Global Personals Ltd CEO and Young Guns alumnus selected as UK’s top entrepreneur under 35.

Ross Williams, Co-founder and CEO of Global Personals Ltd, one of the fastest-growing privately-owned online dating and digital media businesses worldwide, was named as the Keystone Law Golden Gun at the 2014 Young Guns awards ceremony last night.

The Golden Gun award gives recognition to an outstanding member of the 400-strong Young Guns alumni, made up of the UK’s most talented entrepreneurs under 35. Williams follows in the footsteps of 2013’s winner Holly Tucker MBE, co-founder of online marketplace, and Mayank Patel OBE, founder of currency exchange business Currencies Direct.

Williams, crowned a Young Gun in 2011, also holds the titles of IoD Young Director the Year (2014), Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2013) and Great British Entrepreneur – Ecommerce (2013).

Global Personals Ltd launched in 2003 from an office in Ross Williams’ spare bedroom. Celebrating 11 years in business this year, the company achieves annualised revenues of over £50 million and operates in seven English-speaking territories worldwide including the USA and Australia.

James Knight, Managing Director of Keystone Law, said:

“Yesterday’s event brought together the country’s most progressive and vibrant entrepreneurs, each passionate about their innovative and growing businesses. This was our second year to present the Golden Gun and after last year’s winner’s Holly Tucker MBE there were big shoes to fill. The calibre of potential Golden Gun winners was exceptional with a lot of household names; however, Ross was a dark horse, flying under the radar despite having gained his private pilot’s licence at the age of 18. His success to date is unrivalled in his industry, and I have no doubt that he will continue to soar above his competitors. I was delighted to present the award and highlight such an impressive achievement. He is an inspiration to the next generation of Young Guns and the class of 2014.”

Of the win, Williams said:

“Being named a Golden Gun winner just three years after being awarded the Young Gun title in 2011 is an honour. The last twelve months have been a whirlwind for Global Personals. We were recognised as delivering significant economic impact to the UK, named in both Tech City UK’s Future Fifty and a report from the London Stock Exchange Group, as well as opening a new office in San Francisco, with the volume of first-time US subscribers on our network increasing by 228%.

“Really, being named the Golden Gun isn’t just an award for me, it’s an award for my team. I truly believe that the key to success is in surrounding yourself with people who are experts in their field. From our board of directors to the people who work in our call centre, they are the reason that more than half of our paying members have met someone on our online dating network. That’s the important thing for me – helping thousands of people find the love of their life every day.”

Ian Wallis, Editorial Director of which is behind the Young Guns awards, commented: “The Young Guns alumni contain the founders of some of the UK’s most successful independent businesses of the last 20 years, so Ross was up against serious competition.

“His start-up story and the growth achieved in the past few years with an excellent business model founded on the principles of white labelling make him an incredibly worthy winner. Global Personals’ international expansion, its vast array of dating websites, its turnover growth to the £50m mark and the recognition it has received from the business community for its achievements made it – and Ross – truly stand out.”