ANS Group founder Scott Fletcher received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, announced on Saturday.
Fletcher set up the Manchester-based technology firm in his bedroom back in 1996. It now has 200 staff and sales of £44m.
He said the honour, given for services to business and the communit, was a surprise.
“It was a complete shock,” he said. “I literally found a letter on my doormat asking whether I would accept it and it almost brought a tear to my eye.
“When you set up and run a business, you tend not to get recognition for it, so to get something like this is special.
“It is especially nice that someone has obviously put me forward for it and I have no idea who it is.
“It will be fantastic to go to the palace and I am very proud.”
Martin Lewis, the Cheshire-born founder of consumer website Money Saving Expert, was awarded an OBE. He said it was a “very proud and emotional day”.