Accommodating Business Success

London businessman, Steve Lowy, is in the running to be crowned Entrepreneur of the Year in the nationwide Nectar Business Small Business Awards, which will be judged by one of the stars of hit BBC TV show Dragon’s Den, James Caan.

Steve, who set up umi hotels, has been short-listed to the last five entrepreneurs and is now in with a chance of winning the award and scooping the final prize of £2,000 cash, £2,000 to spend at Viking Direct and 50,000 Nectar points.

Described as ‘luxury budget’, each hotel offers a relaxed environment with a fun and friendly atmosphere in a modern and stylish setting – without the inflated price-tag.

Lowy set up the business in 2007 at the tender age of 26 after spotting a gap in the market during his backpacking travels.  He now owns umi hotels in Notting Hill, London as well as Brighton and has a third hotel planned to open in Moscow in 2011.

He also supports young people who want to start and build a career in hospitality, creating entry-level positions and training his staff internally wherever possible.  His efforts with young people have earned him Board Director positions with the British Educational Travel Association (BETA) and STAYWYSE – the Association of Youth Travel Accommodation.

Steve comments: “My father had already seen success in the hospitality industry and so I was keen to do the same but in my own way.  I am proud to have built the umi brand from scratch and I ensure that all the brand values are conveyed by every single staff member.”

Charlie Humphreys, Client Development Director at Nectar, says: “At Nectar Business we recognise that current times are tough for small business owners and everyone who has managed to sustain growth and excel in the midst of a recession deserves recognition for their exceptional achievements. The awards offer the chance for small businesses, entrepreneurs and social enterprises to demonstrate they’ve beaten the odds to succeed in these difficult times and I would like to wish everyone who has been shortlisted the best of luck!”

Steve was just one of many hugely successful and dedicated UK entrepreneurs that entered the Nectar Business Small Business Awards and his entry will now be judged by a panel of experts joining James Caan who will decide the final winners.

For full information on the awards please visit