The suite smell of success

London businessman Steve Lowy has been shortlisted in the Entrepreneur of the Year category in the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2011, a nationwide competition to be judged by businesswoman Karren Brady, who is currently starring in hit TV show The Apprentice.

Steve, who set up his company, umi Hotels in 2007, is now in with a chance of winning the Entrepreneur of the Year award and scooping the final prize of £2,000 and 50,000 Nectar points.

Steve found his inspiration for umi whilst travelling after university. He identified a gap in the market for a hotel with the fun, laid-back atmosphere of a backpacker’s hostel and the service of five star accommodation. At just 26, Steve created a “luxury-budget” hotel that supports young people entering into a hospitality career.

Steve’s background in hospitality meant that he was well placed to make a success of his business. Following the launch of his London hotel, he has since opened umi propertiesin Brighton and Moscow. His efforts have won him several awards in recognition of his business success, with umi London included in the Sunday Telegraph’s top 50 best budget hotels in the world.

Steve commented: “I am so pleased to have been shortlisted as one of the Nectar Business Small Business Awards Entrepreneurs. It feels great to be in the running. It comes at an incredibly exciting time for umi Hotels.”

Steve was just one of many hugely successful and dedicated UK entrepreneurs that entered the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2011 and his entry will now be judged by a panel of experts, including Karren Brady who will be joined by small business journalist Guy Clapperton, Marketing Director at Nectar, James Frost and Merchandising & Marketing Director for UK and Ireland Office Depot, John O’Keeffe.

James Frost, Marketing Director at Nectar, says: “The Nectar Business Small Business Awards offer the chance for entrepreneurs to demonstrate how they have made their business stand out from competition through strategic decision making or breaking new ground in business. We’ve been thrilled with the standard of entries this year, and would like to wish all the shortlisted entrepreneurs the best of luck.”

For full information on the awards please visit