04 Jul 2024

Celebration of young East Midlands business talent at the Generation Next Awards 2024

Picture of Generation Next Awards 2024

2024’s Generation Next Awards have taken place at a lively ceremony in Derby, showcasing the outstanding achievements of people aged 18-35 across the region.

12 awards were presented, covering a wide range of business areas such as innovation, creativity and customer service at Derby’s vibrant Bustler Market.  The prestigious Future Leader Award, sponsored by the University of Derby, went to Emma Sharpe, Head of Services at Menphys.  The judges said of Emma: “Aside from being accomplished and dedicated, Emma also represents what it means to be a great leader.  Her leadership is embedded in her ethos, and she inspires others by leading through example.”

Other awards issued during the evening included the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award, sponsored by Futures Housing Group which went to Laura Till from AMBITION Sports Coaching Ltd.    The Rising Star Award, sponsored by Nottingham Trent University was presented to Scarlet McCourt of trentbarton.

TV Presenter Kirsty Shelts hosted the awards

TV presenter and BT Broadcast Journalist Kirsty Shelts hosted the event, while a range of speakers included Generation Next Vice Chair Scarlett Canavan.  East Midlands Chamber President Stuart Dawkins addressed the audience at the opening of the ceremony, while High Sheriff of Derbyshire Ian Morgan OBE spoke of the importance of future leaders in the region.

In his speech Stuart Dawkins said: “Generation Next is a community in which to belong, in which to grow. It’s a valuable asset for the East Midlands.  I would like to congratulate all the Generation Next Awards winners and all the finalists that got to this stage.”

DJ Beau Jack played an upbeat set to mark the occasion after the awards were announced, while winners and guests interacted among street food stalls, bars and arcade games as they celebrated their success.

Winner of the Future Leader Award, sponsored by the University of Derby, Emma Sharpe said: “I’ve got quite a large team in quite a small organisation so I really have to role model good leadership.  It’s really nice that the judges have recognised that. Being someone that really advocates for your team regardless of their position is what makes a good leader, support your team members, care how they are. I’m glad that I’m able to show that. I’m really proud of winning this award.”

Generation Next Lead and East Midlands Chamber Director of Resources Lucy Robinson said: “The level of talent this year among all the winners and entrants was just off the scale. It’s tremendous to see the ingenuity of young people across the East Midlands. Generation Next does wonders in boosting confidence, we hear that all the time from our members, and enabling young people’s business skills to develop is something really special.

“While the country was racing to polling stations to decide who’ll lead it, we were celebrating the brightest-shining future leaders, entrepreneurs and creatives right here in the region, so I’m sure it was a memorable night for them.  Bustler Market was the perfect place for the ceremony – Generation Next really values the benefits of networking with like-minded young people, so having an informal environment with street food stalls really added to that.  I like to think the East Midlands will fare pretty well over the years ahead as the business stars we saw tonight will no doubt make their mark.”

Generation Next Awards 2024 Winners

Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Loughborough College

  • Emily Barnes – Donaldson Filtration GB

Creators and Makers Award

  • Alistair Bullock – Purpose Media

Customer Service Award

  • Hayley Cousins – Loughborough College

Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Stephen Atkinson – Longbow Venues

Environmental Warrior Award sponsored by Hydropath Technology

  • David Allerton – SE-LF

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity Award, sponsored by Futures Housing Group

  • Laura Till – AMBITION Sports Coaching Ltd

Innovation and Technology Award, sponsored by Hardy Signs

  • Elizabeth Ashton – Loughborough University

Investing in Young Talent Award

  • Longbow Venues

Rising Star Award, sponsored by Nottingham Trent University

  • Scarlet McCourt – trentbarton

Start-up Award, sponsored by University of Nottingham

  • Danielle & Ben Slater – Stephen Eve Financial Planning Ltd

Volunteering & Charitable Impact Award, sponsored by ITS Technology Group

  • Joshua Leach-Aslam – Two Chevrons Group / Two Chevrons CIC

Future Leader Award, sponsored by University of Derby

  • Emma Sharpe – Menphys