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The Entrepreneurial Exchange

Nominees Unveiled For Entrepreneurial Exchange Award

The nominees for the emerging entrepreneur of the year award have been unveiled.

Barrhead Travel's Sharon Munro, Genius bread inventor Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne and TenBu Technologies founder Ben Hounsell will battle it out for the Entrepreneurial Exchange award.

Munro has expanded the family travel agency business since she led a management buy-out from her father Bill in 2007. Having identified a gap in the market following the collapse of several airlines, Barrhead developed its own package holiday programme.

The number of stores has increased from nine to 14 in the past year with ambition for that to reach 19 in the coming months.

Jim Boyle, partner in charge of Entrepreneurial Business for Deloitte, said: "It is clear to see how Sharon has made her mark on what was already a successful and well-established business and has brought the vision and energy to take it to the next level."

Bruce-Gardyne spent hours in her kitchen trying to perfect a gluten-free bread recipe for her son.

After achieving the perfect blend she received some business mentoring and advice from Cairn Energy founder Sir Bill Gammell.

Now her company Genius Foods is on course for £10million in sales just 18 months after launching.

Boyle said: "Lucinda is a very humble yet driven individual who has demonstrated that hard work, innovation and a focus on quality pays off."

Hounsell is on to his second company having already founded then partially exited IT business CriticalBlue.

NowTenBu is focused on a mobile phone security product called Nio.

The device is already sold in more than 20 countries with distribution agreements signed in a further seven.

Boyle said: "Ben is a great role model for young entrepreneurs. He displays a can-do attitude to making his innovative ideas become commercial, revenue-generating realities and has achieved this in a relatively short space of time.

With a record number of entries the trio have already beaten off stiff competition just to be nominated. They faced a judging panel including beCogent founder Dermot Jenkinson, last year's entrepreneur of the year.

John Anderson, chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Exchange and chair of the judging panel, said: "The calibre of this year's contenders is truly exceptional and it really will be a fight to the finish to decide who takes the crown. In today's world, it is important that we have entrepreneurs like Sharon, Lucinda and Ben leading the way for emerging businesses, inspiring and motivating others who aspire to make their mark on the entrepreneurial business community in Scotland and beyond.

"All three of them have a compelling and impressive story to tell and I look forward to seeing their continued development, as I am confident each of them will become even more successful over the coming years."

The winner will be announced at the Entrepreneurial Exchange dinner at the Glasgow Hilton on November 25.

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