“Hallelujah!” was Paul Bradford’s ecstatic reaction on winning the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Paul heads one of the country’s leading business telecoms providers, Southern Communications, based in Down Street, Dummer, on the outskirts of Basingstoke, which won Business of the Year back in 2009.

Presenting the award was Nick Reason, from Barclays. He said the judges felt that Paul is an entrepreneur in the true sense of the word, taking calculated risks and following an innovative approach to funding to invest in his business.

Delighted Paul said: “We’ve won Business of the Year, which was fantastic, and now to win Entrepreneur of the Year feels like a vindication of all the hard work of the last 15 to 20 years.

“I joined Southern Communi-cations in 1995 when it had a £100,000 turnover and there were three staff.

“Now there are 110 staff, our turnover is £15million this year and we are going to do £50m in the next five years – we’re absolutely going for it!

“We’ve got the model, we’ve got the belief, we’ve got the knowledge and we know where we are going.”

Magnanimous about his success, Paul said: “There is never one person in a company – okay I am passionate about it and I lead from the front – but I’m accepting this award for me and all the staff at Southern Communications because we’re all entrepreneurial.

“We all drive this business forward – it’s a team effort and we are all passionate about the business. This is a company award as far as I am concerned.”

Southern Communications have been providing telecoms equipment and services to businesses since 1965.

The continued success of the business has been down to the drive and determination of the management team, led by Paul, to develop strong relationships with leading manufacturers and suppliers of fixed line, mobile and broadband solutions.