Havana Club Look For The 2020 Entrepreneur Of The Year

It has been a crazy year so far, but it is time to acknowledge those who have been able to adapt and show how strong and agile this industry can be

By: Tiff Christie|June 25,2020

While innovation has always been an important aspect of the bar industry, the global situation over the last six months has meant that the ability to successfully adapt is more important than ever.

Desire, innovation, ambition and passion are all qualities of entrepreneurship that should not only be encouraged but are also unequivocally needed right now as the industry battles to see its way forward.


The way people think, the way they drink, they way they gather and the way the world looks, have all changed, and it’s those who have been brave enough to stand up that will help the industry survive.

Whether that survival looks like creating permanent side-hustles or creating equality and inclusion across all levels of business, or whether it looks something else, is something that will only be dictated by time. Yet, as bars across the globe open-up to face issues that none of us knows how to navigate, vision and innovation will be the watchwords.

Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going,” and really there is no batter way to describe how this year is panned out.

If the last six months have taught us anything, it’s that it doesn’t take much for the world to change or in fact for people to band together to change the world. And whether these changes are in fields of environment, public health or social structure, change is constantly upon us and it is the nimble that will survive.

We need to herald those who have stood out in the industry and acknowledge those who have been adroit, agile and adept in their reactions to the difficulties thrust upon them. We need to, as Havana Club is suggesting with their Entrepreneur Awards 2020, shine a light on the bar industry’s risk-takers and visionaries.

We should celebrate the work done by those inventive enough to create cocktails for home. We should congratulate those who organised volunteers to feed those in the industry out of work. We should praise those who switched their stills over to make hand sanitiser. We should laud those supporting black businesses. And we should be inspired by those who have voluntarily re-closed their bars due to COVID exposure.

Between now and July 31st Havana Club is calling for all bar entrepreneurs across the globe or those who know one, to submit their nomination online by outlining the inspirational stories behind the world’s most vibrant and forward-thinking bars.


Havana Club’s panel of distinguished judges will narrow down the entries to just 10 finalists who will each have to demonstrate their passion and entrepreneurial spirit in a bid to be crowned Entrepreneur of the Year.

The winning entrepreneur will receive a €20,000 tailored PR package to enhance their profile within the global drinks and business communities.

“The winner will be a commercially successful bar owner and adventurous visionary who is defining the way people socialise and experience drinks today,” explains Nick Blacknell, International Marketing Director of Havana Club.

In addition to the overall winner, the judging panel will award three €10,000 tailored prize packages to entrepreneurs deserving special recognition. Categories for special recognition awards include: the One to Watch, for emerging talent under the age of 30, Social and Eco Entrepreneurship for the entrepreneur who demonstrates a commitment to improving the environment and the True Grit Award for the entrepreneur who has displayed resilience and successfully navigated the challenges of the Coronavirus outbreak.

All shortlisted winners will receive a VIP trip to Cuba, the home of Havana Club, where they will immerse themselves in Cuban culture and have the opportunity to meet and learn from other world-renowned bar owners.

Blacknell adds: “I am proud of Havana Club’s commitment to supporting bar owners and am looking forward to hearing the inspirational stories of our 2020 nominees. The Havana Club Bar Entrepreneur Awards is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that goes into running the world’s most successful bars, as well as offering them a great opportunity to expand their knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit even further.”

If there is someone you work with or even an industry person to who you are a customer, who you think has shown what it means to be an entrepreneur and a leader in the field, nominate them.

For more information on how to submit your nomination, or to nominate a bartender who deserves it, visit

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Havana Club Look For The 2020 Entrepreneur Of The Year

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