A NORTH Berwick businessman who supports people struggling with alcohol has been named Scotland and Northern Ireland Entrepreneur of the Year.

Ruari Fairbairns founded One Year No Beer (OYNB) and won the award at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, which was held virtually.

The company is inspired by Ruari’s own personal journey, which saw him take a break from alcohol for 90 days and experience the benefits.

One Year No Beer is an alcohol prevention program aimed at those drinking more than three glasses of wine a week.

It helps people change their relationship with alcohol with tips, advice and a Facebook group among the resources available for those who sign up to complete one of its challenges.

However, this was not Ruari’s only award of the evening – he was also named Health and Wellbeing Entrepreneur of the Year for the region.

Ruari said: “I am beyond delighted to have won not only the regional Health and Wellbeing Entrepreneur of the Year award but also to have been named Great British Entrepreneur of the Year for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“This means the world to me and I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the team at OYNB, those who have supported us and our incredible members who joined us on our journey so far. 

“This has been such a tough year for so many people following the Covid-19 pandemic and, with so many turning to alcohol to manage their symptoms of stress and anxiety, it has never been more important for us to continue on our mission to help people change their relationship with alcohol, which leads to most people fundamentally transforming their lives.” 

Ruari is now in the running for Great British Entrepreneur of the Year at the national finals; a date has not been confirmed due to the uncertainty over large events.

Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “I’m delighted for Ruari.

“He was the outstanding candidate to become Entrepreneur of the Year in Scotland and Northern Ireland. He exhibits everything that it means to be a Great British entrepreneur. He has a fantastic story and I can’t wait to watch One Year No Beer flourish for many years to come.”

The awards are in their eighth year and are run in partnership with Starling Bank.

Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, said: “We’re entrepreneurs and we have spirit. We fight back and we’re very good at dealing with adversity.

“And Ruari is an example to us all, of entrepreneurs that are creative, innovative, and changing the world.”