Having fought off intense competition from one of the strongest shortlists in the near 20-year history of the Amazon Growing Business Awards, 2017’s winners originated from industries ranging from manufacturing to marketing and from leisure to fintech.
Of particular note were the disruptor brands on show, with the likes of challenger finance offering Revolut, online car repair service ClickMechanic and nut butter startup Pip & Nut all coming out on top.
Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon, which has been headline sponsor of the Growing Business Awards since 2016, said: “SMEs account for 60 per cent of all private sector employment in the UK and are the lifeblood of the economy. So it’s great to see businesses that demonstrate the incredible entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and business values we have in this country put firmly in the spotlight.”
Disruptor brands, food and beverages, fintech and darts
Since its launch in 1999, the awards have celebrated remarkable growing businesses, with past winners including Innocent Drinks, Go Ape, Zoopla and Fever-Tree. In 2017, over 500 businesses were nominated from across the UK for one of 17 different awards.
The two individual awards were picked up by e-Careers CEO Jazz Gandhum, who scooped Entrepreneur of the Year, and Luna Mae London founder Claudia Lambeth, who became the latest winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Gandhum runs a number of businesses – delivering accessible and affordable education through education firm e-Careers, while growing a global Teflon business for the chemical process industry and developing natural isotonic drinks brand iPro Sport. Lambeth, meanwhile, founded bespoke lingerie and loungewear brand Luna Mae London at the age of 22 and has since expanded internationally to New York and Paris.
The second awarding of the Triumph over Adversity Award was a particularly emotional one, with the accolade renamed after last year’s winner Jeff Paterson – who unfortunately lost his battle against cancer earlier in 2017.
Amy McManus, who was involved in a high-impact collision only a year on from starting her own business AM Marketing, was unable to collect the award from Paterson’s daughter Monique, due to a business trip to India. After battling back through medical treatment and determination she has grown AM Marketing into a six-figure business.
McManus’ husband and business partner Bradley collected the award, but she had this to say: “Winning the Jeff Paterson Triumph over Adversity award is so important for us both professionally and personally. It recognises the difficult times we have gone through and the success we have still be able to accomplish with some seriously hard work.
“We hope that this award can inspire anyone else that their business goals are achievable and that even when it seems impossible, there is always an opportunity that you can create.”
The Amazon Growing Business Awards also recognised market-leading businesses in the B2B, consumer, creative industries, digital economy and export spaces. Of particular note was KP Technology, which was awarded Rural Business of the Year for its ability to “create a truly global business from an extremely remote location” in Wick, Scotland, the judges said.
Hunter Ruthven, editor of Real Business, said: “These awards are now in its 19th year and it has been a pleasure to watch it grow from strength to strength. This year we have celebrated creative businesses, family-owned businesses, exporters and entrepreneurs making smart use of digital technology.
“On behalf of everyone at Real Business, we would like to thank all those who entered this year’s Amazon Growing Business Awards and we look forward to hearing even more inspiring stories in next year’s entries.”
Full Amazon Growing Business Awards 2017 list of winners
- B2B Business of the Year: Lawson Conner
- Consumer Business of the Year: Pip & Nut
- Creative Industries Business of the Year: Bulletproof
- Digital Business of the Year: Monevo
- Entrepreneur of the Year: Jazz Gandhum, e-Careers
- Export Champion of the Year: ATG Access
- Family-Owned Business of the Year: PJ Care
- Growing Business of the Year: Larger Company (Turnover £50m+): HH Global
- Growing Business of the Year: Mid-sized Company (Turnover £25m-£50m): Trak Global Group
- Growing Business of the Year: Smaller Company (Turnover £10m-£25m): Telensa
- Growing Business of the Year: Smaller Company (Turnover up to £10m): Flight Club Darts
- Innovator of the Year: Revolut
- Micro Business of the Year: Beauty Boulevard
- Rural Business of the Year: KP Technology
- The Triumph over Adversity Award: AM Marketing
- Young Company of the Year: ClickMechanic
- Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Claudia Lambeth, Luna Mae London