Business builders from all levels of industry were celebrated at an evening set aside to celebrate British brilliance.
What does a pre-recorded message from David Cameron, a Q&A with Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis and enough champagne to sink a battle ship have in common? The answer: the National Business Awards.
While the prime minister wasn’t there in person, chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander, resplendent in his kilt, waxed lyrical about British business being ‘the backbone of our economy’.
Held a stone’s throw from Hyde Park and the luxurious car showrooms of Park Lane, the evening saw a wide range of accolades up for grab from those recognising the efforts of small businesses to those praising the leading constituent of the FTSE 100 list.
In an era when business failures tend to dominate more column inches than successes do, there was a lot to celebrate about British business in a year which also saw London host the Olympics and the Queen celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
Wigan-based entrepreneur Colin Stevens scooped Entrepreneur of the Year for his work at Better Bathrooms and told host broadcaster Sky that hopefully his efforts will encourage others to give business building a go. For her work in turning round high street retailer WH Smith, Kate Swann picked up the Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence a month after announcing that she will be stepping down from the business next summer.
At the opposite end to the company spectrum, former Dragons’ Den participant Trunki, which produces kid-themed luggage, was awarded the Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business Award.
The Start-Up of the Year gong went to Shutl and its co-founder Tom Allason – an entrepreneur who will be profiled by GrowthBusiness next week.
There was a lot of positivity in the room and each of the speakers on the night, be-it Olympian Jessica Ennis or Help For Heroes co-founder Bryn Parry, all related the effort businesses have to go though in order to succeed to their own endeavors.
It’s hard to gauge just what kind of impact picking up an award like this can bring to a growing business. However, I’m sure for the likes for Ella’s Kitchen and Joesph Joseph, its goes some way towards recognising the extraordinary lengths gone to in order to make it a commercial success.