Jelte Liebrand - Savvy Navvy

Dorset marine tech founder wins Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022

Jelte Liebrand, founder of global marine technology company savvy navvy, has been recognised as one of the most exceptional business leaders in the UK winning ‘Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the year’ at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022 last night.

A prize winner being shown off on stage

Jelte Liebrand from Poole founded and developed savvy navvy, an all-in-one navigation app aiming to simplify boating technology by making navigation safe and easy for everyone. Often referred to as ‘Google maps for boats’, the app continues to go from strength to strength and has this year almost doubled its users in more than 100 countries around the world. 

Last night (21 November), the Dorset entrepreneur took to the stage at the tenth edition of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022 ceremony at Grosvenor House in London, as a winner  in one of twelve categories from the South West, selected out of over 5,300 award entrants from all over the UK. 

“It was such a surprise to win ‘Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year’ out of so many amazing business leaders across the country. Standing on stage at the awards ceremony in front of 1,400 people, I felt especially proud being one of the only entrepreneurs flying the flag for marine industry, which we continue to innovate.

“Over the past five years we have worked hard to constantly develop our app with unique and user-friendly features based on feedback from users, to fulfil our vision to get more people out on the water. We now have a team of 14 employees, our turnover has more than doubled this year and the number of users of the savvy navvy app continues to rapidly grow globally. So, the scale-up category felt like a very suitable award to end a great 2022,” says Jelte Liebrand, CEO & Founder of savvy navvy. 

This year savvy navvy has gone beyond boating, adding functionalities for paddleboarders, kayakers and jet skiers. Users of savvy navvy have plotted more than 46 million miles of routes in the app this season alone.  

The national Great British Entrepreneur Awards, held in partnership with Starling Bank, acknowledges and champions the hard work and uplifting stories of business owners across the UK. Winners from all regions across the UK were acknowledged with the overall Great British Entrepreneur of the Year Award, being won by the co-founder of Jordan Brompton.

“savvy navvy is an innovative and dynamic business which is growing and has a global presence. The business brings an excellent solution to a clear problem. A fantastic story,” commented Ying Tan,  non-executive Chairman of Knowledge Bank and one of the Great British Entrepreneur Award 2022 judges.

Great British Entrepreneur Awards founder Francesca James said that the awards’ tenth anniversary was the biggest and best yet: “Celebrating Britain’s ambitious, driven and inspirational entrepreneurs for a decade has been an honour, and we’ve learnt so much from hearing all of their unique stories and perspectives.

“The extraordinary circumstances of the last few years have tested the resilience of our business communities, and the challenges were enough to give many entrepreneurs an excuse to give up. Instead, our award winners did the opposite and, through ingenuity, innovation and the ability to adapt, they thrived.

“These challenges certainly haven’t gone away, and the next few years will present new obstacles to overcome - but one only needed to look around the room at our tenth anniversary to see some of the truly special founders and doers, to gain confidence that this snapshot of the economy can go on and adapt again.

“We’d like to congratulate all of our 2022 winners for all of their hard work and achievements - we look forward to following your lead into 2023 and beyond!”

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