The CEO of fine food distributor Cotswold Fayre, Paul Hargreaves, is celebrating after being shortlisted for the Service Industries Entrepreneur of the Year, South East, in the 2020 Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Founded in 2013, the Awards acknowledge the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and businesses in the UK, including those who have gone on to become household names; BrewDog, Tangle Teezer and The LAD Bible.

Paul Hargreaves was shortlisted from a long list of nominations, as a leading voice who encourages and inspires businesses to move away from profit and become a force for good.

He founded Cotswold Fayre in 1999, whilst still involved in charitable work in the inner city.  The company grew rapidly to become the leading wholesaler in the sector, supplying more than 1,500 retailers within the UK and Ireland.  The tremendous success of the company has been down to creating a great place to work and changing the world for better.

The company employs a pioneering approach in consolidating the wholesaler offering, reducing the carbon footprint of retailers, and offsetting remaining carbon to net zero.  And has built such a reputation with the world of food and drink start-ups that it is, in most cases, the first wholesaler these new brands contact when they want to grow their distribution.

Cotswold Fayre is also one of a new generation of businesses that is redefining the way that business is done.  Part of the B Corp movement, and the only B Corp Wholesaler in the UK, the business is better for people, the planet and for profit.

Paul Hargreaves, CEO at Cotswold Fayre says: “I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for this award in recognition of our ongoing commitment to creating a purpose-driven business, with change at the heart of its vision, operating in a better way to benefit the environment and local communities.

“My desire to ‘make the world a better place’ has run through all my adult and business life.  Having built the business over the last 21 years, I am fortunate now to have an excellent management team who look after the day-to-day running of the business which means that I am now looking at other business ideas: a foodhall and kitchen is currently being built and an unpackaged retail solution is launching this summer.  I found time to write and publish a book in 2019, Forces for Good, which together with being a UK ambassador for B Corp has opened up many speaking opportunities too.”

Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said: “Given what we’ve seen over the past few months, the 2020 edition of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards is arguably the most important. Now, more than ever, it’s vital that we celebrate the achievements of the country’s entrepreneurs and their determination in the face of such adversity.

“I want to send my congratulations to each and every single entrepreneur who has made it to the shortlist this year, and I wish them the very best of luck for the regional finals.”

The regional finals will be celebrated online on 23 September 2020.

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