A Wearside businessman is about to enter the den of a Dragon.
Electrical contractor Adam Monkhouse has proved himself a real bright spark by building a business shortlisted for a prestigious national award, just three years after launch.
However, to win the Nectar Small Business Awards’ tradesperson of the year title, he must first pass the ultimate test – judgement by TV Dragons’ Den star Sarah Willingham, one of five experts on the panel.
His company, Washington-based North East Electrical Ltd, is one of just three from hundreds of entries in the running.
It opened for business in 2012 and has thrived with contracts across the region in the domestic and commercial sectors.
Adam, 29, hopes it will come out on top when the winner is announced on Saturday.
Should he claim the best tradesperson category – one of six being contested – he will pick up a £2,000 prize and be invited to join a business session with Ms Willingham.
He said: “I know that it’s going to be a tough decision for the judges. We are up against two other fabulous firms, but hopefully we will win through.
“To win the title of tradesperson of the year would be an amazing endorsement of everything that we are trying to achieve
“I come from a commercial background and have worked for a contractor which employed more than 50 electricians. Sometimes, in an organisation that size, customer care can get lost.
“I want to transform the customer experience when it comes to tradesmen and alter the perception that some people have.
“It’s undoubtedly hard work running your own business, but I don’t think I could ever go back for working for someone else. It’s such a good feeling knowing I am in control of standards across my company.”
North East Electrical is up against Hemel Hemstead-based tree surgeon Treelife Ltd, and C&J Heating and Plumbing Ltd, of Stevenage, Herts.
The awards ceremony takes place in London on Wednesday, November 11.