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Pizza Pilgrims founders named Pivot Entrepreneurs of the Year

The founders of Pizza Pilgrims, James & Thom Elliott, have been named Pivot Entrepreneurs of the Year for London and the east of England at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Pizza Pilgrims is a fun, family-owned pizza business - created by brothers James and Thom - serving the best quality Neapolitan pizza. With Deliveroo sales not enough to break even when the pandemic struck, the brothers launched a DIY pizza kit and sales soared.

Now in its eighth year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in partnership with Starling Bank celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs in the UK, rather than the business’ balance sheet.

The Pivot Entrepreneur of the Year category was added in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown measures. It celebrates those who have adapted their business to ensure they survive, and even thrive after, the crisis.

With Covid-19 restrictions preventing the regional finals taking place at a live event, James and Thom won the award during a virtual award ceremony joined by finalists across every region.

In a video message to finalists, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, “Entrepreneurs [have shown they] stay strong, even during a global pandemic. Coronavirus hasn’t stifled enterprise.

“Entrepreneurs are creating new businesses and adapting to the crisis, as seen in this year’s entries. And that’s what we need to happen if we want our economy to bounce back. We need all of you to keep inventing, keep taking risks, keep creating new businesses.

“It’s my job as Chancellor to celebrate, champion and support you. Congratulations to all the winners. Thank you to all of you for everything you’ve done.”

Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said, “James and Thom have a wonderful entrepreneurial story and I’m delighted for them to win this award. They have shown exactly what it means to pivot your business.”

Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, said, “We’re entrepreneurs and we have spirit. We fight back and we’re very good at dealing with adversity. And James and Thom are an example to us all, of entrepreneurs that are creative, innovative, and changing the world.

“I’m so excited that Starling, a business I founded in 2014 and now the Best British Bank, is sponsoring such an important Awards. And as one entrepreneur to another, congratulations to getting where you are this evening and best of luck for the future.”

The winners of each category will now go to the National Final of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, with a date to be announced due to restrictions on large events.