Fenland entrepreneur shortlisted for Barclays business award

AN entrepreneur from Fenland has been named as one of Britain’s most inspirational business men after battling back from countless knee operations to get his new company up and running.

Ian Edmonds, from Chatteris, had been out of work for five years as a result of his knee problems and was dealt another blow when his wife, Alison, lost her job. The couple were faced with mounting doubt and had their home repossessed but the battling pair refused to give up.

Mr Edmonds, with the help of a friend who ran an electrical company, learnt about the industry and set himself up as a sole trader selling electric under-floor heating systems via the internet.

His company, UFH.BIZ (Floorwarmers) has grown steadily since January 2009 and Mr Edmonds could now win a share of �50,000 after being shortlisted for the 2010 Barclays Trading Places Award, which recognises people who have beaten the odds to succeed in business.

Steve Cooper, chair of the judging panel and Managing Director, Barclays Business, said: “The calibre of this year’s entries is outstanding and we hope that with this recognition, UFH.BIZ (Floorwarmers) will continue on the road to success.

“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.

“We also hope Ian’s story will inspire other budding entrepreneurs in Cambridgeshire, who face similar difficulties to come forward and turn their own business dreams into reality.”

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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 November 30 which will be attended by more than 300 VIP guests.