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Leeds-based pet wellness firm wins UK’s Scale-up Entrepreneur of the Year at Barclays Entrepreneur Awards

Barclays has announced a Leeds subscription-based pet wellness firm as a national winner at the Barclays Entrepreneur Awards.

Itch was named as the UK’s Scale-up Entrepreneur of the Year, which recognises entrepreneurs whose businesses are growing rapidly.  The judges were looking for disruptive ventures with strong management teams, which have received external or internal organic investment to help scale their business.

Headquartered in Leeds, the direct-to-consumer business was founded in July 2019 by pet industry entrepreneurs Jonny and Adam Gould and investor and serial entrepreneur James Cox.

Developed in collaboration with world-class veterinary experts, Itch now sends products to over 140,000 pets per month across the UK, offering a 360 degree approach to preventative health and happiness for pets. The platform provides personalised and tailored recommendations for parasite protection, food, treats, supplements, pheromones and more plus pet insurance and free access to 24/7 video vet advice for Itch subscribers.   The company also has ambitious plans to launch in the US and Europe.

On receiving the award, co-founder Adam Gould said: “We now look after 140,000+ pets nationwide [and counting!] who all rely on our monthly direct-to-consumer flea and worming treatments to stay healthy and happy. We’ve been laser focused in our mission to energise and inject personality into the pet wellness market and are incredibly proud to have shipped over 3 million packs of our flea and worming treatment to households around the UK since launch.

“Our loyal following of customers [and their four-legged friends] have shown their appreciation for the service and we have now accrued over 24,000 5* Trustpilot reviews. To be recognised by the Barclays Entrepreneur Awards is not only a huge honour, but also a testament to the hard work, dedication and passion of our 80 strong ITCH team.  With plans to launch in the US and Europe and plenty of product innovation on the horizon the future is incredibly exciting for the brand”.

The Barclays Entrepreneur Awards recognise the importance of the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit, and showcase founders and their businesses from across the country, who amid the pandemic have succeeded in bringing together their creativity, passion and innovation to run successful high growth businesses.

Katherine Morgan, Head of High Growth & Entrepreneurs at Barclays, said: “The national awards are a celebration of the exceptional innovation and leadership entrepreneurs demonstrate, helping to create social change and boost our local economies. This is our opportunity to celebrate some of the UK’s most successful home-grown ventures, many of whom have skilfully utilised international markets, in turn generating new jobs and driving economic growth. These awards allow us to recognise and celebrate the founders behind these businesses, and we would like to congratulate Itch on their success.”

The national judging panel were made up of key industry leaders and influencers, who selected the overall national winners, drawn from over 1,000 applications, across the UK.

The Barclays Entrepreneur Awards consist of ten award categories, ranging from start-up through to international expansion. For the first time, a number of Barclays partners who provide services to help businesses thrive have taken the opportunity to sponsor a category.

Barclays Entrepreneur Awards categories:

Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Barclays: entrepreneurs who have started new, fast-growing businesses. Winner – Hertility Health, London

Scale up Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Propel: entrepreneurs whose businesses are growing on a rapid scale. Winner – Itch, North East

1.       Entrepreneur Icon of the Year, sponsored by MarketFinance: entrepreneurs who have successfully turned their vision into reality. Winner – Dr Harry Destecroix, CEO of Science Creates, South West and Wales

2.       The Barclaycard Next Level Award: recognises the entrepreneurs/businesses that have overcome a significant challenge or grabbed their big business growth moment. Winner – T.H.Burroughs Family Butcher, South West and Wales

3.       Eagle Labs Innovation Award: companies that have demonstrated impact through digital empowerment and innovative collaboration. Winner – Yoello, South West and Wales

4.       Rise FinTech Company of the Year Award: companies from the Rise network and Barclays Accelerator Alumni who are creating scaling businesses that are transforming financial services. Winner – CreditEnable, Mumbai

5.       Outstanding Contribution to Entrepreneurship Award recognises an individual who has had a profound impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem, shaping and influencing the profile and importance of entrepreneurs for the UK and beyond. Winner – Brent Shawzin Hoberman CBE, a British entrepreneur who together with Martha Lane Fox founded in 1998.

6.       People’s Choice Award: for the individual or company who has received the most votes from the general public. Winner – BeoBia, Midlands