Bar entrepreneurs from over 20 countries entered the inaugural year of the Havana Club Bar Entrepreneur Awards, a fabulous endorsement of the dynamism and innovation our industry is experiencing.

After many hours of consideration, the judging panel have selected the finalists. In light of the quality of the nominations there are 11 finalists chosen rather than the 10 originally anticipated. Congratulations to all the finalists: Alastair Burgess, Bek Narzi, Carina Soto Velasquez, Emanuel Minez, JJ Goodman, Julien Escot, Kelsey Ramage, Richard Wynne, Rosie Stimpson, Stephan Hinz and Thanos Prounarous.

A special mention also to all the bar entrepreneurs who entered. Thank you. It was not an easy task for the judges and we'd like to recognise all those who shared their entrepreneurial story. We wish you continued success as you forge ahead with your businesses, and look forward to many of you entering again next year.

The finalists will be flying to Havana, Cuba on a very special trip with Havana Club, where the winner will be announced on 23 May. Best of luck to you all!

Each week in the lead up to the grand final, we profile the story behind two of these entrepreneurs and why they've been selected. Take a look below at the bar entrepreneurs we've profiled so far.

Bar Entrepreneur Alastair Burgess image
Bek Narzi image
Bar Entrepreneur Carina Soto Velasquez image
Emanuel Minez image
Bar Entrepreneur JJ Goodman image
Bar Entrepreneur Julien Escot image
Kelsey Ramage image
Richard Wynne image
Roisin (Rosie) Stimpson image
Bar Entrepreneur Stephan Hinz image
Bar Entrepreneur Thanos Prunarus image