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The Entrepreneurial Exchange

Three-Way Fight For Business Honour

Trio shortlisted for Emerging Entrepreneur award

The shortlist for Scotland's Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award has been revealed.

Dozens of entries have been whittled down to just three finalists.

Now Owen Barrett of ClydeValley Drilling, Xodus Group's Colin Manson and BrewDog founder JamesWatt will compete for theThe Entrepreneurial Exchange title.

Former building site labourer Barrett funded his specialist drilling and cutting company through a sale of property and began working from a garage in the mid-90s.

Now the business has its own purposebuilt facility at Eurocentral and has diversified into recruitment and software based around its core functions.

Planned expansion into eastern European nuclear decommissioning and partnerships with robotics experts means turnover should rise above the current £5 million.

Jim Boyle, partner-in-charge of entrepreneurial business for Deloitte in Scotland, said: "Owen is clearly a very determined individual who is driven to succeed. He is bold and ambitious with his decisionmaking, which has allowed him to develop and grow the business over recent years."

Chemical engineer Manson spent several years working in the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen before forming Xodus in 2005.

The consultancy raised more than £1m in start-up funding which was invested in infrastructure and marketing.

An Australian office was added in 2007 followed a few months later by an operation on Orkney. Towards the end of the year Manson became the clear leader of the business after a decline in performance. In March 2008, a London office opened and business has continued to grow at an impressive rate, currently employing 270 people.

Manson has ambitious plans to grow to a turnover of up to £200m within the next five years and increase staff numbers to 1,500.

Boyle said: "It is very unusual for someone who has never run his own business before to be so bold in their approach to starting and growing a consultancy practice."

Having decided against a career as a lawyer, James Watt spent two years working in the family fishing business before launching BrewDog with school friend Martin Dickie.

In just two years, the company has grown to be Scotland's largest independent producing 350,000 bottles per month and employing more than 25 staff. Its beers are available in more than a dozen countries around the world, deals have been sealed with several UK supermarkets and a push in to the on-trade is under way.

A 12.5 per cent interest in the Fraserburgh company has recently been sold for £600,000 to the American team behind SKYY Vodka.

The winner will be announced at the Entrepreneurial Exchange Annual Dinner which will  be held in Glasgow on November 26.

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