Business awards Gong meant so much, says phone box millionaire

Winning an award can be great recognition for all the hard work that goes into starting or running a business, 

That’s according to Stephen Fear, and he would know having been the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at last year’s Bristol Post Business Awards.

Stephen was recognised as an inspirational role model to others in the city who have started their own businesses.

He grew up on a council estate in Bristol and ran his first business from a local phone box, using the operator as his secretary.

The somewhat unusual start later earned him the nickname the Phone Box Millionaire.

Unlike the other awards, there is no list of finalists for the lifetime achievement prize. It is simply announced on the night.

Stephen said: “Winning awards matter to most people, including entrepreneurs, because they are a recognition of some sort of success.

“It means all that hard work meant something to other people not just oneself.

“The life of an independent business person can be lonely sometimes, especially in the early stages, so earning the approval of one’s peers by receiving an award gives a confidence boost to everyone within the business, not just the owner or winner of the award.

“I wasn’t expecting to win anything when I turned up for dinner at last year’s Bristol Post Business Awards. In fact nothing was further from my mind!

“I was busy tweeting about the various category winners, when with my bow tie loosened and my jacket off, I heard my name mentioned by ITN presenter Ian Axon. As I looked around people were standing up looking in my direction, clapping and cheering, including people on my table.

“I was truly astounded.

“It means a lot to be given any award but for me to receive a lifetime achievement award from a Bristol audience was something special.”

Entries are now open for this year’s Bristol Post Business Awards.

To enter, become a sponsor or book a table, visit

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