The founder of Yorkshire-based Hatmill, Simon Dixon, has been named regional Service Industries Entrepreneur of the Year for Yorkshire and the North West at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Hatmill is a hands-on supply chain and logistics consultancy delivering improvements to warehouses, transport, forecasting and inventory, so clients become more profitable and transform their customers’ experience. Clients include Royal Mail, Boots, Asda, Cummins, Department of Health and Social Care and Greggs.

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.

The service industries account for more than 80% of the UK’s entire economy, making it a particularly important area to recognise. To stand out in the service industries requires something special.

With Covid-19 restrictions preventing the regional finals taking place at a live event, Simon won the award during a virtual award ceremony joined by finalists across every region.

Simon Dixon said: “I’m surprised but delighted to win. While the award celebrates entrepreneurs, we couldn’t work in successful businesses without being part of amazing teams. I’m very fortunate to work with some great people and clients.

“The last few months have been some of the most challenging of Hatmill's journey so far given the impact the pandemic has had on supply chains, but we've all pulled together in supporting our clients cope with unprecedented demand, changes and challenges.”

"Our unique culture has attracted industry experts, and we've demonstrated time and time again that a growing firm from Yorkshire can compete against the big consultancy firms. We've got ambitious plans to grow the business overseas, particularly in the automation and rail sectors.”

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: “Simon has a wonderful entrepreneurial story and I’m delighted for him to win this award. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on what he does in the years to come and look forward to welcoming Simon to the community.”

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 Simon 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.”

The winners of each category will now go to the National Final of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, with a date to be announced due to restrictions on large events.