Scottish entrepreneur Ruari Fairbairns named Scotland and Northern Ireland Entrepreneur of the Year

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The founder of One Year No Beer, Ruari Fairbairns, has been named Great British Entrepreneur of the Year for Scotland and Northern Ireland at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Inspired by Ruari’s own personal journey, One Year No Beer is a global alcohol prevention program, aimed at anyone drinking more than three glasses of wine a week. It is on a universal mission to help people change their relationship with alcohol, which leads to most people fundamentally transforming their lives.

Ruari Fairbairns, Founder and CEO of One Year No Beer comments, “I am beyond delighted to have won not only the regional Health & Wellbeing Entrepreneur of the Year award but also to have been named Great British Entrepreneur of the Year for Scotland and Northern Ireland. This means the world to me and I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the team at OYNB, those who have supported us and our incredible members who joined us on our journey so far.

This has been such a tough year for so many people following the outbreak of the C19 pandemic and with so many turning to alcohol to manage their symptoms of stress and anxiety, it has never been more important for us to continue on our mission to help people change their relationship with alcohol, which leads to most people fundamentally transforming their lives.”

Now in its eighth year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in partnership with Starling Bank celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs in the UK, rather than the business’ balance sheet.

This is the top award given in each region and is given to someone who truly encapsulates what it means to be a Great British entrepreneur. They exhibit all of the hard work, determination, creativity and resilience required to rise above the rest.

It was Ruari’s second award of the evening, after he was also named Health & Wellbeing Entrepreneur of the Year for the region.

With Covid-19 restrictions preventing the regional finals taking place at a live event, Ruari won the award during a virtual award ceremony joined by finalists across every region. He is now in the running to be named Great British Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 at the National Final of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, with a date yet to be confirmed with uncertainty over large events due to Covid-19 restrictions.

In a video message to finalists, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Entrepreneurs [have shown they] stay strong, even during a global pandemic. Coronavirus hasn’t stifled enterprise.
“Entrepreneurs are creating new businesses and adapting to the crisis, as seen in this year’s entries. And that’s what we need to happen if we want our economy to bounce back. We need all of you to keep inventing, keep taking risks, keep creating new businesses.
“It’s my job as Chancellor to celebrate, champion and support you.
“Congratulations to all the winners. Thank you to all of you for everything you’ve done.”

Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “I’m delighted for Ruari. He was the outstanding candidate to become Entrepreneur of the Year in Scotland and Northern Ireland. He exhibits everything that it means to be a Great British entrepreneur. He has a fantastic story and I can’t wait to watch One Year No Beer flourish for many years to come.”

Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, said: “We’re entrepreneurs and we have spirit. We fight back and we’re very good at dealing with adversity. And Ruari is an example to us all, of entrepreneurs that are creative, innovative, and changing the world.
“I’m so excited that Starling, a business I founded in 2014 and now the Best British Bank, is sponsoring such an important Awards. And as one entrepreneur to another, congratulations to getting where you are this evening and best of luck for the future.”