LAST Thursday, October 23, the Costa del Sol Business Awards Ceremony took place as part of the Foreign Residents Business Day at the El Fuerte Hotel in Marbella.

About 200 foreign resident businessmen and women, attended the ceremony judged by a panel of respected and leading business people from Andalucia, including the Managing Director of the EWN Media Group, Michel Euesden, and officials like Oscar Fernandez, director of CADE (Business Development Support Centre) Marbella, and Jeronimo Perez, president of the Chamber of Commerce.

The event was presided over by Maria Gamez, delegate for the government of Malaga; Pilar Serrano, Malaga Deputy Regional Minister of Innovation, Science and Enterprise; and was presented by Maurice Boland. Guest speakers included Steve Russell, the president of CEMSA, who focused on international e-commerce, the business with the biggest turnover in the province of Malaga in the year 2006, 1,093 million euros with only four employees. Next up was Stephen Rose, founder of SecureHealth Ltd, who shared ‘The five steps to success’ and explained how he sold an insurance company for 30 million euros, starting up from nothing. He was actually a taxi driver in London before.

The idea for the awards emerged from conversations between Oscar Fernandez and local business people, but mainly Maurice Boland.

Dubliner Maurice, is the internationally known radio personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur and the man behind, the English speaking independent radio station with reputedly the largest amount of listeners in the south of Spain.

Before the awards for the six categories were given out, a very special ‘surprise award’ on behalf of the Junta was given by Pilar Serrano to an unusually bashful Maurice Boland in special recognition for his tireless charity work and his important collaboration with CADE.

Oscar Fernandez explained: “He was given this award because of the assistance he has given us in this very important task to bring the foreign community together, the successful collaboration he has engendered with organisations such as ours; for his invaluable contribution in raising vital funds for local charities and defending Andalucia from criticism by the press in Britain.” He added: “This is an award given to him by the Junta de Andalucia, and it is clear recognition

that his efforts are valued by them.” It is not often one sees Maurice lost for words but he seemed very humbled when picking up his award. “He looked very embarrassed!” laughed Fernandez. He added: “As he was the master of ceremonies, he thought he knew exactly all the details of the ceremony.”

Boland explained to The Euro Weekly News: “I believed that foreign investors and the foreign business community should have something to inspire and encourage their success on the Costa del Sol.”

Boland added: “This event is a clear example of the Junta de Andalucia’s commitment to help promote Andalucia to foreign investors and its support of an initiative that, for the first time, creates a common platform that unites the foreign business community on the coast.”

The winners of the awards were

– Integration in Andalusia: Video Promoción.

– Innovation: Solchannel.

– Business Promotion of Andalusia: Wayne Chasan.

– Business Association: Marbella Dutch Business Club.

– Young Entrepreneur: Meer Music.

– Company of the Year:

Michel, Steven and everyone at The EWN would like to reiterate how much we believe Maurice deserves this award as an example for all foreign residents on the Costa del Sol.

He has integrated and promoted the community to an extent we all admire, and we would like to thank him in our own name and that of our readers.

We would like to congratulate all the winners and wish them the best of luck for many years to come; as well as to thank CADE for all the support they are giving foreign businesses in Andalucia. Special recognition must go to Oscar who is proving to be an invaluable link between the communities. From now on, The Euro Weekly News will be the place to learn all this department has to offer and we hope that other regional governments follow this initiative.