A former Apprentice contestant from Bicester has been awarded with a national entrepreneur award.

Michelle Niziol picked up the Family Business Entrepreneur for South East at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards for her company IMS Property Group.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards is now in its 11th year and received over 5,000 applications this year alone.

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Previous winner James Watt, founder of BrewDog, said that winning was "better than winning the World Cup".

Meanwhile BBC One’s Dragons Den star Steven Bartlett has gone as far as to dub the awards as "the Grammys of entrepreneurship”.

Founder of IMS Property Group, Ms Niziol said: "I am beyond thrilled to have won the Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year category.

“This recognition reflects the hard work and dedication that IMS Property Group puts in daily, as well as the strong reputation we are building in the industry.

“Through this award, I will aim to use this platform to inspire, educate, and influence other entrepreneurs to make a positive impact in their communities."

IMS Property Group was founded in 2008 by the former mortgage broker, who appeared on the popular BBC One show The Apprentice in 2016.

The group of companies offers a range of property services, from lettings to estate agencies, property refurbishment, development, and finance.

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Ms Niziol is already an award-winning entrepreneur, recognised as the Best Mortgage Broker 2021 by Barclays Bank and named in Natwest's Top 100 Inspirational Women 2021.

She is a renowned property and finance specialist, regularly contributing to industry magazines such as ‘What Mortgage’ and providing expert commentary for The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, Financial Times, The Guardian, and Oxford Mail.

Founder of The Allica Bank Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James said: “I am thrilled to witness the extraordinary achievements of this year's winners.

"Their success stories are a testament to the dynamic and innovative spirit that thrives within UK entrepreneurship.

"These inspiring entrepreneurs embody the creativity, determination, and passion that are at the heart of our nation's business success.

"Their accomplishments not only celebrate their own journeys but also light the way for future generations of innovators and business leaders”.

CEO of Allica Bank, Richard Davies said: “It has been a real honour to sponsor this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Hearing the inspiring stories from this year’s winners really brings to life the important contribution British entrepreneurs make to our economy.

"At Allica, we couldn’t be more excited to see such a talented group of individuals making their mark in the business world and we'll be keeping a close eye on what they do next.”