THE first of eight businesses to be shortlisted for this year’s Winchester Business Excellence Awards have been announced.

The finalists for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by the University of Winchester, and Winchester City Council’s Carbon Smart Business of the Year Award have been selected from a large number of entries.

Trish Kernan, business development manager at the University of Winchester, said: “As per last year, it wasn’t easy to shortlist just four from the large number of strong entries in the entrepreneur category. I am really looking forward to visiting those selected and learning more about their businesses.”

The finalists for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award are Steven Northam, owner of SN Technologies Ltd, a test bed for setting up new companies, Emma Bondsfield, co-owner of Luvvit Want It Ltd based in Bishop’s Waltham, Andrea Tarr, a pharmacist and co-author for Mixolydian Publications Ltd, and Paul Ayling, owner of WM Group – a content marketing agency.

Rob Heathcock, assistant director in neighbourhoods and environment for Winchester City Council, said: “It’s great to see the increasing success of the Carbon Smart scheme in the Winchester district and the number of businesses making considerable efforts to minimise their environmental impact as well as making progress to reduce their carbon emissions. The city council will continue to do what it can to build a low carbon economy for the Winchester district.”

The finalists for the Carbon Smart Business of the Year Award are Eco Car Care Winchester, the only waterless hand car wash service in Winchester, the Holiday Inn Winchester, a previous winner of the Silver Beautiful South Award for Sustainable Tourism, Universal Technology Ltd, which received Carbonsmart Blue accreditation in March 2013 and Box It, which has received Gold Certification for its commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.