Loveraw Rimi & Manav Thapar

The founders of game-changing vegan chocolate brand, LoveRaw, have been named Great British Entrepreneurs of the Year and Family Business Entrepreneurs of the Year for the North West region at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA) 2020.

Co-founders (and husband and wife), Rimi and Manav Thapar started LoveRaw in 2013 with a budget of just £600 and the sheer determination to disrupt the vegan confectionery market. Since then, the dynamic couple’s transparent approach has allowed the business to become an established provider of all-vegan, 100% natural chocolate – with no compromise on taste.

Now in its eighth year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards (in partnership with Starling Bank) celebrate the inspiring stories of entrepreneurs across the UK, recognising the hard work, determination, creativity and resilience required to rise above the rest.

With the current COVID-19 restrictions preventing the regional finals taking place at a live event, Rimi and Manav won the award during a virtual ceremony, joined by all other regional finalists. They are now in the running to be named Great British Entrepreneurs of the Year 2020 at the National Finals, with a date yet to be confirmed.

Rimi Thapar, CEO of LoveRaw, said:We are beyond thrilled to have won not only one but two GBEA awards. We didn’t think we were in with a chance, so we watched the ceremony in our pyjamas, eating vegan yoghurt out of the tub…

For the past seven years, we have been hamsters in a wheel going round and round, unable to take a step back and acknowledge our achievements. We couldn’t be prouder that our hard work has been recognised and we are ecstatic to have been selected as the winning entrepreneurs for the North West. Congratulations to all the winners – we look forward to the finals!”

Manav Thapar, Managing Director at LoveRaw, added: “I cannot believe we won!! Rimi and I consider our dedicated team to be part of our family, not just our family business. From all of us at LoveRaw HQ we’d like to thank our suppliers and advisors for allowing us to create something special. We cannot wait to see what the coming months bring…2021 is going to be an exciting year for us as a company – keep your eyes peeled.”

Francesca James, Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, commented: “I’m thrilled for Rimi and Manav. They were the outstanding candidates to become the North West’s Entrepreneur of the Year. They exhibit everything that it means to be a Great British Entrepreneur and I can’t wait to see LoveRaw flourish for many years to come.”

In a video message to finalists, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Entrepreneurs [have shown they] stay strong, even during a global pandemic. Coronavirus hasn’t stifled enterprise. Entrepreneurs are creating new businesses and adapting to the crisis, as seen in this year’s entries. And that’s what we need to happen if we want our economy to bounce back. We need all of you to keep inventing, keep taking risks, keep creating new businesses. It’s my job as Chancellor to celebrate, champion and support you. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all of you for everything you’ve done.”

Despite the global pandemic, this year has been an exciting one for LoveRaw as it launched its first vegan milk chocolate bar range back in April (beating Cadbury to it), alongside the unveiling of a major re-brand.

Their most recent product is the first to launch exclusively online. Effectively emulating a leading confectionery favourite, the delicious Cre&m Wafer Bar created by the Altrincham based company is a world first.

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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