Top young entrepreneurs go head-to head for Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards final
13 October 2014
- Cream of UK’s young businesses gearing up for Enterprise Awards on Wednesday.
- Competing to win one of three separate awards and a top cash investment of £50,000.
- Finalists selected from regional heats across England, Wales and Scotland.
- Companies range from dry pet food to a Mexican fast food restaurant, a health app for companies and an innovative sleep scarf.
Britain’s top student and graduate entrepreneurs are preparing for the Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards Grand Final on Wednesday 15 October, which celebrate and recognise the top businesses of tomorrow.
The fifteen finalists will have to give a pitch for 3 minutes and answer questions from a panel of five judges. The prize for the Best Enterprise is £50,000 while the winner for the Best Start-up will receive £10,000 cash investment. Each business will be judged in its respective category and must be able to demonstrate what sets the company apart from others as well as what plans they have for the future.
The high-profile judges are drawn from the world of business, media and the public sector including Tim Campbell – former Apprentice winner and founder of the Bright Ideas Trust. Tim said: “I can’t wait to judge this year’s finalists for the Enterprise Awards. I’ve read about the companies already and the passion and drive that oozes from each owner is overwhelming.
“It’s incredible to see how these entrepreneurs are overcoming challenges that we all face when starting a business in completely new ways. These awards celebrate that and I hope it will inspire others.”
New for this year’s competition is the Best Digital category which recognises businesses that have demonstrated the value of digital to the business bottom line and the customer experience. The introduction of the award is part of Lloyds Banking Group’s commitment to improving digital skills in the UK and ongoing partnership with Go ON UK – the digital skills charity, chaired by Martha Lane Fox. The overall winner of this prize will receive a package of tailored digital support and expertise worth over £10,000.
Tristan Wilkinson, Deputy CEO of Go ON UK, and Enterprise Awards judge said: “The digital world is constantly evolving when it comes to doing business. From creating new business models to using social media to interact with customers, digital skills are now an integral part of any business.
“Today’s entrepreneurs know that digital is key to a successful business, a skill often overlooked by today’s more established companies. I’m looking forward to finding out more about the finalists and their digital strategies for the future.”
The Enterprise Awards are part of the Bank’s commitment to helping UK businesses and supporting start-ups. For 2014 Lloyds Bank has committed to help over 100,000 new start-ups as part of its Helping Britain Prosper Plan and grow net lending to SMEs by £1 billion in 2014 as part of its SME Growth Charter.
Tim Hinton, Managing Director, SME and Mid Markets Banking said: “We set up the Enterprise Awards to celebrate today’s student and graduate entrepreneurs and the role they play in helping Britain prosper.
“Aside from the cash investment, winners will also receive guidance from our business experts and mentors which will provide the extra support to propel their business to the next level. Good luck to the finalists and to the judges – choosing the winners won’t be any easy decision!”
Previous winners of the awards have gone from strength to strength, using the awards as a springboard to raise their profile and attract new customers. Last year’s winner for overall Best Enterprise was BBOXX, a company that provides people in Africa and Asia with solar-powered battery boxes. BBOXX has used the Awards as a great launch pad to develop its products, find new business contacts and reach new customers.
Chris Baker-Brian, co-founder of BBOXX said: "Winning best enterprise in 2013 has allowed BBOXX to invest in the development of new technology, such as remote monitoring, which will allow our products and services to be more widely available and accessible to consumers in the developing world. The mentoring sessions were really useful to understand our position in the value chain and how to structure the company’s growth."
Last year’s winner for overall Best Start-up was ASAP Water Crafts - a company which is developing life-saving equipment for beach lifeguards. Ross Kemp, founder of ASAP Water Crafts said: "The Lloyds Bank Enterprise awards was the turning point that launched my business. It gave me the confidence to really go for it, with incredible mentoring support. I remember my boss saying if I win he thinks I should quit my job and go for it – I did just that.”
Each finalist was chosen to go through from one of the five heats in September from Scotland, London and the South East, South West and Wales, Central and North regions.
Best Enterprise Finalists
The overall Best Enterprise prize will be awarded to the business judged to show real potential to grow over the next five years to become a recognised business within its respective sector. These finalists have already won £5,000 for winning Best Enterprise in their initial heat.
Exhibtr won Best Enterprise from the Central region heat. The Ipswich-based image sharing social network was recognised due to its innovative approach to revolutionise the way art is shared online, by helping established and new artists, photographers and writers exhibit their work to a growing audience. http://www.exhibtr.com/
Jigsaw Medical Services won the Best Enterprise title in the North heat. The Tarporley-based medical recruitment firm, was recognised due to the fact that it has quickly become one of the UK leaders in medical provision, offering a range of services for the commercial, media, events sectors and the NHS. http://www.jigsawmedical.com/
Pinkspiration won Best Enterprise in the South West and Wales heat. The Abercynon-based construction enterprise was recognised due to its pioneering working rebuilding empty spaces and shops throughout Wales, whilst proving training to young people and community members. http://www.pinkspiration.co.uk/
PleaseCycle won Best Enterprise in the London and South East heat. The London-based digital technology firm has launched an innovative product designed to encourage more people to start running, walking and cycling to work. PleaseCycle took home the award due to its commitment and dedication to combining technology and psychology to positively affect people and their organisations. http://pleasecycle.com/
Room Booking System Ltd won Best Enterprise in the Bank of Scotland heat. The Glasgow based company specialises in resource booking software for schools. More than half a million parents, teachers and administrators use their software to reserve rooms and resources. http://www.roombookingsystem.co.uk/
Best Start-up Finalists
The Best Start-up prize will be awarded to a business that has been running for less than
two years. These finalists have already won £1,000 for winning Best Start-up in their initial heat.
Burrito Kitchen won Best Start-up in the Central region heat. The Brierley Hill-based Mexican fast food restaurant was awarded the accolade following a successful trading period on the University of Birmingham campus. In 2013, Burrito Kitchen launched in the heart of Merry Hill Shopping Centre in Brierley Hill. http://www.burritokitchen.com/
KYMIRA won the Best Start-up award in the South East and London heat. The Reading-based innovative sportswear designer has launched sportswear that fuses style and technology, allowing wearers to harness their surplus energy to enhance performance and aid muscle recovery. http://www.kymirasport.com/
OmniDynamics won the Best Start-up award in the South West and Wales heat. The Bristol-based, research and development company is building and developing a product which will help introduce 3D printing to the consumer market. The product, The Strooder, transforms plastic pellets into plastic filament that can be used in 3D printing. http://new.omnidynamics.co.uk/
Pure Pet Food, won the Best Start-up award from the North heat. The Halifax-based developer of innovative dry pet foods, has achieving listings in over 100 pet specialist stores across the UK and growing at a rate of over three new stores per week. http://purepetfood.co.uk/
VH Innovation Ltd won the Best Start-up award in the Bank of Scotland heat. The product development business, based VH Innovation Ltd a product design company specialising in joint protection kneepads, was named the winner in the Best Start-up category. http://vhinnovation.com/
Best Digital Finalists
The Best Digital prize, new for 2014, recognises a business that has demonstrated the value of digital to the business bottom line and the customer experience. These finalists have already won £1,000 for winning Best Digital at the initial heat.
Black & White Boutique won the Best Digital award at the Central region heat. The online female fashion jewellery retailer sources products from around the world to provide customers with a wide range of jewellery at affordable prices. The business has generated its sales through social media and has 135,000 followers on Instagram since 2013 and now ships to 35 countries. http://blackwhiteboutique.com/
Centurus, won the Best Digital category from the North heat. The Preston-based international student applications service has made remarkable progress in a short period, with its technology now being used in over 160 universities and colleges, 950 international agencies and it has already supported over 30,000 international student applications. http://www.centurus.co.uk/
Event Rater won Best Digital award from the South West and Wales heat. The Cardiff-based events and venue rating website has a unique website and is soon to launch an app, which allows event attendees to submit feedback to organisers and venue managers. http://www.event-rater.com/
LendMeYourLearning won the Best Digital award in the South East and London heat. The pioneering educational organisation won the accolade because of its unique online learning platform where children’s work can be uploaded and shared with a global audience. http://lendmeyourliteracy.com/
trtl won the Best Digital award from the Bank of Scotland heat. The Glasgow-based company invented the sleep scarf and has driven its sales through Twitter and Facebook and has recently received a bulk order from Dixons Travel, which has outlets at UK airports. http://www.trtl.co.uk/
Notes to Editors
1. For more information please contact Ed Smith on 0207 661 4936, firstname.lastname@example.org
2. The judges in the final are:
- James Quinn - Executive Business Editor, Daily and Sunday Telegraph
- Tristan Wilkinson - Deputy CEO of Go ON UK- a UK charity set up by Martha Lane Fox to make the UK the most digitally skilled nation in the world.
- Stephen Pegge - Director, Group External Relations, Lloyds Banking Group
- Lucy Armstrong - Chief Executive, The Alchemists which works with high growth mid-corporate businesses to accelerate their development and success. - Tim Campbell - Founder, Bright Ideas Trust, a charitable social enterprise which encourages young budding entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds to start business ventures, giving them greater access to start-up finance, real business mentors, professional services advisors and educational programmes.
3. The Awards were open to entrepreneurs from May to July who were currently studying at university in Britain or who graduated within the past five years and have been trading for more than 1 year.
4. As well as the cash investment all winners will benefit from a two-hour mentoring session with senior executives from Lloyds Banking Group as well as five hours of free legal advice.
5. Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking provides comprehensive expert financial services to businesses of all sizes, from start- ups, through to small businesses, mid-sized businesses and multinational corporations. These corporate clients range from privately-owned firms to FTSE 100 PLCs, multinational corporations and financial institutions.
6. Go ON UK is a cross-sector charity which was established in 2012 to encourage and support people, business and charities to enjoy the benefits of being online. Go ON UK has nine chief executives around its boardroom table – Age UK, Argos, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, E.ON, EE, Lloyds Banking Group, Post Office and TalkTalk. Together, Go ON UK’s vision is to make the UK the world’s most digitally skilled nation.
7. To see our latest SME factsheet please visit http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/globalassets/documents/home-page/ef291-supporting-uk-businesses_final.pdf