In its second year, with 165 nominations from 40 countries, the Havana Club Bar Entrepreneur Awards continues to shine a light on those behind the bars, the visionaries, the dedicated entrepreneurs pushing the bar industry forward - and on 25th January 2021 came the exciting announcement of the Bar Entrepreneur of the Year!
While it's been an extremely tough and difficult year for all, made even more challenging in the hospitality sector as businesses face closures amid Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, we were incredibly inspired by the nominees' remarkable entrepreneurial stories.
We'd like to thank the dedicated panel of entrepreneurial judges who faced the difficult task of narrowing down the selected 57 nominees to a shortlist of 13 finalists. Nominees were considered on the information provided via their submission (a questionnaire developed by Cécile Bulle from the Dauphine University in Paris, an independent entrepreneurship expert) and submitted videos. A scoring system aided the judges in their decision-making.
The final stage of the Awards was hosted on Zoom. This Meet & Greet session between the judges and the 13 finalists gave the entrepreneurs an opportunity to summarise what they'd do with the prize money if they were to win. The panel then faced the even harder task of naming the worthy winners taking into consideration the finalists' entire nomination.
The Awards came to an exciting conclusion on the 25th January 2021 with an online Awards ceremony where the Bar Entrepreneur of the Year was announced...
The Bar Entrepreneur of the Year
Congratulations to Ollie Margan from Adelaide in Australia, this year's Bar Entrepreneur of the Year. Ollie's story of perseverance, determination and commitment to the bar industry resonated with the judges. Ollie was awarded the €20,000 prize, which he plans to put towards a hospitality collective in Adelaide.
True Grit special recognition award
Rani al Raji was crowned the entrepreneur who best demonstrated True Grit, and was recognised for his enduring courage, bravery and resilience.
Ecopreneurship special recognition award
Yeferson Avila and Jean Trinh were celebrated as the bar entrepreneurs to best demonstrate Ecopreneurship, through their involvement within their community and their passion and commitment as a sustainable business.
One to Watch special recognition award
Omer Gazit-Shalev was distinguished as this year's emerging entrepreneur, having demonstrated ambition and vision, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.
Finally, we'd like to give a special mention to all the talented bar entrepreneurs in this year's Awards. We've been truly moved by your stories of ambition, courage and determination.
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