What motivated you to set up your business?
The opportunity came along and it was a case of ‘put your money where your mouth is or stop complaining’, so I put my money in. Over the last eight years we have built the business to a turnover of £4 million and grown at a rate of around 30 per cent.
Why launch these awards?
The idea came from looking at ways to enhance our own profile. We asked the Government, media and other businesses for ideas. It was a small-scale operation to begin with, but the awards have evolved to recognise and reward businesses on a national and regional level – we had two thousand entries last year. The awards recognise businesses of all sizes – you could be up against BP or the likes of Terry Leahy.
What do businesses gain?
I think small businesses have always been looked upon as something inferior to corporates – coverage in the media tends to be about bigger companies. But without small businesses, we wouldn’t have the amount of innovation and product ideas that we do have. It’s great to be able to say that it’s not all about the bigger businesses.
And the long-term benefits?
One of the biggest benefits for companies is the opportunity to benchmark themselves against others. There is a lot of information gleaned from the entries and we share knowledge after the event about what has made a particular business successful. We highlight skills and achievements that then prove inspiring for other businesses. Some have secured funding and inroads into new markets.