BBA 2023 Nominees: Entrepreneur of the Year

Written by BCCJ
October 16, 2023


Written by BCCJ
October 16, 2023

By the conclusion of the British Business Awards 2023 (#BBA2023) nomination period, we had received 45 eligible nominations across 6 categories.

The following 8 companies are now in the running to lift the BBA Entrepreneur of the Year  trophy.

“Applicants should be individuals who exemplify entrepreneurialism and have created commercial success through an enterprising spirit. Applicants will typically be leading non-listed organisations in Japan with 25 employees or fewer.”


BBA 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year Nominees

(In alphabetical order)


BrioNexus KK (Andrijana Cvetkovikj)

BrioNexus, born during the pandemic under the leadership of a woman entrepreneur, exemplifies unwavering confidence in the future of innovation and entrepreneurship. Our mission is clear: we’re here to support companies not just surviving but thriving as they pioneer the jobs of the future, all while prioritizing sustainability. Our diverse team, composed of experts in diplomacy, technology, and academia, shares a unified vision to strengthen Japan’s competitive edge in vital industries like quantum computing, AI, semiconductors, and blockchain.


Malins Fish and Chips (Phillip Raeside and Ryuhei Takizawa)

We would like to have the opportunity to be considered for this prestigious award due to our ongoing and continuous presence and contribution to the British and local Japanese communities here in Japan on behalf of Malins Fish and Chips.


MIWA’s Japanese Cooking (Miwako Kishi)

MIWA’s Japanese Cooking, led by the Kamakura-born Miwa, is a culinary haven with over 143k YouTube subscribers, 10% hailing from the UK, and 2 exciting new UK distribution partnerships to be confirmed this year. This authentic platform melds tradition with today’s tastes. Beyond enlightening global foodies, Miwa is passionate about aiding the expat community in Japan, making Japanese cuisine accessible and delightful for all. The company is also selected as the finalist of J-StarX this year.


Push Japan KK (Mike Sunda)

Established a film-focused creative studio on the cusp of a global pandemic (I don’t recommend it), survived, grew to 10 full-time staff in 2023, won retained contracts with Nike, Dickies and PlayStation, and even produced music videos for global megastars like Rosalia, and British favourites Arlo Parks and Jacob Collier.


Quest Tokyo KK (Kirsten O’Connor)

QUEST Tokyo is deeply rooted in a lifelong passion to foster exceptional educational outcomes, enabling children of every age and ability to thrive in school and realise their potential. Adding to our current services, we are proud of our most recent expansion, supporting children with special educational needs. It’s not just a business. It’s a privilege.



Setagaya Yoga Studio (Lindsey Sawada)

Teaching yoga for nine years, I have gained a deep understanding of the positive impact my work is having on my clients. My next goal is to connect with and help more people through office yoga. I have observed actual positive physical and mental results with my clients engaged in office work and see a real need for more physical movement in the workplace.


Stand-Up Tokyo GK (Ben Fox)

Tokyo Comedy Bar is Japan’s first and only stand-up comedy club. We strive to add diversity to Tokyo’s nightlife and become a pillar for the foreign and internationally-minded residents of Tokyo. Via this award, we would like to spread our message and inspire entrepreneurship in others.


Tokyo Uchisaiwaicho Law Firm (Hiroshi Chiba)

Through a webinar at the BCCJ, appearances on podcasts at Export to Japan and consultations with members, Hiroshi Chiba, head of Tokyo Uchisaiwaicho Law Firm has contributed to providing practical and working knowledge to the wider membership on labour laws specific to Japan, such as ‘power harassment’ and ‘lifetime employment’.



The decision on a winning BBA 2023 entry is the result of the combined score of 7 separate judges, who independently score assigned submissions using the same scoring matrix.

To ensure transparency, each judge independently returns his or her score sheet to the BCCJ office by 31 October 2023 and the results are tabulated confidentially. The scores from each judge are then totalled for each nominee, and the nomination with the highest accumulative score is declared the category winner.

In the event of two nominees receiving the same final score, all judges will be asked to review their scores for these companies/individuals, and the submission with the highest score from this second round of judging will be declared the winner.

The final results remain confidential until the BBA ceremony – held on the evening of November 2, 2023 at Hilton Tokyo


We are delighted to reveal the names of our BBA 2023 judges – a truly great lineup of accomplished leaders who are actively engaged in bolstering UK-Japan relations! This esteemed panel of judges will put into practice their expertise and specialist experience to decide which companies and individuals should receive a prestigious BBA trophy.

Hiroyo Hiramatsu | Director, Numbering Plan Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
Kazuki Yamada | Conductor, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Greg Clark | UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Japan
Moriaki (Mori) Kida | Chairperson and CEO, EY Japan
Mitsuru Claire Chino | Managing Executive Officer General Manager, Corporate Communications Division, ITOCHU Corporation
Lubna Shuja – President of the Law Society of England and Wales & Nick
Emmerson – Vice President of the Law Society of England and Wales