Stelios Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs inviting applications for 2022

Leading disability charity Leonard Cheshire and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, creator and owner of the easy family of brands including easyJet, and founder and president of the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, are proud to relaunch The Stelios Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs in 2022.

The Awards offer one of the largest financial prizes for disabled entrepreneurs in the UK. A top prize of £30,000, and two finalist prizes of £20,000 and £10,000 are up for grabs for this year’s winners, offering £60,000 in cash in total for 2022. 

Since the awards started in 2006 a grand total of £1,196,000, including this year’s sum, has been donated by Sir Stelios and his foundation to disabled entrepreneurs and Leonard Cheshire, giving them an opportunity to showcase their talents.

The awards were postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. In lieu of the Awards, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou made donations of £150,000 and £86,000 for each year respectively to support Leonard Cheshire’s frontline carers during the pandemic.

Jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and Leonard Cheshire since 2006, the Stelios Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs UK recognise the exceptional achievements of disabled entrepreneurs who have set up their own company and excel in their chosen business field.

Sir Stelios said: “I have long held the view that the best way for a disabled person to get a job is to start their own business and be their own boss! I hope that by rewarding with cash those who have started their own business means that more disabled people will be likely to try starting their own business, creating wealth for themselves, their families, staff and suppliers. 

“This year with all the difficulties caused by the pandemic we have decided to adopt the new normal and run the entire process via zoom. From screening the applicants to rewarding the winners, it will all be held on zoom so we reduce the need for travel and face to face meetings and gatherings.” 

Applications are open from today, 1 February 2022, and close at 5pm on Wednesday 20 April 2022. The overall winner will receive their grand prize of £30,000 at an online Awards ceremony via zoom on Monday 13 June 2022, 1pm -2pm BST.  Two runners up will receive prizes of £20,000 and £10,000. 

Entrepreneurs will be eligible to apply if:

  1. They are registered disabled in the UK. 
  2. They own at least 50% of a UK registered for-profit company that has filed accounts with UK Companies House showing a turnover (Revenues) in one year of at least £5,000.

The Stelios Foundation is also donating £20,000 to Leonard Cheshire directly to help with the running of this year’s awards.

Ruth Owen, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire, said: “We are thrilled that Sir Stelios has continued his support for these awards, which present a golden opportunity for disabled entrepreneurs hoping to launch and build their businesses. Entrepreneurship is a key route to prosperity for many disabled people, particularly given the challenging employment landscape. I’m looking forward to seeing the talent on display during this year’s competition!”

Amongst many worthy previous winners, Sir Stelios would like to make a mention of Amar Latif, founder of Traveleyes and broadcaster on BBC and Channel 4, Josh Wintersgill, of easyTravelseat and Mark Williams of LIMB-art

For full details on eligibility and an application form, please visit the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation UK website on or

Alternative application formats are available on request at: or email us if you have any questions about your eligibility.

All completed application forms should be emailed to no later than 20 April 2022.

Media enquiries

For media enquiries please contact Selina Mills on or by phone on 07525 617 507. You can also contact Richard Shackleton, Communications Director for Sir Stelios, by email on or phone on 07905 779 799.

Notes for Editors

The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation is a registered charity in the UK which backs a number of charitable initiatives in the UK, Greece, Cyprus and Monaco. The Foundation gives support in four main areas: scholarships, supporting entrepreneurship with cash prizes, donating money to environmental and other charities and operating a poverty relief programme in Greece and Cyprus - “Food from the Heart”.