Lawrence Jones, CEO of UKFast has been named North West Entrepreneur of the Year at EN’s tenth annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
Jones, accepted the award by video link-up from Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. Currently on a working holiday with his family, he described the achievement as something that he needs to work hard to maintain, saying: “I’m extremely honoured to receive this award and will work tirelessly to continue earning such an accolade.”
Jones, who was last year named the North West’s Technology Entrepreneur of the Year, has built UKFast over the past 12 years from a tiny start-up in a two-man office, to a business worth £80m, with a team of more than 140.
In concluding his thanks he described the team he has built around him at UKFast: “I have to thank my team and particularly my wife and commercial director Gail, without whom I feel I am really average at best.”
Alongside the massive growth of the company’s managed hosting arm, Jones has continued to nurture his entrepreneurial spirit by diversifying the business. This year has seen the launch of UKFast’s first wholly-owned energy-efficient data centre in Manchester and new divisions in online security and cloud computing.
After the ceremony he spoke of the business sector in the North West and the opportunities for talented fortune seekers: “I came to Manchester with £10 in my pocket at 17 and over the years, the community has embraced my enthusiasm and creative approach to business. 25 years later, it’s great to feel rewarded for giving back in my own way and helping the next generation of business owners.”