There’s nothing like an awards ceremony to get the blood pumping and the National Business Awards is no exception. The thirteenth annual awards came to a head on November 12, with 1,200 business and thought leaders descending on Park Lane’s Grosvenor House Hotel, acceptance speeches in one pocket and tissues in the other. Between jubilant celebrations and tearful lamentations, it was certainly a night to remember.
Among the entrepreneurs receiving well-deserved accolades were some familiar faces, as well as some welcome new ones. Grabbing the gong for Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year was Bulldog Skincare for Men, whilst founder of Free:formers Emma Cerrone scooped the first ever Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year award. Meanwhile, OVO Energy’s Stephen Fitzpatrick was awarded Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year for his work disrupting industry incumbents.
Looking at the bigger beasts of the business community, the National Business Awards also saw IKEA UK pick up the ICAEW Sustainable Business Award, whilst Telefónica UK was awarded the Santander Corporate Citizenship Award for its efforts tackling social challenges around digital skills and youth employment. And Justin King, the former CEO of J Sainsbury, was given the Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business in recognition of his achievements delivering 34 quarters’ consistent growth for the firm and his long-term commitment to sustainability.
During his opening video message, prime minister David Cameron said:
“As these awards show, you’re not just helping to give families security and stability, you’re helping society – by encouraging citizenship among employees; helping the environment – by making your businesses sustainable; and helping make everyone’s day a little better – by putting customer service at the forefront of what you do.”
Alex Evans, programme director for the National Business Awards, said:
“It’s always fascinating to see who will emerge victorious with such diverse and strong competition across all of our Award categories. Showing that any type and size of organisation can win a National Business Award, this year’s winners demonstrate the value of continually investing in people, innovation and customer service – also proving the business case for sustainability and corporate citizenship.”
Our heartiest congratulations to the winners – who can be view in their entirety here – and here’s to another year of award-winning business.