A NORTH-EAST businessman has been recognised for his entrepreneurial achievements by becoming a north finalist in the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.

Fokhrul Islam, MD of Global Procurement Group and Northern Gas and Power, will now go in front a panel of judges to see if he wins the regional finals.

The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year awards culminates in a showcase event in Monte Carlo, where the overall winner will be announced. The awards, launched in the UK more than 20 years ago, recognises exceptional entrepreneurial spirit.

It is a real rags to riches story for Mr Islam whose business, born in a bedroom, now employs more than 450 people globally.

Overseas the company has seen huge growth in France and America, and more recently Singapore, specialising in energy procurement services, tailored for the mid-market and I and C sectors.

Based in Gateshead Quays, it is the North-East’s fastest growing company, with revenues reaching £29m for the year ended 2018 and projected to reach £44m in 2019.

Known as Fu by his team, Mr Islam said “It has been a phenomenal journey for everybody at Northern Gas and Power. To underpin the company’s future growth, we have invested millions into our R&D department ‘ClearVUE’, developing new technologies that we believe will go on to transform the energy market.

“It’s great to see so many North-East businesses featured so prominently in this prestigious awards this year and in previous years. The region is really finding its feet in the services and technology sectors, normally associated more with the south.

“Entrepreneurs are being attracted to the region because of its emerging and vibrant business culture. Now we are truly seeing a revitalisation of the north and its entrepreneurial spirit.

“I am really pleased for the other winners from our region and I wish them all the best of luck.”