2018 BBA Nominees: Entrepreneur of the Year

Oct. 25, 2018

By the conclusion of the 2018 British Business Awards (BBA) nomination period, on Thursday 18 October at noon, we had received 33 eligible nominations across 5 categories.

The following 7 companies are now in the running to lift the 2018 BBA Entrepreneur of the Year trophy.

"Nominees should be individuals who exemplify entrepreneurialism and have created commercial success through an entrepreneurial spirit. Nominees will typically be leading non-listed organisations in Japan with 25 employees or fewer."

2018 BBAEntrepreneur of the Year nominees
(in alphabetical order): 

Catherine O' Connell (Catherine O'Connell Law)

Catherine O'Connell is a UK-Japan qualified lawyer who this year has carved out her own niche “Lawpreneur” practice which provides secondment-based lawyers to businesses in Japan. This enables her clients to manage and solve legal and compliance resourcing requirements through innovative, flexible and cost-efficient means. Part-time, project-based legal experts work onsite and remotely, to cover parental leave and staff gaps without the business incurring the risk of permanent employee costs. This is a very new and under-serviced market in Japan, and COC Law is set to exceed budget for year 1.


Gary Horobin (Farsound Aviation)


As a solo operator in Japan, working on behalf of Farsound Aviation in the UK, Gary has this year secured new partnerships with eight local Japanese manufacturing companies: IHI Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Jupiter Trading House, Toda Corporation, Sun-wa Technos, Nakashoshoji, Jalux Trading.  


Kathryn Wortley (Sterling Content)



In her second year as a business owner, Kathryn has expanded Sterling Content's services, client portfolio and reach beyond Japan's borders, by offering an innovative, people-driven approach to content creation, media coverage, and advisory services. Her work has helped deepen UK-Japan ties, specifically supporting Japan's national and local governments in their inbound tourism efforts related to the Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The business has grown three times over. 


Natasha Dytham (United School of Tokyo)



United School of Tokyo is a unique place, founded by teachers and parents to provide affordable, quality international education opportunities for families in Tokyo. Natasha and team place great emphasis on creativity, outdoor education, community services and charity. UST has become a popular choice for parents looking for a holistic, child-centric curriculum and daily Japanese programme.


Noriko Sawayama (BABID)

Noriko has been working on revolutionising the interior design world in Japan by introducing the dynamism of the British model (BIID standard) which treats interior design as a distinct profession, covering elements such as architecture, interior design, art direction, and finishing touches. BABID bridges the skills gaps between traditional Japanese architects and international interior coordinators. Through education and community, the firm is creating exciting new Japanese design and property markets, including developments in Zushi and Atami, and a British bakery 'Whimsy' in Tokyo. 

Taisuke Yokota (Camping with Soul Japan)

 Taisuke and his team have successfully introduced the British concept of “Glamping” to Japan. This has become a part of UK culture and is a new concept to Japanese society. CWS offers customers an experience that includes luxury tent and contents all of which are inspired by and reflect British brands and culture. Working with partners such as the Ministry of the Environment on the National Park Project CWS's wider mission is to bring a slice of British culture and lifestyle to the countryside of Japan.


Andrew Gray (PowerVehicles)


The nomination for Andrew and PowerVehicles highlights the firm's 2018 achievements in the field of motorsport, specifically helping link Japan to the rest of the world through drifting events, car services, and travel and tourism efforts in Fukushima. PowerVehicles now houses the largest collection of drift cars in the world and has enjoyed record commercial success, as well as global media coverage, including the UK's Top Gear, in 2018.


The decision on a winning 2018 BBA entry is the result of the combined score of 6 separate judges, who independently score each submission using the same scoring matrix.

To ensure transparency, each judge independently returns his or her score sheet to the BCCJ office by 1 November 2018 and the results are tabulated confidentially. The scores from each judge are then totaled for each nominee, and the nomination with the highest accumulative score is declared the category winner.

In the event of two nominees receiving the same final score, all judges will be asked to review their scores for these companies / individuals, and the submission with the highest score from this second round of judging will be declared the winner.

The final results remain confidential until the BBA ceremony - held on the evening of November 2 2018 at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo.

Good luck to all 2018 BBA nominees, and stay tuned for updates on other award categories! www.bccjapan.com

Related media

2018 British Business Awards - gala event information HERE

2018 British Business Awards Judging process HERE

2018 British Business Awards - Meet the Judges HERE

2018 British Business Nominations CLOSED HERE