Kate Hofman, Founder and Chief Brand Officer of GrowUp Farms, has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2023 Great British Entrepreneur Awards in two categories: the Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year and the Equity-backed Entrepreneur of the year. 

Now in its 11th year, and previously described as “The Grammys for Entrepreneurship”, The Great British Entrepreneur Awards recognise exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, dedication, and remarkable achievement within their industry. They celebrate the outstanding individuals and businesses that drive innovation, generate employment opportunities, and contribute to the growth of the UK economy. These awards serve as a platform to honour the remarkable stories of entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges, demonstrated resilience and made significant contributions to their communities. 

In the past 10 years, the pioneering founder of GrowUp Farms, Kate Hofman, has taken the concept of vertical farming from a small aquaponic unit in London, to a significantly larger vertical farm, Pepperness, in Kent. This farm, which is backed by £100 million investment, is the first vertical farm to sell a branded bagged salad in a major UK supermarket. GrowUp Farms is also unique among UK vertical farms because it uses on-site renewable energy and can therefore grow food with a lighter environmental footprint. 

The growth and success of GrowUp Farms has taken place in a decade of increasing concern about UK food production. The UK relies on importing 67% of the salad we eat each year, and over 90% in the winter. This year saw a 40-year low in domestic salad production – due mainly to soaring energy costs – and that, coupled with the UK’s over-reliance on other countries for its salad vegetables supplies, led to high-profile shortages in UK supermarkets.  

Kate was honoured to be a guest at 10 Downing Street recently, at the Prime Minister’s Farm to Fork summit, at which industry experts discussed these challenges facing UK food production, and the international supply chain.  

Talking about her nominations, Kate said: “I am thrilled to be shortlisted in two categories for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. It’s a great feeling to receive recognition for the work that has taken place to get GrowUp Farms from a small unit in east London 10 years ago growing leaves to supply London restaurants, to securing a site for a significantly larger vertical farm and launching a salad brand into UK supermarkets.  

“And along the way, so many people and businesses have believed in me and the brand and have played a really important role in helping GrowUp Farms go from success to success.” 

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards have become one of the most coveted accolades for entrepreneurs across the UK, celebrating the nation’s diverse entrepreneurial landscape. The awards ceremony will take place on 20 November at London’s Grosvenor House, where industry leaders, innovators, and influencers will gather to celebrate the achievements of the finalists. 

Founder of The Great British Entrepreneur Awards Francesca James says “Every year I am blown away with the quantity and quality of applications we receive, and this year is no exception. The Great British Entrepreneur Awards receives thousands of applications annually and the competition is tough. I am truly inspired by the remarkable accomplishments of this year’s finalists. Their collective achievements of generating over £2.7 billion in turnover and employing over 33,000 people demonstrate the exceptional impact they have made in their industries and communities. These entrepreneurs exemplify the spirit of innovation, resilience, and growth that drives the entrepreneurial landscape in the UK.” 

For more information about the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, please visit www.greatbritishentrepreneurawards.com