to support new ideas and projects to enhance business growth.

I am really excited about winning ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and even more excited to be moving forward with sponsors who are able to help me to develop my business further.

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