Picture the scene: 550 business leaders from the South dressed in penguin suits and posh frocks ate and drank to the scene of the 2015 Inspire Awards last night, in Hook in Hampshire. It was 10pm and the champagne had been flowing, clearly evidenced by the event host, who read out the name of Entrepreneur of the Year and got his name wrong.
"And the winner is...Aled Donegan." People looked at each other and thought
"Who the... is Aled Donegan?" Was he the Welsh fella who sang on the Snowman theme? Who was this mysterious entrepreneur who had stalked the corridors of adulation by stealth? The scarlet pimpernel of business excellence who had beaten his nearest rivals (each turning over >£6m)? They seek him they seek him there.
They actually found him on table 53 - the one furthest from the stage (probably the cheaper seats at the back) and as he ran to the stage like a 1980s Sebastian Coe, the pimpernel's true identity was revealed. Yes! Our very own Alan Donegan! This is what they said about him:
“Alan proved beyond a doubt that he has all the characteristics of an entrepreneur as defined by economist Schumpeter – self-reliant, striving for excellence, optimistic and willing to take measured risk – Alan demonstrated all these things and more – teaching other people to themselves become entrepreneurs with 100% passion and belief in his business model. A well-deserved and inspiring winner!”
After collecting the award to a splendidly dressed fanfare reception, Alan said:
"I'm going to use this award to help inspire others to become entrepreneurs." So look out people we're coming to a town near you VERY soon. Well done Alan - we're proud of you.