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Entrepreneur and guide dog owner Neil Barnfather awarded MBE

14 Jun 2014

Neil Barnfather will be awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) after being named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. The award has been made in recognition of Neil's services to the telecoms industry and to visually impaired people.

Neil, who won the Serial Entrepreneur Award with merit at The Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2013, left home when he was 15 and after working with Nokia Research & Development in Finland he set up his first business, a vending machine company. Since then, he has started 18 further businesses, running profit-making companies in areas from aviation to vending, from circuit boards to consumer services.

Neil is currently chief executive of eHosting, a web hosting firm for around 140,000 businesses worldwide. He is also a founding member of the One Eighth Foundation, set up to ensure genuine equality for disabled communities globally and is founder of TalkNav, a philanthropic venture that seeks to empower visually impaired users through adaptive and accessible technologies;

The 32-year-old lives in Buckinghamshire and was registered blind at birth due to cataracts and glaucoma, becoming totally blind nine years ago.

Congratulating Neil, Richard Leaman, Chief Executive of Guide Dogs, said: "Neil is truly inspirational as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He thoroughly deserves this honour for his incredible work in the UK to empower people who are visually impaired or who have a disability. I am always proud when I hear of any guide dog owner's achievement, and this is truly amazing and a fitting recognition of Neil's hard work and passion."