Clitheroe man aims for Entrepreneur of the Year title

A CLITHEROE businessman will be flying the flag for the North after winning the regional finals of a global competition.

Ian Kelly (49) has been crowned the regional winner of the cleantech and renewables category at Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.

The chief executive of Green Sky Energy, which trades as Matrix, impressed the panel after his business, which was set up in 2009, produced a £60 million turnover this year.

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Matrix, which employs around 330 people nationally, is the UK’s largest energy management company and provides a national energy service that helps organisations, including Marks and Spencer and Tesco, meet their long-term energy goals.

At the regional finals, judges described Ian as “one of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs” who “has a great story, a great team, and a great strategy”.

He will now go through a series of interviews, before the UK final results are announced on October 8th. If successful, Ian will then have the opportunity of competing at Ernst and Young’s World Entrepreneur of the Year in Monaco next year.

The father-of-two moved to Clitheroe from Burnley around 11 years ago and is a former pupil of Burnley’s St Theodore’s High School.

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He said: “It’s really pleasing. I wasn’t very competitive going through the process, as it is never easy talking about yourself.

“I didn’t set out to win, but then the competitive gene just comes into play. I want to do well, because I’m representing the business.

“I don’t see it as an award for me. I see it as one for the team.”

Despite not being particularly academic at school, Ian always knew that he wanted to be self-employed. He said: “If I’m brutally honest, my drive has always been that I have wanted to work for myself.

“Nobody sets out to be an entrepreneur. It is more about your behaviour, being motivated and being driven.”