Well, we hate to say “I told you so”, but it looks like Real Business was ahead of the curve once more.
At last night’s glittering event in the Hilton Metropole, Small was picked up gongs for both the Media and London Entrepreneur of the Year categories. The judges commended him for his international reach and aggressive business model: Miniclip boasts users in 222 countries and, as Small pointed out, “We’re a rarity in online businesses – we were profitable from day one.”
Small launched the site in 2002 with co-founder Tihan Presbie. He was taken aback by the double win: “I haven’t prepared two speeches!” he told the crowd.
Small was up against some tough competition. Suranga Chandratillake, founder of Blinkx, was certainly in the running. His online video portal has a market cap of $350m. Another finalist, Hasfa Abubacker, picked up our Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Real Business Asian Women of Achievement Awards in May. But the CEO of tele-shopping firm Pitchwell Group had to let someone else into the limelight last night.
Ben Drury of music download business 7Digital also made it into the final six. RB caught up with him after the awards. “”I’m really honoured to be up against these big, established firms,” he said. “I knew I wouldn’t win it this year, but we’re expanding into the US soon. In three years time, I’ll be giving these guys a run for their money.”
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