And what a night it was! Especially for Karen Paterson. Not only did her firm Patersons HR & Payroll Solutions scoop the Global Outlook and Expansion gong, the founder herself took home the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award, too. To rapturous applause from the audience, Paterson boogied her way to the stage to accept her award from last year’s winner, Thunderhead’s Glen Manchester, and event sponsor Coutts’s Andrew Haigh.
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award went to Glasses Direct founder Jamie Murray-Wells, who accepted his award from Phones 4u’s John Caudwell.
LoveFilm pipped some fierce competition to take home what CBI director-general Richard Lambert and Caffe Nero’s Gerry Ford termed “the big one”, the coveted Company of the Year Award. A beaming Simon Calver, CEO of the £73m-turnover online DVD rental firm, celebrated the award with a bottle of bubbly and “close friends – and one or two strangers that I hugged anyway!”
Dragons’ Den’s Theo Paphitis presented the award for Young Company of the Year to a very chuffed Mitesh Soma, founder of online pharmacy Chemist Direct.
A new award, The Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs, saw the EasyJet founder take to the stage to remind the audience of the importance of “giving back to the community”, before handing over an enormous cheque to Amputees in Action’s John Pickup. “I am so grateful for this and I truly hope I can live up to the award,” said Pickup, who was spotted later, posing for a picture with Theo Paphitis, chatting to Stelios and celebrating into the wee hours at the Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.
Other Growing Business Awards winners:
People & Performance Award: Business StreamTechnology & Innovation Award: buddiThe Green Award: Warren EvansCustomer Excellence Award: Ella’s KitchenNew Product of the Year: Graze.com
Keep checking RealBusiness.co.uk for more exclusive coverage of the awards, comment from the winners and plenty more.
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