OAK Furniture Land’s managing director and founder, Jason Bannister, won the People’s Choice Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Barclays Entrepreneur Awards 2017.

Jason was presented with the accolade by business woman and TV personality, Baroness Karren Brady, at an awards dinner in London.

The awards are a celebration of Barclays most innovative entrepreneurs and businesses, as voted by Barclays colleagues and a panel of regional and national judges from the wider entrepreneurial eco-system.

Jason, who founded the Swindon-based business, said: “The real key to any entrepreneur's success is the people they surround themselves with and I feel blessed to be surrounded by such loyal, hardworking and innovative people in both my work and family life.

"The award has come as a surprise but I am sincerely grateful especially coming from a key supporter of our business, Barclays have supported us through thick and thin over the past 10 years, so a special mention goes to Howard Noye and all the Barclays colleagues.”

Howard Noye, head of retail and wholesale for Barclays in the South West, said: “I’m thrilled that Jason won the coveted People’s Choice Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Selecting only a small number of national winners from hundreds of entries was a huge undertaking, as each of them play a vital role in innovation and adding value to the local economy by creating employment and generating wealth. Barclays is proud to support entrepreneurs and firms such as this and be the banking partner to some of the most innovative businesses in the UK.”

The awards included seven categories: Start-up Entrepreneur, Social Entrepreneur, Scale-up Entrepreneur, Female & Male Entrepreneur Icons, Most Innovative Barclays Eagle Lab Resident and RISE FinTech Start-up Award.

Regional heats took place across eight UK regions made up of panels of senior Barclays’ colleagues and key members of the local entrepreneurial community who selected one regional winner per category. Jason was presented with Male Entreprenuer Icon award for the South West region.

The regional winners from all eight regions were then put forward for the national finals. The overall winners per category were decided by a national judging panel. Barclays colleagues were then asked to select their favourite company from the winners to create the People’s Choice Entrepreneur of the Year category.