A disabled city businessman has won the prestigious Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2013.
James King, who runs a home extension company – Oliver James Garden Rooms – won the award which is run by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and £50,000 in the process.
James, 47, is registered blind and also dyslexic, but despite that was a losing finalist in last year’s competition.
He and his team design and build garden room extensions which have tiled roofs making the conservatories warm in winter and cool in summer.
James said: “I’ve always had my own company and built the business around my disability. The inspiration has come from my vision problem. There are obstacles but you just have to accept them. Everyone has them, whether you’ve got a disability or not.
“Because of my vision we have to overcome certain situations, but because of this we end up with a better standard. All of the good practises that we’ve put in have pretty much come as a result of my disability. For example, the build team and specialist contractors go above and beyond to make sure each project is safe, clean and tidy - if even a hammer was ever left out on site, they know I’d trip over it.”
Sir Stelios said: “I have been really impressed by the growth of James’ business and the way he is meeting a genuine need in the market. That is why he has won this award.
“I am passionate about encouraging entrepreneurship, and the previous winners of this award offer proof that there are many highly talented disabled entrepreneurs out there.”