In its debut year, the Havana Club Bar Entrepreneur Awards set out to shine a spotlight on those who have given everything to follow their dream of owning their own bar(s). Whether you are one of these exceptional entrepreneurs yourself, or you know someone who is, you've come to the right place.

The Awards are open for nominations until 8 March 2019, and you may nominate yourself, or someone else, to be considered for Bar Entrepreneur of the Year 2019. This outstanding recognition will be given to the professional who the judges believe best exemplifies successful entrepreneurship.

Who can nominate?

There are two nomination routes; self-nomination and endorser nomination.

If you have what it takes to become the Bar Entrepreneur of the Year and would like to be considered by the judges, you can nominate yourself by completing the nomination form.

Or, perhaps you work with or know of someone you'd like these awards to recognise? In this case you can complete a nomination on their behalf.

(To be eligible, nominees must be owner or part-owner with a minimum of a 5% stake in at least one bar. It's not essential to stock Havana Club in your bar.)

What are the judges looking for?

In a nutshell, our judges will be seeking to spot outstanding contributions to the drinks industry from a bar entrepreneur.

Passion, creativity, resilience, focus, determination, people skills...these are all entrepreneurial characteristics that the judges will be looking for you to demonstrate. But also, your story: how you came to become a bar entrepreneur, what drives you, how you go about disrupting the norm to create the exceptional, the risks you've taken and the obstacles you've overcome. And, the future! What do you aspire to do next, what's your vision and why will you be successful in achieving it?

What's the prize?

We realise that entrepreneurs are not easily put in a box, and therefore a 'one size fits all' prize wouldn't be the most appealing.

Instead we offer to tailor-make a prize package for the winner, based on their location and stage in their business. It will be a package of profile building support such as an advertising campaign in a major business publication, speaker and networking opportunities. The winner will also be profiled here on Difford's Guide where their story will be brought to life to a far reaching trade and consumer global audience.

As well, Havana Club are offering a VIP trip to Cuba to experience Cuban culture and the home of Havana Club rum.

And it is not only the ultimate winner who will be awarded. 10 finalists will also be invited to Cuba, courtesy of Havana Club, making for quite a special group of entrepreneurial minds getting together. Who knows what new ideas will result from that!

Why enter?

We hope you'll be inspired to nominate yourself, or someone you know, so that the stories and successes of the people who drive the bar industry forward and are a force for positive disruption are shared, and so in turn act to inspire the next generation of bar entrepreneurs.

The Havana Club Bar Entrepreneur Awards are supported by the team at Havana Club, with a belief that the people behind successful bars should be recognised and celebrated, not only those literally behind the bar each night but those in the background without whom the bar industry would not be as vibrant and forward-thinking as it is. The ones who have put so much of themselves into achieving their vision. It is these passionate, creative, focused and resilient individuals who are the inspiration for the Havana Club Bar Entrepreneur Awards.

So nominate now and let's discover those entrepreneurs who are influencing bar culture and business around the world.