Sandwell pharmacy innovator one of seven West Midlands award-winning young entrepreneurs

Seven young entrepreneurs from the West Midlands, including one from Sandwell, have won a national award celebrating their innovation.

Sandwell winner Noor Abduljhbar
Sandwell winner Noor Abduljhbar

The Young Innovator Award winners have created new products and ideas, from helping young people develop coding and robotics skills to supporting people with autism and emotional dysregulation.

Noor Abduljhbar, aged 30, the lead pharmacist for Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust’s Covid vaccination program, developed Aero Prado, a management and transport system for healthcare providers to safely transport vials of medicine for patients.

Her design was inspired by her experience during the pandemic, of running multiple vaccination sites, and seeing the issues related to vial management, containment and transportation.

The West Midlands winners will take a share of the £1.25 million prize fund. They join a cohort of 94 young people aged 18 to 30 with business ideas that could change the world and will benefit from a £5,000 grant, one-on-one business coaching and an allowance to cover living costs.

Other winners included Aakash Rai, 29, a doctor from Kidderminster, who is creating MediTask, a mobile app that improves communication between clinicians and medical students. With first-hand experience in the NHS, Aakash hopes to improve patient care, enabling the right people to do the right jobs at the right time.

West Midlands 30-year-old GP Haweya Abdikadir created Guudvitamins, one of the world’s first ‘snackable’ gummies. Haweya hopes Guudvitamins will help people make healthier choices.

Designer Jake Clarke, 28, a designer from Balsall Heath, Birmingham, is developing Themswear, a luxury genderless clothing brand.

Khaled Ayad, from Solihull, founded RobocodeUK to help young people develop coding and robotics skills, regardless of their background or education. Khaled provides children with practical experience in STEM

Neo Mosudisa, 28, an electrical engineer and innovator from Handsworth who founded Neo Solutions to prevent electrical fatalities. His first product, Spurlock, enables engineers to securely isolate electrical equipment from power sources.

And the youngest winner ZeZe Sohawon, 21, from Birmingham, who wants to help others with autism and emotional dysregulation through her youth-led and clinician-informed peer support network.

Inspired by Zeze’s own experiences, her charity, Emotion Dysregulation in Autism, aims to provide help to emotionally dysregulated individuals to express emotions openly and safely.

Emily Nott, from Innovate UK, said: "The level of creativity, passion, and commitment to positive change within our society and environment in this year’s Young Innovators Award winners is beyond inspiring. Knowing that Innovate UK is creating opportunities and providing support to enable these young people from a wide range of different backgrounds across all parts of the UK to grow and develop their businesses makes me very proud.

"With the financial uncertainty this year brings, it’s fantastic to see these entrepreneurs starting businesses that will improve the world and boost innovation in the UK. We can’t wait to see what they will achieve next.”

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