Cornwall Business Awards 2014 have announced that Gerald Ratner will be the celebrity speaker at the gala awards ceremony to be held at St Mellion International Resort on May 15.
Now in its ninth successful year, the Awards programme is organised and presented by Cornwall Development Company (CDC), in partnership with Business Cornwall magazine and Cornwall Chamber of Commerce.
Suzanne Bond, chief executive CDC, said: “We are delighted to welcome Gerald Ratner to the Cornwall Business Awards celebration this year.
“Businesses still speak about the impact he made when he spoke at our Awards ceremony five years ago and so, for the first time ever, we have invited a celebrity speaker to make a return appearance.”
Ratner created a jewellery empire in the 1980s, with 2,500 stores in the UK and the US, making profits of £125 million a year.
He is best known for making a speech at the Institute of Directors in 1991 in which he described one of his products as “total crap”. The remark cost him his business and his job.
Today, he runs an online jewellery retail business.
His story has become legendary in business circles and his resilience and ability to bounce back from disaster has proved inspirational to many.
He said: “What I have learnt about business is to always expect the unexpected. Twenty years ago, I did not expect that I would now be running a successful online business with sales worldwide. The great thing about running an online business is that to be honest, I could run my business from a deckchair on the beach!
“So I am really interested to see the difference superfast broadband is making in Cornwall, allowing small businesses to reach out to customers worldwide.
“I am thrilled to be asked to take part in the Cornwall Business Awards as they shine the spotlight on those who have created business success in the county.”
A full list of the award categories and criteria, and an online entry form, are available by clicking here.
The closing date for entries is midnight on 16th March.