Local entrepreneur, Dominic Morgan, has been named one of Britain’s most inspirational businessmen just six months after setting up on his own.
Now Dominic is hoping to win a share of the £50,000 prize package in the 2010 Barclays Trading Places Awards, which recognises people who have beaten the odds to succeed in business.
Dominic was devastated by the tragic death of his twelve-year-old daughter, Jodi. During her illness, the family had been supported by The Sick Children’s Trust, and Dominic decided he wanted to give something back to the people who had helped them through their darkest times.
The family had always been keen anglers, and this gave Dominic the idea of organising an angling event to raise funds for the charity in Jodi’s memory. He gained the support of renowned angler and TV presenter John Wilson and other celebrities and sponsors from the UK coarse fishing industry soon followed.
Dealing with their personal grief during the months of planning and promoting the event was their biggest hurdle. But Dominic and his wife, Laura, have channelled all their energy into the project, which has grown in scale to include a live band, funfair attractions, martial arts and falconry displays. His first event pulled in almost 2,000 people, including six of the top UK angling celebrities and will have raised, by year's end, almost £5,000 for charity. The business is continuing to develop from strength to strength.
Steve Cooper, chair of the judging panel and Managing Director, Barclays Business, said: “Trading Places is a celebration of inspiring people who in spite of great personal challenges, have taken steps to establish a sustainable business and in doing so changed the direction of their lives for the better.
"The calibre of this year's entries is outstanding and we hope that with this recognition, thebigfish.tv will continue on the road to success.
"We also hope Dominic’s story will inspire other budding entrepreneurs in Essex, who face similar difficulties to come forward and turn their own business dreams into reality."
Mark Prisk, Minister for Business and Enterprise, added: “I am delighted to have the chance to support the Barclays Trading Places Awards.
“These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of people who have set up their own business in difficult circumstances.
“The Government is committed to helping make the next decade the most enterprising in history. The Trading Places entrants are an inspiration to everyone and embody the best of the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit. I would like to congratulate all those involved and wish you the greatest success for the future.”
Barclays will present the overall winner with a cheque for £10,000, and the runner-up with £5,000 for their business, at a prestigious black-tie gala dinner at The Savoy in London on Tuesday 30th November to be attended by more than 300 VIP guests.
Awards supporters Microsoft and Yell will also be offering tailor-made packages for the 10 National Finalists, including the latest business software and special multi-media advertising packages.
This year there is also a special award and a cheque for £3,500, courtesy of Barclays, for the Trading Places finalist whose business is helping local people by putting something back into the community.
Other Awards partners include youth charity The Prince’s Trust, Leonard Cheshire Disability, the NFEA, Crisis, PRIME, the cdfa and the Community Channel.