The UK’s top SMEs have been named in Elite Business 100 league table

We have named the UK’s top SMEs in the Elite Business 100 (EB100), our new league table, which celebrates business excellence in the UK.

We have named the UK’s top SMEs in the Elite Business 100 (EB100), our new league table, which celebrates business excellence in the UK. 

Here at Elite Business, we are celebrating our tenth year of inspiring Britain’s SME entrepreneurs, and to mark the occasion, we have launched the Elite Business 100, the league table that highlights the UK’s most promising SMEs. 

SMEs contribute over £2 trillion in turnover to the UK economy, employing 44% of the British workforce. The EB100 digital guide shines a spotlight on the top 100 businesses which are leading the way for SMEs in the UK.

Entry Criteria 

Entry to the inaugural list opened in October to privately-owned businesses with a company turnover between £100k- £50m that employed between 2-250 people and that had been trading for at least two years. 

Businesses were judged on a variety of criteria, including longevity, team size, financial performance, growth, contribution, support/people, innovation (which includes CSR/ESG) and future. 

The successful SMEs demonstrated financial success, including strong turnover and profit, along with acceleration in both revenue and team size. These businesses unsurprisingly also demonstrated a high-performance culture which champions wellbeing and provides training and development opportunities for their employees. 

Judge Simone Roche MBE, Founder Northern Power Women & Power Collective CIC, said:

“Companies had to demonstrate capability in several categories in addition to financial performance, which included longevity, contribution to the community, team development and innovation; every stage of their lifecycle has been evaluated. 

The calibre of this year’s entrants was outstanding, and that can only be good news for the UK. We have seen a host of excellent companies offering employment opportunities, great cultural environments and real growth potential.” 

Categories in Depth 

Longevity is concerned with the age of the business and its existing and potential longevity in the marketplace. Team size looks at the form and structure of the team, along with opportunities to accelerate growth. Financial performance looks at the strength of the business, alongside growth, both actual and potential. Contribution is a particularly important category, as it takes into consideration those businesses that are giving back to the community, either through the sector they are operating in, or through society and charity outreach. The Support category looks at how businesses train and support their teams. Finally, innovation looks at how the business adopts new working practices and technologies to set itself apart from other businesses, recognising a strong approach to CSR/ESG and product innovation. 

The Judges

The EB100 was compiled following a rigorous judging process by an experienced panel, including Charlie Mullins OBE, founder and former CEO at Pimlico Plumbers, Piers Linney, former investor on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den and founder of small business service provider, Moblox. 

Charlie Mullins OBE said:

“I’m really impressed with the quality of the SMEs that have entered EB100, which highlights the high standard of UK entrepreneurs and their businesses.  There is some real competition to land a decent position in the league table! EB100 is a cut above, and any business that lands one of the awards should be incredibly proud and use it as a way to show customers that they are a firm to work with.”

Piers Linney added:

“Making the list in the EB100 Awards league is truly an achievement to be proud of. The business plans of the finalists to ensure stability through the current economic hardship are remarkable, not to mention the still lingering impacts of the pandemic. The EB100 has shown that despite all of this, they haven’t allowed it to hinder the overall performance of their businesses, and many have in fact, thrived. These top 100 SMEs have really impressed us with their innovation and growth – they deserve huge recognition for their efforts.” 

And the top spot goes to

The EB100 guide, which has been published today, includes companies from across many sectors, with B Corp food and drink wholesale distributor Cotswold Fayre taking the top spot. 

Paul Hargreaves, Chief Empowerment Officer of Cotswold Fayre said: 

“We are delighted to have been given such a prestigious accolade, which recognises all the hard work and dedication of the team here at Cotswold Fayre. The list of entrants is outstanding, so to take the top spot is a real achievement. We have a fantastic team here and a great culture. As a B Corp, we have a real commitment to reducing the impact on our planet and work with innovative food and drink brands that mirror those values.” 

The full list of finalists is available online in the EB100 digital guide and includes several companies with B Corp status, which is an astringent standard to prove that a company is committed to sustainable practices.  

Matt Jones, founder and CEO at Rebel Lion Advertising, was also on the judging panel. He said:

“It’s fantastic that so many companies on the list are dedicated to sustainable business practices, as well as improving the lives of people in the community and in the workplace. 

It’s also brilliant to see lots of companies dedicated to supporting start-ups and SMEs, ensuring that companies of this calibre continue to have the conditions to grow and flourish. The companies on this list are making a real-world impact and providing a benchmark for other growing SMEs.”

Celebrating Success

The successful businesses are included in the EB100 digital guide and online directory, which has a reach across the UK to over half a million people. The EB100 will also celebrate at an awards evening on March 17th in London.

The celebrations continue for the EB100 at the England v Ukraine game at Wembley Stadium, providing a further opportunity for the EB100 to network with fellow winners, sponsors and partners. Courtesy of official supporters Club Wembley.

You can view the full guide please click here

Sophie Milliken MBE
Sophie Milliken MBE

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